Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Power Rankings Jan 10th

The SJHL Power Rankings are decided each and every week by a group of SJHL broadcasters and will be released each Tuesday. *Article written before the Trade Deadline*

1. Battlefords North Stars 31-0-2-1 – The Battlefords North Stars continue to roll as they kicked off the 2023 portion of their schedule with 3 wins this week. The club has won 10 straight games and they are now undefeated in regulation in 34 games as they continue their historic start to the season. Reigning SGEU MVP of the Month Kian Bell continues to lead the way for the Stars, scoring 31 goals in 31 games, and his linemates of Holden Doell and Jake Southgate remain in the Top 3 of SJHL scoring. It will be a busy week for the Stars as they hit the road for 3 games in 3 nights starting Thursday in Wilcox against the Notre Dame Hounds.

2. Flin Flon Bombers 22-8-2-1 – After earning their 3rd straight win against the La Ronge Ice Wolves in their return to action following the holiday break, the Flin Flon Bombers split their two home games against the Humboldt Broncos at the Whitney Forum. Despite the loss Saturday, 4 out of a possible 6 points this week for the Bombers against teams they are battling with for positioning at the top of the SJHL standings. The Bombers also made a big splash on the trade front Monday (Jan 9th) night  as they acquired Melville Millionaires Captain Zach Cain for Jaxen Martins. Flin Flon will be back on the ice Thursday when they play their 3rd straight game against the Humboldt Broncos, this time at the EPA.

3. Humboldt Broncos 21-10-1-0 – It’s only fitting the team that split their set with the Flin Flon Bombers is next in the Power Rankings. After a tough loss Friday night, the Humboldt Broncos bounced back with a 2-0 win in the Whitney Forum. Benjamin Motew played a big part, earning a 28 save shutout Saturday and the reigning Sasktel Goalie of the Month continues to play well since his increased work load for Head Coach Scott Barney and the Broncos. Humboldt, who is battling for positioning at the top of the SJHL standings as well will have 3 big games this week beginning on Thursday with another game against the Bombers. They will then play a home and home series against the Melfort Mustangs.

4. Melfort Mustangs 18-10-5-1 – Aside from the Battlefords North Stars, the Melfort Mustangs were the hottest team in the SJHL entering the holiday break. They opened up the 2023 portion of their schedule this past weekend with a weekend set against the Nipawin Hawks which the two teams split. The Mustangs are 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games, which has helped them leap into 5th in the standings. They will look to climb higher this week as they play the team that is directly ahead of them, the Humboldt Broncos in a home and home set this weekend.

5. La Ronge Ice Wolves 21-12-2-1 It was a tough start to 2023 for the La Ronge Ice Wolves as they dropped two one goal games to the Flin Flon Bombers and the Battlefords North Stars. La Ronge is 0-3-0-1 in their last 4 games, but still sit in 3rd in the SJHL standings entering the week. The Ice Wolves will look to get some momentum back this week when they play two games at the Mel. Wednesday night they host the Nipawin Hawks and Saturday they tangle with the Melville Millionaires.

6. Estevan Bruins 20-16-2-1 Speaking of tough starts to 2023, you could say the same thing about the Estevan Bruins. They were swept in their home and home set with the Weyburn Red Wings over the weekend, with both games played without goaltender Cam Hrdlicka. The Bruins enter the week tied for 5th with the Melfort Mustangs, but have played 4 more games than Melfort. The good news for the defending SJHL champs, they will have a chance to get back in the win column early this week as they host the Yorkton Terriers Wednesday. They will then play two more home games on the weekend as they host the Notre Dame Hounds and the Battlefords North Stars.

7. Nipawin Hawks 15-17-1-1 The Nipawin Hawks started 2023 the same way that they ended 2022, with a split against their arch rivals, the Melfort Mustangs. The Hawks entered the holiday break playing some of their best hockey of the season, and they began the new year playing the same way. Nipawin currently sits in 7th in the SJHL standings with a slight cushion on the 8th place Weyburn Red Wings. The Hawks will play a pair of games this week as they visit La Ronge on Wednesday and host Melville on Friday.

8. Weyburn Red Wings 13-18-0-1 The Weyburn Red Wings rang in the new year in style as they swept their Highway 39 rivals the Estevan Bruins, and in doing so climbed into the 8th and final playoff spot in the SJHL standings. The Wings were led by solid play in between the pipes by Sasktel Goalie of the Week Dazza Mitchell, who allowed just 4 goals all weekend and Lucas Jeffreys, who had a goal and 3 assists and was named SuperU Defenceman of the Week. Weyburn will look to build off of their solid weekend as they battle the Notre Dame Hounds Tuesday in Radville, host Battlefords on Friday and visit Yorkton on Saturday.

9. Notre Dame Hounds 11-14-2-2 The only team who hasn’t taken to the ice in 2023 is the Notre Dame Hounds. However, they will return this week for 3 big games. The Hounds will meet the Weyburn Red Wings Tuesday for a neutral site game in Radville, host the Battlefords North Stars on Thursday, and then visit the Estevan on Friday. Notre Dame enters the week one point back of Weyburn for the 8th and final playoff spot, but do have 3 games in hand.

10. Melville Millionaires 10-19-4-1 Similar to the Weyburn Red Wings, the Melville Millionaires swept their first two games of 2023 against their arch rivals. The Mills earned a pair of 5-2 wins over the Yorkton Terriers and all of a sudden the Mills are just 2 points back of the 8th and final playoff spot entering the week. The Mills will be on the road this week for a pair of games as they visit Nipawin Friday and La Ronge Saturday.

11. Yorkton Terriers 13-22-0-0 As seen above, the Yorkton Terriers lost their first two games of 2023 to their Highway 10 rivals. Yorkton though is still right in the mix for a playoff spot as they battle with Weyburn, Notre Dame, and Melville for the 8th. Out of all of those teams though, Yorkton has played the most games. The Terriers will be looking to get back in the win column Wednesday night when they visit the Estevan Bruins and then return to Westland Arena Saturday night when they welcome the Weyburn Red Wings.

12. Kindersley Klippers 6-19-2-4 The Kindersley Klippers aren’t out of the race for a playoff spot, but if they hope to make the post-season they will need to go on a bit of a run sooner rather than later. The Klippers dropped a pair of 5-1 decisions to the Battlefords North Stars over the weekend and are now 9 points back of the final playoff spot. Unfortunately for the Klippers, it doesn’t get much easier this weekend as they host the Flin Flon Bombers for a pair of games at the West Central Events Centre.