Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Power Rankings Jan 17th

The SJHL Power Rankings are decided each and every week by a group of SJHL broadcasters and will be released each Tuesday.

1. Battlefords North Stars 33-1-2-1 (Last Week 1st) – The Battlefords North Stars incredible run of being undefeated in regulation has come to an end, but what an incredible run it was. Despite the loss Saturday to the Estevan Bruins, the Stars picked up 4 out of a possible 6 points and have a 20 point lead ahead of the 2nd place Flin Flon Bombers going into this week. The Stars will take to the ice three times this week, beginning Tuesday night in La Ronge. Then on the weekend they will meet the Humboldt Broncos twice, once in Humboldt and the other in Martensville.

2. Estevan Bruins 23-16-1-1 (Last Week 6th) – The biggest movers of the week in the Power Rankings are the Estevan Bruins, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The defending SJHL Champs picked up three wins this past week, including a 5-0 win over the Battlefords North Stars. Keagan Little led the charge with 5 goals and 3 assists and was named SGEU MVP of the Week, and rookie Jackson Miller was solid in between the pipes and earned Sasktel Goalie of the Week honours. The Bruins will look to continue on their winning ways this weekend when they head North to La Ronge for a pair of games against the Ice Wolves.

3. Humboldt Broncos 23-11-1-0 (Last Week 3rd) – After starting 2023 on the road, the Humboldt Broncos returned to the friendly confines of the EPA this past Thursday and earned a 5-2 win over the Flin Flon Bombers. The game kicked off 3  in 3 nights and overall the Broncos earned 4 out of a possible 6 points and are just 2 points back of Flin Flon for 2nd place in the SJHL standings, with a game in hand. The Broncos will be at home Wednesday as they host Kindersley and then on the weekend will play a pair of games against the 1st place North Stars.

4. Flin Flon Bombers 23-10-2-1 (Last Week 2nd) – It was a tough week on the road for the Flin Flon Bombers as they played 3 games in 3 nights. After their loss to Humboldt Thursday, they did bounce back with a 4-2 win over Kindersley Friday which saw Zach Cain score his first goal with his new team. However, the Bombers would drop the finale of the trip 3-2 in a re-match with the Klippers. The good news for Flin Flon is they will get some time to rest this week after their lengthy road trip and will only take to the ice once, which will be on Saturday when they host the Notre Dame Hounds.

5. Melfort Mustangs 19-11-5-1 (Last Week 4th) – The Melfort Mustangs split their 2 games this past week against the Humboldt Broncos, a team which they are competing with when it comes to positioning in the SJHL standings between 2nd and 6th. Melfort started 2023 with a pair of home and homes and that trend will continue this week as they visit the Hounds in Wilcox Tuesday and then host Notre Dame Friday. The Mustangs close the week out on the road Saturday in Yorkton.

6. La Ronge Ice Wolves 22-13-2-1 (Last Week 5th) – After a close loss early last week at home to the Nipawin Hawks, the La Ronge Ice Wolves recorded their first win of the new year on Saturday in a big way with an 8-3 win over the Melville Millionaires. Just like Melfort, the Ice Wolves are in that log jam in the upper half of the SJHL standings and they could take a serious leap forward this week with a trio of games at home. Tuesday night they host the 1st place Battlefords North Stars, which will then be followed by a pair of games against Estevan this weekend.

7. Nipawin Hawks 17-17-1-1 (Last Week 7th) – It was a perfect week for the Nipawin Hawks. Tuesday they earned a 3-2 win on the road in La Ronge and Friday they shutout the Melville Millionaires. With the pair of wins, the Hawks are now .500, and are playing some of their best hockey of the season. Going into this week, the Hawks are 8 points back of 6th place, but with 3 games this week, all against teams below them in the SJHL standings, the Hawks could find themselves within striking distance of some of the teams ahead of them this time next week. The Hawks play Yorkton Tuesday (in Wadena), Melville Wednesday, and Kindersley Saturday (in Rosetown).

8. Notre Dame Hounds 12-16-2-2 (Last Week 9th) – The Notre Dame Hounds are in the same spot in the SJHL standings as they were last week, on the outside looking in of the playoff picture. However, they move up in the Power Rankings because they beat the team one point ahead of them, the Weyburn Red Wings. After their victory over Weyburn, the Hounds lost to both Battlefords and Estevan to close out their week. Notre Dame will be the busiest team this week though as they take to the ice for four games. It all starts Tuesday night when they host the Melfort Mustangs. The Hounds will then hit the road for 3 games in 3 nights this weekend with stops in Melfort, Flin Flon, and La Ronge.

9. Weyburn Red Wings 14-20-0-1 (Last Week 8th) – The Weyburn Red Wings also went 1-2 this past week as they came back to earn a 3-2 shootout win over the Yorkton Terriers Saturday following losses to both the Hounds and North Stars. The race for 8th is going to come down to the wire in the 2nd half of the season and this weekend the Wings will face-off with the Melville Millionaires in a crucial home and home for both teams as they look to make the playoffs.

10. Melville Millionaires 10-21-4-1 (Last Week 10th) – It was a tough weekend up North for Melville, who lost both of their games this past weekend, but the team is still right in the mix for the 8th and final playoff spot. Entering the week, the Mills are just 4 points back of the Weyburn Red Wings. This week will be massive for Melville as they host Nipawin on Wednesday, and then meet Weyburn in a home and home over the weekend.

11. Yorkton Terriers 13-23-0-1 (Last Week 11th) – Also right in the mix for the 8th and final playoff spot is the Yorkton Terriers who are just 2 points back of the Red Wings. The Terriers did earn an important point Saturday in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Weyburn Red Wings, but would have felt better if they had hung on for the win. Since returning from the holiday break, the Terriers are 0-3-0-1 and will be looking for their first win of the new year when they meet the Nipawin Hawks Tuesday night in Wadena. They will also be home to Melfort on Saturday.

12. Kindersley Klippers 7-20-2-4 (Last Week 12th) – The Kindersley Klippers earned their first victory of 2023 Saturday in a 3-2 win over Flin Flon, splitting their two games with the 2nd place Bombers this past weekend. Kindersley still has a tall hill to climb if they want to get back in the race of 8th. Entering this week they are 9 points out of a playoff spot. Saturday’s game also marked the last time the Klippers will play at the West Central Events Centre this month. Kindersley will be in Humboldt on Wednesday and then play the Nipawin Hawks in a neutral site game in Rosetown on Saturday.