Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Power Rankings March 12

The SJHL Power Rankings are decided every week by a group of SJHL broadcasters.

These are the final power rankings of the 2023-24 season.

1. Flin Flon Bombers 44-7-2-1 (Last Week 1st): 

The Bombers dropped what some feel was a finals preview Wednesday night in Melfort, but bounced back with two solid wins over non-playoff teams over the weekend. No. 1 overall has been clinched for a long time for Mike Reagan’s men, so it’s probably fair to cut them some slack for not playing their best hockey lately. A two-game set with the hard-charging Humboldt Broncos to end the regular season will be a great ramp-up for the playoffs.

2. Melfort Mustangs 38-14-3-0 (Last Week 2nd):

Another power ranking, another recap of a dominant week by the Melfort Mustangs. Their win streak is at nine in a row at the time of writing, James Venne has been implacable in net, and the returns of stars Zac Somers and Ryan Duguay over the weekend could signal a return to health for this group at the perfect time. They took down Flin Flon at home Wednesday, then cruised past Nipawin and La Ronge over the weekend. It’s hard to argue that they are not playing the best hockey in the league heading into the postseason.

3. Humboldt Broncos 34-15-3-1 (Last Week 3rd): 

Humboldt had a long break before a tough three games in four days this past week. Scott Barney’s men took advantage of a short-staffed Estevan Bruins team at home Wednesday before a statement 6-4 win in North Battleford in the home of the defending champs last Friday. The Broncos were beaten by a desperate Battlefords club at home the next night, but they’re playing some great 5-on-5 hockey these days. A date with the eliminated Notre Dame Hounds this week will be followed by a fascinating pair at home against a Flin Flon Bombers team desperate to find their best form heading into the post-season on the weekend.

4. Battlefords North Stars 34-15-4-1 (Last Week 4th):

The losing skid is finally over! A very rare six-game losing streak during Brayden Klimosko’s tenure was snapped, led by a magnificent five-point performance from league points-leader Kian Bell, at the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt on Saturday, a win that pushed the Stars back into third in the standings. This weekend, an epic showdown with their western Sask rival Kindersley Klippers looms to end the regular campaign.

5. Melville Millionaires 30-22-0-1 (Last Week 5th): 

Maybe on par with the Melfort Mustangs, the Melville Millionaires are playing some of the best hockey in the league. A six-game win streak was built on this week with impressive victories over Notre Dame and a pair against Weyburn, and on this run, they have given up an incredible three goals against. Will Dyke continues his brilliant second half, taking another SaskTel Goaltender of the Week award after he recorded his third shutout in four starts Saturday at home to the Wings. The Mils are the 2023-24 Viterra Division champs, have clinched the No. 5 seed throughout the playoffs, and have nothing but non-playoff teams the rest of the way. March’s SaskTel Game of the Month is Friday night at the CN Community Centre vs. Yorkton on SaskTel TV Local!

6. Estevan Bruins 25-25-2-2 (Last Week 7th):

The Bruins have to be the most hot-and-cold team in the league this year but were able to bounce back from a tough 6-2 loss in Humboldt Wednesday with a back-and-forth, character win at home to the scrappy Notre Dame Hounds Friday. Jackson Miller has really taken a step forward while being relied upon in the wake of the long-term injury to Cam Hrdlicka in net, and they are going to need him to stare down Dazza Mitchell and the Weyburn Red Wings in what is sure to be an epic home-and-home next weekend with both blood rivals battling for that sixth spot in the standings.

7. Weyburn Red Wings 24-23-0-6 (Last Week 6th): 

The performance was good if the results were not as the Weyburn Red Wings ran into the buzz saw that is the Melville Millionaires this past weekend. Cody Mapes’ men were able to outlast a Notre Dame rally at home Tuesday to win 4-2 but then lost twice to the Mils Friday and Saturday. If you have any time and you live in the vicinity of Weyburn and Estevan, get out to their series this weekend: you will NOT regret it.

8. Kindersley Klippers 23-24-5-2 (Last Week 8th):

It has been a lot of sitting, and waiting for the Kindersley Klippers this past week as they have not played since March 2. It will be 13 days off when they head north to North Battleford to kick off a home-and-home with the Battlefords North Stars this weekend, so will they be refreshed or rusty? We’ll find out! Clayton Jardine and his men need a lot to happen for them to finish higher than seventh at this point, but take care of business and the chips will fall where they will.

9. Nipawin Hawks 20-29-1-4 (Last week 11th):

The Hawks moved up because they were the only team in the bottom four to get a win this past week, a 5-2 victory in Yorkton Tuesday. It’s been a very tough second half of the season, but with a core centred around Finley Radloff, Eric Hoiness, Landon Pappas, Damon Cunningham, and others, the Hawks have a lot to look forward to for next year.

10. Notre Dame Hounds 15-37-2-0 (Last Week 10th): 

Notre Dame played pretty well in two of their three games this past week, albeit in three defeats. Captain Carson Baylis has been red hot and was brilliant in the back-and-forth 5-4 defeat at Estevan’s Affinity Place Friday, and Brett Pilkington could have a whole host of quality back in 2024-25 if they all stay. They will be the first team to finish their schedule in the league, hosting Humboldt Tuesday and ending off Wednesday vs. the Weyburn Red Wings.

11. Yorkton Terriers 21-29-2-2 (Last Week 9th):

The Yorkton Terriers have a lot to be proud of for the way they pushed in the second half of the year, remaining relevant in the playoff push up until a couple of weeks ago. Their lone game this past week, a home defeat at the hands of the Nipawin Hawks, was more an indication of the great play of the Nipawin goalie than any poor play on their part. The Terriers end out the year against their rivals Melville in a home-and-home that includes the SaskTel Game of the Month on Friday night at the CN Community Centre.

12. La Ronge Ice Wolves 15-34-3-2 (Last Week 12th):

It should come as no surprise that this pack of Wolves has never quit this year, despite elimination, and continues to be a hard team to beat night in and night out. Losses to the mighty Flin Flon Bombers and Melfort Mustangs this past week were no walkovers, and you can bet they’ll play with the great pride of their community this last weekend in Nipawin and home to Melfort.