By Dave Leaderhouse
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s hottest team is the only squad to crack the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s weekly Top 20 rankings as the Kindersley Klippers sit in the No. 19 position, up one from a week ago.
The Klippers have points in seven straight games, including a pair of victories over the Humboldt Broncos and La Ronge Ice Wolves last week, to share top spot with Humboldt in both the Global Ag Risk Solution Division and overall point’s race. Kindersley has played two fewer games than the Broncos resulting in the Klippers having a better winning percentage at .750 to .656.
The Broncos, who were the SJHL’s top-ranked team a week ago, fell off the weekly list, but did receive an honourable mention for their 10-5-1-0 ledger through 16 games.
If it is even possible, the standings tightened up even further from seven days ago as last week the top seven teams were separated by just five points. That margin has been trimmed by one as the Flin Flon Bombers, with points in eight of their last 10 outings, hold down top spot in the Sherwood Division with 20 points, one back of both Kindersley and Humboldt for the overall lead.
The Bombers are two points ahead of the Nipawin Hawks and grouped at 17 points are the Melfort Mustangs, Battlefords North Stars and Viterra Division-leading Yorkton Terriers. All of the frontrunners, with the exception of Flin Flon who dropped their last outing, will begin this week with winning streaks intact.
The parity that the league is experiencing right now is sure to continue as a heavy schedule see teams play as many as three games this week and if the Estevan Bruins, Weyburn Red Wings and Notre Dame Hounds put together some streaks from their travels on the road then that group at the top could grow even larger in size.
The CJHL Top 20 Rankings
(As of Oct. 22)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST WEEK)
1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (1)
2. Brockville Braves (CCHL) (2)
3. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (3)
4. Oakville Blades (OJHL) (4)
5. Hawkesbury Hawks (CCHL) (9)
6. North York Rangers (OJHL) (10)
7. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (5)
8. Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (HM)
9. Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) (11)
10. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (7)
11. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (17)
12. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (8)
13. Inouk de Granby (LHJAAAQ) (18)
14. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (15)
15. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (NR)
16. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (16)
17. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (14)
18. Titan de Princeville (LHJAAAQ) (6)
19. Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (20)
20. Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL) (HM)
HONOURABLE MENTION: Coquitlam Express (BCHL); Drumheller Dragons (AJHL); Humboldt Broncos (SJHL); Aurora Tigers (OJHL); Summerside Western Capitals (MHL)