Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League


Even after all 12 teams in the SJHL played on Saturday night, ending the regular season for eight of them, not a single Quarter-Final is set, and only one more playoff seed was settled, and that was the Estevan Bruins clinching 6th place, despite a loss (thanks to Nipawin’s loss).  Had Yorkton picked up a single point in Melville against the last place Millionaires, the 3 vs 6 and 4 vs 5 matchups would have been decided (other than home ice in 4 vs 5), but Melville won a gutsy 3-1 decision in regulation, keeping Melfort’s hopes of third place alive, and helping La Ronge’s chances of home ice advantage.  Humboldt beat Notre Dame, meaning the Broncos can still jump up into 7th, thanks to Nipawin’s loss in Melfort, so Battlefords and Flin Flon still don’t know who they’ll face when the Quarter-Finals open on the weekend.

There are two games left, and the first one Monday will iron out 3rd, 4th, and 5th when Melfort welcomes Flin Flon.  The finale on Tuesday will decide 7th and 8th, as Humboldt plays host to Melville.

While this is always prefaced with an asterisk and subject to human error, there are still three different ways Yorkton, La Ronge and Melfort could finish depending what Melfort does on Monday.  The Mustangs can still be 3rd, 4th, or 5th.  The Ice Wolves will be 4th or 5th, and Yorkton will be 3rd or 4th.  It looks like the only playoff matchup that won’t happen is Yorkton vs Melfort.  If Yorkton stays in 3rd, they play Estevan for sure, and if they’re 4th, they’ll have home ice against La Ronge, leaving Melfort up against Estevan.  La Ronge can still have home ice vs Melfort, only if the Mustangs lose on Monday, and that can be in regulation, overtime, or a shootout.

Remember the first tie-breaker is now Regulation & Overtime wins (total wins minus shootout wins), THEN head to head second.

Also keeping in mind Flin Flon has 2nd place sewn up and will be hosting Game 1 of the Quarter-Finals, likely four nights after Monday’s road game in Melfort.  Here’s what can happen:

Scenario #1 – Melfort wins in regulation or overtime

3rd Melfort 73 points (31 ROW)
4th Yorkton 73 points  (30 ROW)
5th La Ronge 72 points

3) Melfort vs 6) Estevan
4) Yorkton vs 5) La Ronge

Scenario #2 – Melfort wins in a shootout

3) Yorkton 73 points (30 ROW, 3 wins vs Melfort)
4) Melfort 73 points (30 ROW, 1 win vs Yorkton)
5) La Ronge 72 points

3) Yorkton vs 6) Estevan
4) Melfort vs 5) La Ronge

Scenario #3 – Melfort loses in overtime or a shootout

3) Yorkton 73 points
4) La Ronge 72 points (32 ROW)
5) Melfort 72 points (30 ROW)

3) Yorkton vs 6) Estevan
4) La Ronge vs 5) Melfort

Scenario #4 Melfort loses in regulation – same as Scenario #3, but no tie-breakers needed, standings stay like they are today

3) Yorkton 73 points
4) La Ronge 72 points
5) Melfort 71 points

3) Yorkton vs 6) Estevan
4) La Ronge vs 5) Melfort

Tuesday’s game is a lot more clear-cut.  If Humboldt beats Melville in any way, they’re 7th, if they lose in any way, they’re 8th.

Scenario #1 Humboldt wins in regulation, overtime, shootout

7) Humboldt 65 points
8) Nipawin 64 points

1) Battlefords vs 8) Nipawin
2) Flin Flon vs 7) Humboldt

Scenario #2 Humboldt loses in regulation

7) Nipawin 64 points
8) Humboldt 63 points

1) Battlefords vs 8) Humboldt
2) Flin Flon vs 7) Nipawin

Scenario #3 Humboldt loses in overtime or a shootout – same as above but with tie-breaker

7) Nipawin 64 points (30 ROW)
8) Humboldt 64 points (26 ROW)

1) Battlefords vs 8) Humboldt
2) Flin Flon vs 7) Nipawin


Saturday Scores

Nipawin 0 @ Melfort 2

Shawn Parkinson makes 26 saves for his second shutout over Nipawin in as many nights, third in his last four starts, and fourth of the season.  With one game left, Parkinson’s stats have surged down the stretch, now 2nd in wins (24), 2nd in games and minutes, 1st in GAA (2.41), 7th in SV% (.917) and tied for first in shutouts (4).  One more regulation or overtime win on Tuesday, and Melfort would jump from 5th to 3rd and face 6th place Estevan in the playoffs.  Ross Hawryluk made 33/35 saves in Nipawin’s last game of the regular season.  They’ll play Flin Flon in the playoffs in Humboldt loses on Tuesday, or fall to eighth and face Battlefords if Humboldt wins.

La Ronge 4 @ Flin Flon 3 (OT)

Daylon Mannon’s 36th goal and 80th point of the season came 17 seconds into overtime as La Ronge capped off the regular season in style, winning at the Whitney Forum, helping their chances of staying in 4th but are at the mercy of needing a Melfort loss on Monday.  Mannon, the California product will finish the year 3rd in the SJHL in goals, 4th in points. The Ice Wolves will play Yorkton or Melfort in Round 1, and they’ll be scoreboard watching Monday night to find out who and wear they’ll start.

Yorkton 1 @ Melville 3

Yorkton needed a win, even an overtime or shootout loss in Melville to secure the 3rd playoff seed, but SJHL Goaltender Of The Year Berk Berkeliev made 47/48 saves as the Millionaires snapped a nine game slide and sent their fans home happy in their last home game at the end of a challenging year, a 3-1 win over their rivals.  Berkeliev might play again Tuesday in Humboldt, but as of now he’s boosted his league-high save percentage to .931% while playing on a Millionaires’ club that will finish last in the standings.  Yorkton will have home ice when the Quarter-Finals start, most likely on Friday.  If they’re 3rd, they’ll host Estevan, if they’re 4th, they’ll play La Ronge.  SJHL leading scorer Chantz Petruic was held off the scoresheet in the regular season finale, finishing with 58-goals, 51-assists, 109-points.  It’s the most goals anyone’s scored in the league since La Ronge’s Travis Eggum had 58 in 2010-2011, and the most points since 2000-2001 when Tyler Shantz (Lebret Eagles) put up 111.

Weyburn 6 @ Estevan 4

Despite the loss, Estevan was the only team on Saturday that solidified their playoff seed on Saturday, as Nipawin also lost, meaning the Bruins will finish 6th, and will face either Yorkton or Melfort, whoever finishes 3rd, in round one of the post-season.  Rookie Dace Prymak scored twice, as the Weyburn Red Wings finished a tough season on a high note.  Douglas Wakelyn made 39/43 saves in the win.

Notre Dame 3 @ Humboldt 6

The Broncos can still finish 7th due to their win and Nipawin’s loss.  They’re a point back the Hawks for 7th place and need a win over Melville on Tuesday to move up.  Moving up will mean more travel, as they’d head to Flin Flon on the weekend, rather than Battlefords to face the league-leading North Stars.  Defenseman Doug Scott had two goals and an assist to lead Humboldt to Saturday’s win.  Notre Dame’s Logan Dyck made 48 saves in his final junior start, and 20-year-old Sho Takai capped a solid career and season scoring twice and setting up one more for the Hounds.

Battlefords 1 @ Kindersley 3

This one didn’t matter in the standings, but Kindersley wrapped up their season with a victory, as Steven Bacovsky made 25/26 saves.  Liam Fraser hit the 30-goal plateau for the Klippers, as did Quinton Loon-Stewardson for the Stars.  Battlefords still finishes with a league-best record of 45-11-2-0, and the defending champs will rest up for the #8 seed, either Humboldt or Nipawin when the Canalta Cup playoffs kick off on Friday.

Monday, March 2nd
Flin Flon @ Melfort

Tuesday, March 3rd
Melville @ Humboldt