It’s the final Source Embroidery Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Power Rankings of the 2021-2022 regular season!
1. Estevan Bruins (41-10-1-3) – 1st last week – The Centennial Cup hosts ended the regular season with an easy win over Notre Dame, a not-so-easy win over Melville, and a wild overtime loss to their rival Weyburn Red Wings. The point from the defeat Saturday vs. the Wings was enough to clinch first overall in the standings, and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, so really mission very much accomplished for the Bruins.
2. Humboldt Broncos (42-13-0-0) – 2nd last week – Humboldt has won five in a row and nine of 10 coming into the post-season, and the lone defeat was a spectacular performance by veteran goaltender Matt Pesenti in Kindersley weeks ago. In March, a light schedule means Scott Barney and company have lots of time to practice, rest the heavily-used No. 1 Rayce Ramsay, and prepare for whoever looms in Round 1.
3. Melfort Mustangs (31-15-5-1) – 4th last week – Melfort loves a streak one way or the other, and Trevor Blevins’ men are heading in the right direction as the post-season approaches. Big wins against La Ronge, Nipawin and Flin Flon are the latest victims of the Mustangs, but it’s still so tight from 3-5 in the playoff race! Another huge one with Flin Flon to end the year looms!
4. Flin Flon Bombers (29-15-4-5) – 5th last week – The Bombers have been limping just a little bit to the finish, but the return of key defenceman Cole Vardy from injury led to a big win at home to La Ronge this past week. A lot with regards to home-ice advantage in Round 1 of the post-season is in their own hands as they face direct rivals Melfort and Battlefords to close out the regular campaign.
5. Battlefords North Stars (33-17-2-1) – 3rd last week – The Stars sit in a home-ice-advantage spot in the post-season right now, and with three games in hand, could still finish as high as third if things break the right way. A loss to Kindersley this past week was more down to another incredible show by Klippers’ tender Pesenti than anything, and they’ll have a shot at revenge on Kindersley to close out the regular season.
6. La Ronge Ice Wolves (27-21-1-6) – 7th last week – This team is so banged up yet it is an enormous credit to Kevin Kaminski’s men that they are still competing so hard, and so well. A wild, come-from-behind victory over Melville and a huge win at home against Flin Flon highlighted a busy start to March, but a loss to close out the regular season at the Whitney Forum in Manitoba means their seeding is in the hands of the Yorkton Terriers.
7. Yorkton Terriers (28-22-1-4) – 6th last week – Those Terriers lost a big one in Wilcox Saturday to the hard-charging Notre Dame Hounds but with two games in hand on the finished Ice Wolves, a sixth-place finish is possible if they can win out (La Ronge has the tiebreaker). Logan Cyca’s return adds some much-needed depth to the forward corps, while injuries are still a problem on the back end.
8. Notre Dame Hounds (24-23-3-2) – 8th last week – The young Hounds are all but assured to face mighty Estevan in Round 1, but they looked good in a 7-4 clinching victory Saturday night at home over the Yorkton Terriers. Captain Kev Anderson has been absolutely on fire lately. Both he and Elliot Dutil could still catch Connor McGrath for the scoring title, and Mark Rumsey for the goals title, respectively, with a big final couple of games.
9. Kindersley Klippers (23-28-1-1) – 9th last week – It was a heroic, epic battle between ND and the Klippers for the final playoff spot, and a mid-February loss in Wilcox, mixed with a brutal strength of schedule to close out the year, conspired to cause Ken Plaquin’s young team to come up just short. They beat Battlefords on Saturday and would love to do it again and spoil their party to end the season next weekend as well.
10. Melville Millionaires (17-29-9-1) – 10th last week – Playoffs have been out of reach for a while, but Mike Rooney’s men have played their hearts out. Rooney has given many U18 prospects valuable experience up with the big club, and captain Jonathan Krahn has found his well-deserved university spot at Trinity Western in USports for next year, so there are lots of positives at the Horizon Credit Union Centre!
11. Nipawin Hawks (17-32-0-6) – 11th last week – The Hawks closed out the year with a bit of a thud, but the community and team never, ever quit on first-year coach Tad Kozun. Only two 20s move on from this great club, and there is a lot of promise for next year, centred around the likes of Rylan Lefebvre, Carson Dobson and Carter Wickenheiser up front, and two very capable goaltenders behind.
12. Weyburn Red Wings (12-39-3-0) – 12th last week – An epic, come-from-behind overtime win over blood rival Estevan to close out the series, highlighted by a four-goal performance from Davis Chorney, sent the fans home happy, and this uber young team has a lot to like about it for next year! Keep believing in Cody Mapes, Weyburn fans!