It’s the Source Embroidery Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Power Rankings for Feb. 9, 2022.
1. Estevan Bruins (34-8-1-3) – 2nd last week – A streak of 13 games unbeaten came to an end in Wilcox against Notre Dame this past week, but that was a wild one, and if anything, it’s a good bet that coach/GM Jason Tatarnic isn’t too bothered by the opportunity for his flying team to face a little adversity. Their plus-100 goal difference is insane, and this juggernaut is showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
2. Humboldt Broncos (35-12-0-0) – 1st last week – The best news out of Humboldt lately is a couple of great USport commits for record-breaking goaltender Rayce Ramsay (University of Toronto) and Braiden Koran (UOIT), On the ice, a rare home loss to Batlefords and a solid bounce-back win over Nipawin was plenty enough for Scott Barney’s men to keep pace with Estevan.
3. Flin Flon Bombers (29-12-2-1) – 3rd last week – A gruelling stretch on the road to end January and begin February didn’t do Mike Reagan’s men any favours, and even though they went 2-2 this past week, they did not play poorly at all. A ton of home games the rest of the way, so look out for the Bombers.
4. Battlefords North Stars (25-11-5-1) – 4th last week – A signature 4-0 win in Humboldt was huge for ex-Broncos’ goaltender Michael Harroch and the Stars, followed up by a similarly big home win at home vs. Melfort, but the gas tank ran a bit low on a busy week out of a Covid pause and Brayden Klimosko’s men fell in NB to La Ronge and Yorkton in order. Two in Flin Flon, and one in Estevan coming up, so a tough schedule, but you can never count out at team wearing the black and silver. Along with ND, this team has the most games remaining after their own bout with Covid followed by a whole whack of cancelled games against other teams hit with Covid. Big kudos to veterans Sam Witt, Ryland McNinch, and Dylan Esau for their commits!
5. Melfort Mustangs (25-14-2-5) – 5th last week – Health is an issue here, and losses to Battlefords and Kindersley were unwelcomed by Trevor Blevins’ men, but the Mustangs’ schedule in 2022 has been brutal and is a lot more manageable than the rest of the way. Kudos to Nolan Doell for his commitment to Red Deer Polytechnic!
6. Yorkton Terriers (21-20-1-4) – 7th last week – A streak of three losses in a row was snapped at Battlefords last Tuesday, but they might have found another good puck stopper in Tresor Wotton, who has three wins in three starts while spelling potential SJHL Rookie of the Year Kael Depape in net. This is a veteran forward corps that play hard for each other, so take them lightly at your peril.
7. La Ronge Ice Wolves (21-19-1-3) – 6th last week – The longest unbeaten streak at the time of writing is the La Ronge Ice Wolves, who have not lost in regulation in seven, and only had their six-game win streak ended by the Kindersley Klippers on Sunday. With Mkyllen Couture in to solidify their back end, and a healthy Xavier Cannon in net, this forward corps can score with any in the league. Kevin Kaminski’s men are hot at the right time.
8. Notre Dame Hounds (19-18-3-2) – 9th last week – Speaking of hot at the right time, the Notre Dame Hounds are finding ways to win in games they were finding ways to lose a couple of weeks ago. A string of commitments, including minute-munching defenceman Jaryd Sych to Mercyhurst NCAA D1, has this team playing a lot freer. The return of Austin Elliott to the form that had him win Goalie of the Month earlier this year has been the No. 1 reason for their four-game win streak, but the goals have been flying in lately. This team has also played the fewest in the league, so a lot more games to go.
9. Kindersley Klippers (20-23-1-1) – 8th last week – Three wins in a row, including this past week against hot Melfort and La Ronge squads, has Ken Plaquin’s young team believing big-time. Goaltender Matt Pesenti has been one of, if not the best in the league since the calendar turned to 2022, and veteran Jaxon Georget has been red-hot since they put the ‘C’ on his jersey. Beware their penalty kill – they can score at any time.
10. Melville Millionaires (16-22-8-1) – 10th last week – Heartbreaking losses to Notre Dame and Weyburn to start February were not what Mike Rooney and the Mils had in mind, but big wins over Yorkton and Nipawin in between keeps them very much alive in the race for the final playoff spots.
11. Nipawin Hawks (14-26-0-6) – 11th last week – It’s now officially about the future for Nipawin, and Tad Kozun has a sneaky-good amount of quality 2002-2004-born players that could return for next year. Led by excellent defenceman Evan Bortis, and Carson Dobson, as well as WHL-experienced Bryden Kiesman, brighter days are not too far away in Nipawin.
12. Weyburn Red Wings (11-31-3-0) – 12th last week – A big win over Melville showed signs of what this young team could be as soon as next year, and no matter the score, this Wings team does not stop working for 60 minutes-plus.