It’s the Source Embroidery Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Power Rankings for Mar. 2, 2022.
1. Estevan Bruins (41-10-1-3) – 1st last week – A loss last week, in which they were stoned on the road by a hot goaltender in La Ronge, was followed up by a solid win at home to Melville, in which the Mils goalie was absolutely incredible. What does it all mean? Not much, this juggernaut is fine after pumping an unofficial total of a billion shots at the opposition to end February. Hard to imagine anyone catching Mark Rumsey for the goal-scoring title.
2. Humboldt Broncos (42-13-0-0) – 2nd last week – The Broncos have been blazing hot to end February, albeit on a sparse schedule that will allow their No. 1 Rayce Ramsay to hit a ridiculous 40 wins on the season, and earn the title of the best regular season for a goaltender in SJHL history. A 7-1 win at Battlefords to close out the month was a huge statement to the league of their intent for the post-season.
3. Battlefords North Stars (31-15-5-1) – 3rd last week – The Stars had to close out February with that thunderous defeat by Humboldt, then jump on a bus for an afternoon affair back and forth to distant Melville. A look at the standings, that the Stars were able to shut out the Mils should not be that remarkable given Melville’s sights are now fixed on next year, but that they did it less than 24 hours after getting smoked then jumping on a long bus ride is pretty impressive. Brayden Klimosko is still the coach of the defending Canalta Cup champs, so he knows how to handle a horse going into the playoffs.
4. Melfort Mustangs (29-15-4-5) – 3rd last week – Wins over Kindersley and La Ronge have this ship firmly headed in the right direction, and the approach of greater health should be a boon for this pretty experienced roster. Like Klimosko, Trevor Blevins knows very well how to handle a team into the SJHL post-season, and it looks like they are hitting their firm at the right time.
5. Flin Flon Bombers (33-17-2-1) – 4th last week – An enormous win over Nipawin to start March was needed after a difficult, injury-riddled ending to February, but this team just is not playing that badly at all: they just simply have not gotten many bounces lately. Still, two wins in three, and the one defeat to a scrappy and desperate Notre Dame team, means things should be just fine up in northwest Manitoba.
6. Yorkton Terriers (27-21-1-6) – 7th last week – The Yorkton Terriers are officially the hottest team in the SJHL after reeling off five wins in a row to end February and start March, albeit the latest few against teams not in the playoff picture. Still, you have to beat those in front of you, and Tresor Wotton continues to do a nice job while occasionally spelling rookie star Kael DePape in net, which is nothing but good news for Matt Hehr’s team. February Rookie of the Month Karsten Kruska has broken out in a huge way.
7. La Ronge Ice Wolves (28-22-1-4) – 6th last week – Injuries have really put a dampener on the last little bit up in La Ronge, but Kevin Kaminski’s men still play their absolute hearts out. Few teams in the league rally as often as the Wolves, exemplified by an epic comeback to start March from down 5-2 and 6-3 vs. Melville to win 8-7 in overtime. Dawson Smith has been awesome in net while Xavier Cannon is shaking off the rust in return from injury, but either way, it will be no fun for anyone heading to La Ronge in Round 1.
8. Notre Dame Hounds (24-23-3-2) – 9th last week – What a difference a week makes! The Hounds went up on the northeast swing this past weekend and took down Nipawin, Flin Flon, and La Ronge in succession to move five points ahead and a game in hand for the final playoff spot. Kevin Anderson, the MVP of the league in February, has taken another step forward in his development, and the post-season looks far more likely for the Hounds than it did a couple of weeks ago.
9. Kindersley Klippers (23-28-1-1) – 8th last week – Kindersley’s brutal schedule continues going forward, but the effort was absolutely there in a 5-4 road loss in Melfort last Friday. The club had a bit of a sparser scheduled to end February, so they will have time to rest and reload for one final push to try to sneak into the post-season.
10. Melville Millionaires (17-29-9-1) – 10th last week – The Mils remain very competitive despite creative, ‘AP-filled line-ups Mike Rooney has needed to employ due to crippling injury, and big-time credit is due to this squad, and especially it’s goaltending. Hard-fought losses this past weekend to Estevan and Battlefords, two veteran teams with a lot to play for, exemplify this point.
11. Nipawin Hawks (17-32-0-6) – 11th last week – WHL veteran Bryden Kiesman has been awesome for the Hawks, and this team is still playing hard and physical for Tad Kozun and the great Nipawin community! The future is bright at the Centennial Arena!
12. Weyburn Red Wings (12-39-3-0) – 12th last week – Similar to Nipawin, the future is bright, especially with a potential superstar in 2005-born Ty Mason kicking around! They still are not making life easy for anyone, despite not a single 20-year-old in their squad.