CALGARY, Alta. – With 2017 nicely underway the focus shifts to the January 10 roster deadline among the 10 leagues that comprise the Canadian Junior Hockey League and the preparation for each of the 132-member clubs as they continue their quest to the playoffs. Here’s a look at the how the standings across the CJHL are shaping up near the top.
In the BCHL, the Wenatchee Wild boasts a five-point lead over both the Penticton Vees and Victoria Grizzlies in the race for first place with the Vees holding games in hand on both the Wild and Grizzlies.
Winners of eight straight, the surging Brooks Bandits top the table in the AJHL while the Whitecourt Wolverines, Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Okotoks Oilers are also among the league’s elite sides.
The SJHL sees the Battlefords North Stars having won six in a row as they have opened up a 12-point cushion on the Flin Flon Bombers, who have four consecutive victories of their own.
Over in the MJHL, the Steinbach Pistons and Selkirk Steelers have come away victorious in six consecutive contests with the Pistons still in first in the 11-team league, seven points clear of the Steelers.
SIJHL play has the Dryden GM Ice Dogs on a roll having won their past six to move five points ahead of the second place Thunder Bay North Stars.
Despite having a 25-game winning streak snapped Sunday on the road with double overtime draw, the NOJHL’s Powassan Voodoos are still unbeaten in 26 and are now seven points clear of the Soo Thunderbirds.
The Trenton Golden Hawks lead the OJHL in points, but the Georgetown Raiders have four games in hand and claim the best winning percentage there. The Whitby Fury is also moving fast to join the league’s 30-win group.
The perennial CCHL powerhouse Carleton Place Canadians continue in first place there with the Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators, Cornwall Colts and Hawkesbury Hawks also among the best squads in the 12-team loop.
CJHL No. 1 College Collège Français de Longueuil and No. 10 Les Cobras de Terrebonne are still leading the way in the LHJQ.
MHL play has the Pictou County Weeks Crushers just ahead of the Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners with the Truro Bearcats close by.
The following is the latest CJHL Top 20 rankings:
CJHL TOP 20 (As of Jan. 9, 2017)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (PREVIOUS RANKING)
1. Collège Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (1)
2. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (2)
3. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (4)
4. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (6)
5. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (5)
6. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (5)
7. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (9)
8. Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) (7)
9. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (10)
10. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (11)
11. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (8)
12. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (14)
13. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (12)
14. Whitby Fury (OJHL) (17)
15. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (18)
16. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (13)
17. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (NR)
18. Pictou County Weeks Crushers (MHL) (20)
19. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (HM)
20. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (16)
Honourable Mention: Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL); Selkirk Steelers (MJHL); Winkler Flyers (MJHL); Burlington Cougars (OJHL); Cobourg Cougars (OJHL)
ABOUT THE TOP 20 RANKINGS: The CJHL Top 20 weekly rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including the league in which the team plays, winning percentage, win-loss record, total points accumulated, goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc.