Time is ticking away on the MHL regular season and the playoff races are getting extremely interesting. Campbellton (24-12-2-3) and Yarmouth (30-8-3-1) booked their ticket to the post-season last week, following Summerside’s (33-6-1-1) lead a few weeks prior. Amherst (29-11-1-1) can join the party this week.
In the Eastlink North, St. Stephen (16-23-3-0) and Miramichi (16-23-2-0) continue to flip back and forth for the final playoff spot, while Grand Falls (11-22-4-2) are still lurking despite tough results last weekend. Edmundston (21-15-4-0) are in a safely in 3rd, sitting seven points behind Campbellton and eleven ahead of the Aces. The Timberwolves have three games this week, and every point is a big one with the schedule on the home stretch.
In the South, three teams are battling for two spots. The Bearcats (22-16-2-2) only have one win in their last seven games but are in 3rd place and control their own destiny. The Crushers (18-15-3-4) are five points behind Truro, with no head to head meetings left, but have two games in hand. South Shore (19-17-3-0) are two points behind Pictou County, with one game in hand and three on Truro. The Lumberjacks and Truro play the first of two remaining head to head games this weekend, while the Crushers and Ramblers face off twice this week. Those games will go a long way to determine what the South standings might look like by the end of the season.
The one game on Thursday is a big one as Amherst visit Pictou County. The Ramblers are 4-2 against the Crushers this season and picked up a 4-1 win in their last meeting on January 26th. Amherst only trail Yarmouth by four points for the top spot in the South and are 8-2 in their last ten games. The Crushers, for their part, are undefeated in their last four games, and remain one of the hottest teams in the league.
Four games are scheduled for Friday, starting off with Yarmouth in Bridgewater to face South Shore. The Lumberjacks and Rapids have played the fewest games in the league to this point at 39, but South Shore need to convert some of their games in hand into wins to keep pace with the Crushers. Yarmouth only has one non-divisional game left to go and can play a huge part in how the first round of the playoffs shape up. Next up are the Bearcats in tough at home against Summerside. The Western Capitals, ranked fourth in the CJHL this week, beat Truro 3-2 in overtime in Summerside on January 17th, and are busy with five games in eight days. Of their remaining nine games, however, just three are on the road.
Valley (6-31-4-0) is on a New Brunswick road trip this weekend and start things off Friday in Grand Falls. The Wildcats beat the Rapids 6-3 on January 19th in Berwick. This is the lone game for Grand Falls this week, and we’re getting down to must-win games for their playoff chances. Finally, Miramichi head to Campbellton where the Tigers are looking to avenge a 4-1 loss to the Timberwolves last weekend.
Saturday will see five games on the ice. The Crushers and Ramblers will meet at Amherst Stadium in the MHL Game of the Week, which will be free to watch on HockeyTV. The Lumberjacks and Bearcats meet in Truro. South Shore took both games of a home and home series two weeks ago. This game will be broadcast live on Eastlink Community TV. Summerside returns home to face Campbellton. The teams play twice more after this game and Summerside have won all four matchups thus far. Valley continues their road trip in Edmundston. The Blizzard blanked the Wildcats 6-0 last month. Wrapping up the day, St. Stephen head to Miramichi. The Aces took the first three games, one in overtime, but dropped the last two by identical 5-3 scores.
On Sunday, the Valley Wildcats make the trek to St. Stephen. The Aces have wins of 3-2 and 3-1 over the Wildcats this season; one at the MHL Showcase in October and the other in Berwick.
With Islander Day (P.E.I.), Family Day (N.B.), and Heritage Day (N.S.) on Monday, we have four additional games to talk about. The Truro Bearcats head to Amherst, looking to avenge a 7-0 loss to the Ramblers at the RECC on January 30th. The Campbellton Tigers host Edmundston in their final matchup of the regular season, and what is most likely a first round playoff matchup. South Shore make the trek to Summerside to face the Western Capitals. Finally, Pictou County host the Yarmouth Mariners in their final regular season matchup and in what could also be a first round playoff preview.
All games can be viewed on HockeyTV.
|Thu, Feb 14||Amherst||Pictou County||Pictou County Wellness Centre||7:00 pm|
|Fri, Feb 15||Yarmouth||South Shore||Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre||7:00 pm|
|Fri, Feb 15||Summerside||Truro||Rath Eastlink Community Centre||7:00 pm|
|Fri, Feb 15||Valley||Grand Falls||E. & P. Sénéchal Centre||7:30 pm|
|Fri, Feb 15||Miramichi||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||7:30 pm|
|Sat, Feb 16||South Shore||Truro||Rath Eastlink Community Centre||7:00 pm|
|Sat, Feb 16||Pictou County||Amherst||Amherst Stadium||7:00 pm|
|Sat, Feb 16||Campbellton||Summerside||Credit Union Place||7:00 pm|
|Sat, Feb 16||Valley||Edmundston||Centre Jean Daigle||7:30 pm|
|Sat, Feb 16||St. Stephen||Miramichi||Miramichi Civic Centre||7:30 pm|
|Sun, Feb 17||Valley||St. Stephen||Garcelon Civic Centre||3:00 pm|
|Mon, Feb 18||Truro||Amherst||Amherst Stadium||2:00 pm|
|Mon, Feb 18||Edmundston||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||2:00 pm|
|Mon, Feb 18||South Shore||Summerside||Credit Union Place||2:00 pm|
|Mon, Feb 18||Yarmouth||Pictou County||Pictou County Wellness Centre||5:30 pm|