The final CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings have been released and once again, the Edmundston Blizzard and Yarmouth Mariners are the lone MHL clubs to gain recognition. As has been the case for much of the past several weeks, the Blizzard check in at number 19 and the Mariners as an Honorable Mention.
The Blizzard headed to Nova Scotia for a pair of weekend games and earn two wins in the process. On Friday night in Berwick, the Blizzard overcame an early 1-0 deficit to post a 4-1 win over the Valley Wildcats. The win officially clinched the Eastlink North Division regular season title for the Blizzard. Gabriel Vanier scored twice while singles went to Maxime Grandmaison and Dany Coulombe. Justin Lush would chip in a pair of assists and Myles Hektor made 25 saves and Edmundston posted its 34th victory of the year. The following night in Amherst, a pair of second period powerplay tallies by Kyle Ward proved to be the difference in Edmundston’s 4-3 win over the Ramblers. Gabriel Vanier and Liam Leonard also scored while Francis Asselin made 35 saves to earn the victory in nets. The triumph improved the Blizzard’s record to 35-9-3-0 and 73 points. Entering the final week of the MHL regular season, Edmundston holds a two point cushion over the Yarmouth Mariners with one game in hand.
The Blizzard close out the regular season portion of their schedule with three games remaining. On Wednesday night at home, they take on the Miramichi Timberwolves at 7:30PM. On Saturday, they travel to St. Stephen to face the Aces at 7PM. The club closes out their inaugural regular season in Edmundston on Sunday afternoon at 3:30PM when they host the Woodstock Slammers.
The Mariners also went 2-0 on the weekend. On Saturday night at home, Andrew Martell’s second period goal would stand up as the game winner in Yarmouth’s 3-1 win over the Summerside Western Capitals. Ben Chipman and Aaron Maillet – the latter into an empty net – would also score for the Mariners, who received a 29 save performance from Leif Hertz. The win also clinched the Eastlink South Division regular season title for the Mariners. On Sunday night in Berwick, Logan Timmons provided all the offense Yarmouth would require. His second goal of the game – into an empty net – would wind up being the game winner in the Mariners’ 2-1 triumph over the Valley Wildcats. Leif Hertz made 15 saves for his third straight win between the pipes and 26th on the year. The wins improved the Mariners’ record to 35-12-1 and 71 points.
The Mariners suit up for two more regular season games this weekend. On Friday at 7:30PM they play host to the South Shore Lumberjacks while on Saturday, they travel to Truro to take on the Bearcats in a 7PM start.
Below are the final CJHL Top 20 Rankings for the 2017-18 season in their entirety.
1. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (2)
2. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (1)
3. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (3)
4. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (7)
5. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (8)
6. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (6)
7. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (5)
8. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (4)
9. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (11)
10. Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (10)
11. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (17)
12. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (12)
13. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (13)
14. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (9)
15. College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (15)
16. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (16)
17. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (14)
18. North York Rangers (OJHL) (18)
19. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (19)
20. Oakville Blades (OJHL) (20)
HONOURABLE MENTION: Vernon Vipers (BCHL); Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL); Aurora Tigers (OJHL); Georgetown Raiders (OJHL); Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL)
ABOUT THE CJHL: The Canadian Junior Hockey League is made up of the 10 Junior ‘A’ leagues across Canada. Representing 132 teams and over 3,000 players, the CJHL also boast over 2,800 alumni furthering their hockey careers at the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL, NCAA and CIS level across North America.
ABOUT THE CJHL RANKINGS: Selected by an independent scouting service, the rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including winning percentage, strength of schedule, league team competes in, etc.
Will MacLaren – themhl.ca
Rankings Courtesy of www.cjhlhockey.com