The Edmundston Blizzard and Yarmouth Mariners remain the lone MHL representatives on the latest CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings. The Blizzard remain in 19th position while the Mariners are once again an Honorable Mention.
The Blizzard travelled to Nova Scotia’s south shore over the weekend and came away with a 1-1 record. On Friday night in Bridgewater, the Blizzard and South Shore Lumberjacks played what was in many ways a carbon copy of their contest last Sunday in Edmundston. Like their last battle, the Blizzard led 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. Also like that previous encounter, the Lumberjacks outscored Edmundston 3-1 in the third to send the contest to overtime. And finally, in a repeat of last Sunday’s battle, the Blizzard emerged with a 5-4 overtime triumph. Logan Johnston’s second goal of the game at the 1:21 mark of overtime proved to be the game winner. Kyle Ward, Gabriel Vanier and Alexandre Jacob also tallied for Edmundston, who received a 34 save effort from Francis Asselin. The following night in Yarmouth, Ward would score his team leading 18th goal of the season. However, this would prove to be all the offense the Blizzard could muster in a 4-1 loss to the Mariners. Asselin made 27 saves for Edmundston.
Despite the setback, the club still holds top spot overall in the MHL with a record of 26-7-3-0 and 55 points, six ahead of the Mariners for first place in the league and 12 more than the Summerside Western Capitals for first place in the Eastlink North Division standings.
Ryan Salvis and his crew continue on the road on Thursday night when they face the Western Capitals in Summerside at 7PM. The Blizzard return home on Sunday afternoon at 3PM when they play host to the Miramichi Timberwolves.
The Mariners went 1-2 on the week. On Thursday night in New Glasgow, they fell 4-3 to the Pictou County Weeks Crushers in a back and forth affair that would remain undecided until the latter half of the third period. Luc Poirier scored twice for Yarmouth to earn second star honors in the contest. Keegan Gauthier would round out the scoring for the Mariners while Leif Hertz made 34 saves. On Saturday night at home, Ben Chipman and Brendan Young provided first period goals, helping pave the way for the Mariners’ 4-1 win over the Edmundston Blizzard. Aaron Maillet and Matt Barron tallied in the third period for Yarmouth, Duncan McKie registered a pair of assists while also being named the game’s first star and Hertz earn the win with a 29 save showing. On Sunday afternoon in Amherst, the Mariners rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first period before ultimately fell to the Ramblers by a score of 4-3. Poirier scored a pair of goals for the second time on the week – one shorthanded, one on the powerplay – while Logan Timmons also tallied for Yarmouth. Hertz once again had a busy outing between the pipes, this time finishing with 38 saves.
Despite those losses, the Mariners still sit atop the Eastlink South Division with a record of 24-11-1-0 and 49 points. The South Shore Lumberjacks and Amherst Ramblers each sit one point back of Yarmouth, while the game played column reads 36 for both the Mainers and Lumberjacks and 34 for the Ramblers.
Laurie Barron’s team will take to the road for a pair of games this week. On Thursday, they return to the Pictou County Wellness Center to face the Crushers at 7PM while on Friday night, they’ll travel to Berwick to take on the Valley Wildcats in another 7PM start.
Below are the latest CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings in their entirety.
1. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (1)
2. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (3)
3. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (6)
4. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (2)
5. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (4)
6. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (12)
7. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (5)
8. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (7)
9. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (9)
10. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (8)
11. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (13)
12. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (11)
13. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (14)
14. College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (10)
15. Wellington Dukes (OJHL) (15)
16. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (16)
17. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (20)
18. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (HM)
19. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (19)
20. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (HM)
Honourable Mention: Portage Terriers (MJHL); Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL); North York Rangers (OJHL); Oakville Blades (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 league they compete in, strength of schedule and winning percentage.
Will MacLaren – themhl.ca