CALGARY, Alta. – As January nears a close, the Canadian Junior Hockey League is fresh off another successful Prospects Game that was held in front of nearly 1,800 fans and over 150 scouts from the NHL, NCAA, CIS and CHL in Cornwall, Ont.
There is also a new No. 1 this week as the surging Brooks Bandits (AJHL), winners of 17 in succession, have moved to top spot overall in the national rankings in the 132-team CJHL.
While the Wenatchee Wild continue to pace the BCHL standings, the Chilliwack Chiefs are 9-1 this month and boast the second-best winning percentage in the league and are tied in points with the Victoria Grizzlies.
As mentioned, new No. 1 Brooks has won 17 straight in the AJHL while fellow division-leading Whitecourt Wolverines are victorious in seven consecutive games. The Fort McMurray Oil Barons also remain in the hunt.
Over in the SJHL, the Battlefords North Stars have a comfortable lead on the Flin Flon Bombers and the Nipawin Hawks with the three clubs having impressed in their past 10 contests with a combined 25 triumphs.
MJHL play sees the Steinbach Pistons having won six in a row and upping their cushion on the Winkler Flyers, Selkirk Steelers and OCN Blizzard.
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs are starting to run away in the SIJHL by posting a 12-0-1 mark in their past 13 games to move well ahead in the standings.
NOJHL competition sees the Powassan Voodoos nicely ahead of the Soo Thunderbirds while the Cochrane Crunch remains in the mix.
It’s still close in the OJHL with the league-leading Georgetown Raiders two up on the Dudley-Hewitt Cup host Trenton Golden Hawks while the RBC Cup host Cobourg Cougars look to stay in contention.
The Carleton Place Canadians lead their division with 74 points while the Ottawa Jr. A Senators top theirs with 69 in the CCHL.
Collège Français de Longueuil and the Fred Page Cup host Les Cobras de Terrebonne are tied in terms of winning percentage in the LHJAAAQ having moved ahead of Les Arctic de St-Léonard.
MHL action has the Pictou County Weekes Crushers skating seven points clear of the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners in the quest for first.
CJHL TOP 20 (As of Jan. 30, 2017)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST WEEK)
1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (2)
2. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (1)
3. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (7)
4. Collège Français de Longueuil (LHJQ) (3)
5. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (4)
6. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (5)
7. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (6)
8. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (8)
9. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (10)
10. Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) (9)
11. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (11)
12. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (12)
13. Pictou County Weeks Crushers (MHL) (14)
14. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (19)
15. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (17)
16. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (18)
17. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (HM)
18. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (20)
19. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (12)
20. Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL) (HM)
Honourable Mention: Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL); Winkler Flyers (MJHL); Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL); Burlington Cougars (OJHL); Whitby Fury (OJHL).