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Warriors stay among CHL’s best in Top 10 Rankings

Candice Ward

 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the week 14 edition of the CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2017-18 season.  The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Holding steady in second place once again were the Moose Jaw Warriors, who marked their 12th straight week in the CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Warriors split both their games this past week, dropping a 5-2 result to the Kamloops Blazers before returning to their offensive form in a 7-4 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings. Despite the loss, the Warriors retained control of the best record in the Western Hockey League heading into the holiday break. In those two games, the trio of Brayden Burke, Vince Loschiavo and Jayden Halbgewachs each produced a pair of goals while goaltender Brody Willms collected his 20th win of the season to continue his career year between the pipes for Moose Jaw. The goals gave Halbgewachs a share of the league’s goal scoring race with his 35th of the season. Draft-eligible forward Justin Almeida continued to produce at a torrid pace, extending his point streak to seven games with 12 points (4G-8A) in that span to sit third in team scoring and 13th among the entire league. The Warriors will kick-off a home-and-home series on the road against the Swift Current Broncos on Wednesday, December 27 (7:00 p.m. CST) when league play resumes.

Moving up this week were the Swift Current Broncos, who departed from their previous placing of sixth to move into fourth thanks to a pair of wins. The Broncos downed the visiting Kelowna Rockets by a 5-1 score before defeating another B.C. Division opponent in the Kamloops Blazers by a 3-1 final. Goaltender Logan Flodell backstopped the Broncos to both wins over the week, making 77 saves on 79 shots. Captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) also did his fair share to lead the Broncos in the absence of other top performers including WHL scoring leader Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers) and Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) who are attending the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York. Gawdin’s point streak now sits at 10 games with 21 points (12G-9A) in that time frame. The Broncos will host the opening part of a home-and-home series with the Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday, December 27 (7:00 p.m. CST) with control of the Eastern Conference and East Division lead up for grabs.

Not to be counted out, the Brandon Wheat Kings dropped a spot, but remained a serious contender in the tough East Division. After seeing their win streak hit 10 games in a 3-0 shutout of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the Wheat Kings fell to division rivals from Moose Jaw by a 7-4 score to head into the holiday break with a 24-8-0-1 record. Stelio Mattheos (Carolina Hurricanes) has been a big part of Brandon’s success as the first overall pick from the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft tallied points in 15 of his final 16 games heading into the holiday break with 29 points (15G-14A) in that period. The Wheat Kings will return to action in late December just seven points out of the lead in the East Division, making for an exciting second half of the season. Brandon will begin their second half with a home-and-home against the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup host Regina Pats starting Wednesday, December 27 (7:00 p.m. CST) at Westman Place in Brandon, Man. This week marked the fifth straight week in the CHL Top 10 Rankings for the Wheat Kings.

Top10List-1221

CHL Top 10 Rankings – Week 14

Rank:

Team:

Last Week Rank:

Number of Weeks Ranked:

1

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (29-3-2-0)

1

14

2

Moose Jaw Warriors (27-6-1-1)

2

12

3

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (23-7-2-0)

5

14

4

Swift Current Broncos (25-7-2-0)

6

11

5

Brandon Wheat Kings (24-8-0-1)

4

5

6

Sarnia Sting (25-8-2-0)

3

11

7

Rimouski Oceanic (22-8-4-0)

7

6

8

Hamilton Bulldogs (21-7-3-3)

10

4

9

Drummondville Voltigeurs (22-11-1-1)

9

6

10

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (20-8-4-2)

4

Honourable Mention:

Halifax Mooseheads (21-9-4-1)

3

Barrie Colts (20-10-2-1)

1

Gatineau Olympiques (20-10-2-2)

0

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