Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back To Work

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Christmas break is over and its time for the stretch run to begin. While very few people predicted a La Ronge-Yorkton final last season, the two teams have shown the league and its fans that they are more than ready to stages a rematch of last year’s series won by the Ice Wolves as both teams have comfortable, but not uncatchable leads in their respective divisions. However, several teams are ready to try and get to the final and get their hands on the Credit Union Cup themselves.

The hottest team going into the break was the Kindersley Klippers. After releasing head coach Larry Wintoneak and replacing him with assistant Rockie Zinger, the Klippers won five straight and head into 2011 having won six in a row. The Klippers also know that while trying to catch the first place Yorkton Terriers, who are 10 points ahead of them, that they have to make sure what is in their rear-view mirror as 3rd place Weyburn is three back with 4th place Estevan just four behind Kindersley.

The Melville Millionaires have lost their last four heading into the break and coach Jamie Fiesel has suggested he will be a dealer instead of a buyer at the deadline. If Notre Dame isn’t a seller, the Hounds may catch Melville for the final playoff spot as they start the 2nd half just four points back.

In the Bauer Conference, it is anyone’s guess as to who could finish where. As it stands right now, La Ronge is six points ahead of Melfort, but it has been topsy-turvy all season long and its expected to be that way right through until the end of the season. The Mustangs are 2nd with 42 points, but Humboldt is one point back with Flin Flon and the Battlefords just six points behind Melfort. The Nipawin Hawks have occupied the conference basement for much of the season, but the Hawks played their best hockey of the year going into the break and are determined to make some noise in the final 20 plus games of the season.

It was a very entertaining first half, and its expected the second half will be just as entertaining with teams fighting for playoff position each and every night.

No comments: