Only six weeks remain in the Alliance regular season with just about eight weeks until playdowns begin. As we get closer to the end of the season, the games will undoubtedly become even more important, especially for teams that are working towards grabbing a spot in the top eight.
The regular season picks up this week and next with the Toronto Marlies Holiday Classic to follow after Christmas. That means that there are plenty of opportunities for teams to make moves and that also means that there shouldn’t be any expectation that the rankings will remain the same every single week.
With that said, onto the Week 10 rankings.
- London Jr. Knights (1) – The Knights continue to win and continue to not lose, but they aren’t dominating teams the way they once did. The last month of the season will be key as London tries to hang onto the top spot in the league with Waterloo hot on their tails.
- Waterloo Wolves (2) – The Wolves come off a weekend where they hosted the Gold Puck Tournament, falling short in the finals against the Markham Majors. It’s the Wolves and Knights who are battling for top spot and as long as Waterloo can stay healthy, they are the 1B to London’s 1A.
- Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (3) – Despite a close loss to London last week, the Chiefs solidified their spot at #3 with back to back wins over the Hamilton Huskies. Elgin-Middlesex will continue their trend of back to backs with two games against Windsor this weekend.
- Hamilton Huskies (4) – It was a rough weekend for the Huskies as they fell twice to the Chiefs. Still holding onto 4th spot, a battle in Kitchener on Saturday will decide who sits in this spot next week.
- Kitchener Jr. Rangers (5) – Kitchener went undefeated in group play at the Gold Puck Tournament, but eventually fell to Waterloo in the semi finals. Some solace for that loss, the Rangers were once again without Carter Lennon and Justin McCombs was not in the lineup. Kitchener can move up another spot with a win Saturday against Hamilton.
- Windsor Jr. Spitfires (7) – Windsor played a close game against London after absolutely exploding against Chatham-Kent, scoring nine goals in their victory. It’s a big weekend for the Spitfires because if they can put together a couple wins against Elgin, it could signal the return of Windsor to the top of the standings.
- Huron-Perth Lakers (6) – The Lakers fall once again in the rankings after a disappointing performance at the Gold Puck Tournament, none more evident than a 10-0 loss to the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies. Games against Sun County and Lambton will go a long way in seeing where the Lakers are at right now.
- Lambton Jr. Sting (8) – Following a week off, the Jr. Sting can use all those practices to jump up the rankings if they can perform well against the Lakers and Rangers this week.
- Brantford 99ers (10) – Brantford has been playing better hockey as of late, despite the results not being there. One goal losses to Waterloo and Kitchener and a tie with London shows promise, but work will need to get done to grab a playdown spot.
- Chatham-Kent Cyclones (9) – The Cyclones drop a spot following a huge loss to Windsor last weekend. Following a year in which Chatham won just one game, the Cyclones season has been better, but more defensive play is needed to ultimately call this year a success.
- Sun County Panthers (11) – The Panthers once again played a close game against the Jr. Knights, losing 2-1 following a tie in their previous game. These games show the ability to compete against the top teams, that ability just needs to become more consistent.
- Cambridge Hawks (12) – The Hawks are still searching for their first season win and they were unsuccessful at the Gold Puck tournament going 0-3-1. Cambridge hosts Sun County in their lone game of the week.