And we are finally into the stretch run.
It is the final week of the regular season and there are still plenty of things that need to be sorted out before we head to playdown action. We only know for certain seven of the eight teams that will be moving on while we are still attempting to figure out who will hold home ice advantage during the first round.
One thing that is for certain, a vast majority of the top players in the Alliance will be moving on which makes for some fantastic hockey coming up in the next couple of weeks.
Here we go with the second to last rankings of the 2015/16 season.
- London Jr. Knights (2) – A week after falling out of the top spot, the Jr. Knights make a roaring return to the top following a big win over the Waterloo Wolves last Monday. While not clinched yet, the Jr. Knights are poised to once again be the top seed in the Alliance.
- Waterloo Wolves (1) – It was a brief stay at the top, but the Wolves just weren’t able to come up big in London last Monday. It doesn’t get any easier for the Wolves as they close up their regular season with games against Kitchener, London and Huron-Perth.
- Kitchener Jr. Rangers (3) – The Jr. Rangers had the week away from regular season play, but continued their torrid play with a win at the Peterborough Tournament of Champions. Kitchener has won six straight and will attempt to claim home ice advantage with big games against Waterloo and Hamilton this week.
- Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (4) – The Chiefs had a nice bounce back week grabbing four points with wins over Waterloo and Huron-Perth. The Chiefs now have a nice bit of separation for 3rd place and close out their season with dates against the Panthers and Sting.
- Huron-Perth Lakers (5) – The Lakers are in a tough spot as they try and claim home ice advantage. They are just one point ahead of Kitchener, but boast one of the hardest schedules this week playing London, Waterloo and Hamilton. Some big wins could send the Lakers home and on a high note going into playdowns.
- Windsor Jr. Spitfires (6) – The Spitfires will be ready to see some new faces after playing three straight against the Lambton Jr. Sting. Windsor grabbed five of a possible six points against Lambton and seemed destined to be the 6th seed next week.
- Hamilton Huskies (7) – The Huskies remain a team that will live and die with how well they play defensively. Nobody can doubt the offensive upside the team has with the likes of Seguin and Taylor, but should the team gel and excel in their own end, the Huskies are a tough draw in the first round.
- Chatham-Kent Cyclones (8) – It is quite easy for the Cyclones, gain one point in their final two games and a spot in the playdowns is locked up. Not bad for a team that won just one game last season.
- Lambton Jr. Sting (9) – The Sting got a tough draw with the schedule having to play three straight against a tough Windsor team. Lambton will need to win in Elgin on Friday to have any shot at making the playdown stage. They will also need the Cyclones to lose both their remaining games.
- Sun County Panthers (10) – The Panthers continue to practice hard while they wait for their final weekend of the regular season. After a long layoff, the Panthers host Brantford and travel to Chatham-Kent with a chance to play spoiler for the Cyclones season.
- Brantford 99ers (11) – The 99ers travelled to Peterborough for the Tournament of Champions and faired quite well going 2-2 and finishing strong after a tough 9-1 loss in the opener against the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies. The 99ers have Cambridge, Sun County and Windsor to wind up tough Alliance regular season.
- Cambridge Hawks (12) – It’s the final shot the Hawks of Cambridge have to secure their first win of the season. It has been many years since a team went winless during the regular season (farther back than Alliance stats currently have on their site). The final three chances have Cambridge in Brantford Tuesday, in Hamilton on Thursday and finally in Kitchener on Saturday afternoon.