Apologies for missing the rankings last week. The flu bug ran around the household and put myself out of capacity for some time.
Back and full of health, it was a busy and interesting weekend in the Alliance. Much like myself, a few teams have begun preparations for the Silver Stick tournament in Whitby coming up on Thursday.
Some teams shined as Waterloo and Kitchener both had successful weekends at home while others like Windsor and Sun County faltered a bit. Tomorrow will mark exactly two months until the Alliance regular season and while there aren’t a tonne of races, there is still plenty of time for teams to make a significant jump or stumble towards the end.
Here we go with the Week 5 Minor Midget rankings
- London Jr. Knights (1) – Still holding onto that top spot, London has been able to hold onto the position of top dog in the Alliance basically from the beginning of the season. A three win week featured victories over Elgin, Sun County and Hamilton. One more Alliance test awaits the Jr. Knights as they host Cambridge tonight. Following that, London travels to Whitby for the Silver Stick. They’re in a division that features heavy hitters the Toronto Nationals and Ajax/Pickering Raiders.
- Waterloo Wolves (2) – Their performance over Windsor on Saturday night may have been their best of the season and although they started out flat versus Cambridge Sunday, they came out with the victory. Waterloo hosts Kitchener tonight in a battle for 2nd spot in the league. Waterloo also heads to Whitby this weekend with key matchups against the Mississauga Rebels and Honeybaked on the docket.
- Kitchener Jr. Rangers (4) – Kitchener used home ice to secure victories over Lambton and Windsor this past weekend and with look to gain a stranglehold on 2nd spot tonight in Waterloo. The Jr. Rangers continue to roll despite Justin McCombs not being in the lineup due to an injury. Cole MacKay, Zach Russell and Cole Schwindt will be tasked with carrying the offensive load in McCombs absence.
- Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (5) – The Chiefs rebounded off a loss to the Jr. Knights last Monday with a shutout in Hamilton yesterday afternoon. Elgin hosts Lambton on Tuesday before starting to game plan for the Silver Stick. They’re in a difficult division, but have played well enough as of late to be a threat to advance to the final eight.
- Cambridge Hawks (3) – Tough week for the Hawks as they dropped games to Kitchener and Waterloo, both teams they are chasing in the standings. It doesn’t get much easier as the Hawks travel to London tonight. Another participant in the Silver Stick tournament, Cambridge draws the Jr. Canadiens and the host Wildcats in their division.
- Windsor Jr. Spitfires (6) – Not the results Windsor was hoping for when they began play on Saturday. The Jr. Spitfires managed just 19 total shots in their two losses to Waterloo and Kitchener. Still in the thick of the standings, Windsor will get a chance at a rebound this week with games against Lambton and Brantford on the schedule.
- Hamilton Huskies (8) – While Hamilton did go 0-2 this past week, they gain a spot in the rankings. Hamilton has been a team that has seen many peaks and valleys with wins over the likes of Waterloo and Windsor to boot this year. A top five defensive team in the Alliance, the Huskies host Kitchener in their lone game of the week.
- Sun County Panthers (7) – Sun County is quickly coming to a crossroads on their season. The Panthers currently sit in the 8th spot, six points up on Chatham-Kent. Problem is, Sun County has played six more games than the Cyclones, giving Chatham a shot at knocking them out of a playdown spot. Sun County heads to Whitby this weekend and their defense will be tested by the two headed monster of the Toronto Marlies.
- Chatham-Kent Cyclones (9) – Chatham scored a nice come from behind victory over Sun County last week which further put them in a position to compete for a playdown spot. Still without Grayson Ladd on the backend, the Cyclones are continuing to gain momentum. The Cyclones host Brantford this weekend, their lone game of the week.
- Lambton Jr. Sting (11) – Following a 3-1 loss in Kitchener on Saturday night, the Jr. Sting pulled out a big 2-0 win over Huron-Perth in which Andrew Maclean was strong in net in both games. Lambton is finally getting healthy and getting their full squad together. Lambton gets Elgin-Middlesex and Windsor this week in two tough matchups.
- Huron-Perth Lakers (10) – Still struggling on offense, the Lakers dropped their only game of the week and were shut out once again. With just 27 goals in 20 games this year, time is quickly running out for Huron-Perth. The Lakers get some solid practice time coming up with the week off from game action.
- Brantford 99ers (12) – The 99ers had no regular season games this past week, but did take a nice trip down south to visit a college campus and play some exhibition games. With two games this weekend, we will see if the trip and tour will help Brantford turn their season around in the 2nd half.