After a couple week hiatus, the Alliance Scout team rankings are back for their third edition.
Lots has happened since we ran through each team in the loop. The Alliance All-Star Weekend Showcase went down in Woodstock with another successful weekend. Some Alliance teams then headed on down to Whitby for the Silver Stick tournament (still my favourite tournament of the year). And then this past weekend the Waterloo Wolves hosted the Gold Puck tournament which housed a good chunk of Alliance teams.
As we head into the holiday season, a fair number of teams will be heading down to Toronto for the Marlboros Classic tournament. Once the holiday break hits, most teams will only have a handful of games remaining in their regular season play. Looking at the standings, there is still lots to be decided in terms of seeding and who the eight teams advancing to playdowns will be.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty and see where each team sits with a month to go in the season.
- Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (1) – Still the lone undefeated team in the league, the Chiefs have added a few more ties to their record over the past few weeks. One thing to keep an eye on, 54% of the Chiefs games this season have been decided by two goals of fewer.
- Waterloo Wolves (2) – After playing to a tie in their first two meetings, Waterloo finally fell victim to EMC. Two games with the Huskies down the stretch could be the deciding factor for who finishes second in the standings.
- Hamilton Huskies (3) – The Huskies last regular season loss came on October 23rd. Since then, Hamilton has gone a cool 13-0-1. That streak has got Hamilton in contention for top spot in the league but also has them in the latest OHL Cup top 10.
- Huron-Perth Lakers (4) – The Lakers have been playing 500 hockey since Mike Carter stepped down as head coach in late November. HPL will need to get back above that mark as they see home ice in the opening round of playdowns quickly fading away.
- Lambton Jr. Sting (5) – Not only has Lambton been playing strong regular season hockey, but they made quite the mark making the finals of the Gold Puck this past weekend. Scoring leader Austin Harper made quite the impression over this past weekend.
- London Jr. Knights (8) – First a finals appearance in the Wendy Dufton and then a quarter-finals appearance at the Silver Stick. The Jr. Knights may just be a tournament team as they have gone winless since their Silver Stick appearance. Once again, can’t really figure them out.
- Windsor Jr. Spitfires (6) – Windsor may have one of the hardest schedules down the stretch this season. With five of their final six games on home ice, the Jr. Spitfires will give an indication on what to expect come playdown season during those games.
- Brantford 99ers (7) – At one point, the 99ers looked like they would be able to cruise in a postseason position. Now with just two wins in their past nine games, the 99ers have Cambridge hot on their tails.
- Cambridge Hawks (9) – The Hawks are beating the teams below them in the standings but only one of their remaining seven games are against teams 10-12. The two games against Brantford may determine whether the Hawks finish top eight.
- Kitchener Jr. Rangers (10) – Playing much better hockey as of late, Kitchener has been able to start games strong. The Jr. Rangers will try and play spoiler down the stretch.
- Sun County Panthers (11) – The Panthers have just one win in their past 11 games but have also secured four ties which now gives them eight on the season. Half of the Panthers games this year have been decided by two goals or less.
- Chatham-Kent Cyclones (12) – Chatham had a great weekend at the Gold Puck, advancing to the semi-finals while teams like Waterloo and Hamilton did not advance. Chatham has a tough schedule the end the year with two dates against EMC and another with Waterloo on tap.