Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings: Bulldogs lead the pack
Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 23
1. Hamilton Bulldogs
2. Winnipeg ICE
3. Everett Silvertips
4. Edmonton Oil Kings
5. Quebec Remparts
6. Windsor Spitfires
7. Charlottetown Islanders
8. Kamloops Blazers
9. North Bay Battalion
10. Sherbrooke Phoenix
HM. Portland Winterhawks
HM. Saint John Sea Dogs
HM. Acadie-Bathurst Titan
For the first time in 2021-22, an OHL club is atop the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings, with that distinction going to the Hamilton Bulldogs who have gone undefeated in regulation in their past 10 outings to improve to 46-12-3-2 on the season, good for a league-leading 97 points. Among the keys to success in the second half of the season for the Bulldogs has been the addition of Anaheim Ducks 2021 first-round selection Mason McTavish, the big-time centre who since joining the club in January has collected 33 points in only 20 outings.
Coming in at No. 6, the surging Windsor Spitfires continue to climb the ranks after piecing together 10-straight victories, where the club now sits atop the OHL’s Western Conference with a record of 41-16-3-3 and 88 points. Pushing the pace in Windsor is the league-leading point producer in budding pivot Wyatt Johnston, a 2021 first-round choice of the Dallas Stars who through 63 appearances has registered 43 goals and 76 assists, good for a 12-point lead on the next highest scorer.
Rounding out recognition from the OHL is the ninth-seeded North Bay Battalion who picked up a pair of victories over the past week to extend their win streak to four games. Among the highlights was Sunday’s 6-3 takedown of rival Barrie that saw veteran centre Kyle Jackson put up two goals and one assist to become the fourth member of the Battalion to score 60 or more points this season.
Leading the way in the WHL, the Winnipeg ICE came away with a pair of points on the week backed by Friday’s 7-0 road triumph in Regina that witnessed top performances from freshmen forwards Zachary Benson and 2022 NHL Draft eligible centre Matthew Savoie, both of whom wrapped up the big win with multi-point efforts. On the season, Savoie sits seventh in WHL scoring and first among all rookies with 84 points counting 32 goals and 52 assists coming in 61 contests.
Climbing to third nationally, the Everett Silvertips picked up three of four points to make it six straight games without a regulation loss. Facing rival Tri-City on Saturday, the Silvertips came away with a 2-1 win backed by a solid performance between the pipes from Braden Holt who turned aside 25 shots en route to the victory. In all, it marked the ninth time this season in which the 2022 NHL Draft eligible netminder has limited the opposition to one or fewer goals.
At No. 4, the Edmonton Oil Kings added a lone point following a pair of hard-battled contests against rival Red Deer. In all, Edmonton continues to see strong performances up front from Arizona Coyotes 2021 first-round selection Dylan Guenther who recorded one goal and two assists on the week to move into sixth in WHL scoring with 84 points counting 42 goals and 42 assists coming in 55 appearances.
Coming in eighth, the Kamloops Blazers impressed in closing out the week with four of six points, beginning with an 8-2 takedown of rival Prince George in which captain and Dallas Stars draftee Logan Stankoven pushed the pace with a two-goal, two-assist showing that marked the sixth time this season he has recorded at least four points. Through 55 games, Stankoven has notched 42 goals with 54 assists as he aims to become just the second WHL skater to reach the 100-point milestone in 2021-22.
In the honourable mention category, the Portland Winterhawks continue to earn national consideration after closing out the past week with a pair of victories in which the offensively gifted club put up 10 tallies to shift into tops in the WHL’s Western Conference with 277 goals.
The top-ranked team from the QMJHL, the Quebec Remparts went perfect on the week with three-straight victories to push their win streak to eight games. Putting up 20 goals across the three contests, among the highlights was Wednesday’s 8-2 triumph over Baie-Comeau in which talented left-wing and St. Louis Blues 2021 first-round selection Zachary Bolduc pushed the pace with a four-point performance that included his third hat-trick of the season.
Coming in at No. 7, the Charlottetown Islanders added five points in four games highlighted by Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime comeback versus Moncton that saw the squad rally for three goals in the final frame. Among the producers was veteran left-wing and leading scorer Patrick Guay who first capitalized shorthanded with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation before following up with the winner in overtime.
Arrivant au 7e rang, les Islanders de Charlottetown ont ajouté cinq points en quatre matchs mis en évidence par le retour en prolongation de 3-2 de mardi contre Moncton qui a vu l’équipe se rallier pour trois buts dans la dernière période. Parmi les producteurs figurait le vétéran ailier gauche et meilleur marqueur Patrick Guay qui a d’abord capitalisé en infériorité numérique avec moins de huit minutes à jouer dans le temps réglementaire avant d’enchaîner avec le vainqueur en prolongation.
Winners of two of three on the week, the Sherbrooke Phoenix improved to 38-13-2-2 on the season, good for 80 points and top spot in the QMJHL’s Central Division. Backed by top talents like Montreal Canadiens up-and-comer and league-leading scorer Joshua Roy who has notched 97 points in 53 games, plus overage captain Xavier Parent, the Phoenix are among the most offensively dynamic clubs in the circuit.
Earning honourable mention, the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia host Saint John Sea Dogs continue to put together a dominant second half where the past week saw the squad pick up three-straight road wins in which it combined for 14 goals. Elsewhere, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan are making noise in the QMJHL’s Maritimes Division underscored by a 13-game span in which the team has gone unbeaten in regulation that counted six points in four games coming over the past week.