February 6, 2018 (updated)
BWC now ahead by 10 – lock up first place finish
League leading BWC Midget Prep added another six points to their total over the weekend, as the team faced off against three teams from bottom third of the standings at a Showcase in Delta, finishing with a 34-4 collective score.
The sweep increased BWC’s lead over Delta to 10 points, and means they’ve clinched first place overall for 2017-2018 season.
BWC have four regular season games left – a pair vs #14 OHA White in Penticton, February 17-18; a single vs #13 West Van at Hollyburn, February 24; and another single vs #4 Yale on March 4.
In between, BWC will face BCMML North West Giants in an exhibition game dubbed the Iron Bowl, on 6:00 PM Wednesday, February 14 at Bill Copeland arena in Burnaby (funds raised to KidsSport).
After the last couple of weekends of heavy scoring, BWC snipers now occupy four of the top five spots in the scoring race. Kaden Szeto, Kent Johnson, Sean Donaldson, and Elan Bar-Lev-Wise are within 5 points of each other, in second through fifth place.
BWC goalies Kaden Freer-Lane and Nick Lee, meanwhile, lead in wins, with 15 each, and Freer-Lane leads overall with a .946 save percentage. (Scroll down for league standings, Top 20 scoring leaders and Top 10 goalies).
Between the high-powered offense and stingy goal-tending, the team is now posting a 163 GF-GA differential, up 30 from last week, and almost double nearest rival Delta’s total of 85.
BWC’s only blemish so far this year goes back to a two game series on the weekend of October 28-29; when they fell 5-3 to Delta in game one, and 5-4 SO in game two.
Delta – drop one to Edge
Weekend Showcase host Delta were downed 5-2 in their opener on Friday, February 2, by a red-hot Edge, and then put up large margin wins vs Coeur D’Alene (9-2) and Banff (9-0). The net result, Delta slips two more points behind BWC – but they hold two games in hand, and still remain solidly in second place, six up on Okanagan Red.
That lead could change this coming weekend, however, as Delta will face a surging OHA Red in a pair of games in Penticton.
Delta then wrap the regular season with a two game series vs West Vancouver (home and home), February 24-25; and vs Shawnigan Lake, on the Island, March 3-4.
In their only previous match up this year vs OHA Red, Delta lost 4-2. They downed West Van 5-1, and Shawnigan Lake 5-2, in their earlier meetings.
Will be an interesting finish for Delta. They’ll need to play well to hold off OHA Red and finish in second place.
Delta have three snipers in the Top 20 – Cole Shepard, Payton Mount and Tyus Gent. Goaltender Geo Wilson is third overall in save percentage, with .925.
OHA Red – keep moving up
OHA Red have been steadily moving up the standings, and this weekend passed Yale to move into third place overall.
Red downed Kelowna-based rival Pursuit of Excellence 5-2 and 3-2 at home at the OHTC this past weekend.
As noted above, OHA has two huge games coming up this weekend vs Delta. Should they win both, they’ll be just one point back of Delta, with four games remaining.
They will wrap the regular season with a pair of games vs #8 Shawnigan at home February 23-24, and then with a pair vs #10 Pacific Coast on the road at Westhills Arena, March 3-4.
OHA has one player, Matthew Byrne, in the Top 20, while goalies Harris Shoemaker and Keenan Rancier are #8 and #9; with solid .925 and .918 save percentages.
Yale slip to 4th
Yale were bumped back into fourth place on the weekend after dropping a 9-3 decision vs Edge at home on Thursday. Yale bounced back Friday, downing West Van 10-5 at Hollyburn.
Yale travels to a Showcase in Edmonton February 9-11, to play Northern Alberta, Rink and OHA White, in what will likely be be a key series of games to determine the final standings.
The NAX and Rink games will likely be close, and will challenge Yale to remain in the Top 4.
After a week off, Yale then travel to Coeur d’Alene for two games February 24-25 at the Frontier Arena, before wrapping with a single game vs BWC on Sunday, March 4.
Yale’s Holden Kodak leads the league in scoring with 39G-32A for 71 points, with four more Lions in the Top 20.
Rink and NAX tied for 5th
The Edmonton Showcase this coming weekend will likely see a break in the tie between Rink and NAX, who are currently in knotted in fifth place with 42 points each.
Rink – could run table
Rink however, has four games in hand on NAX, as well as three games in hand on both OHA Red (3 points ahead) and Yale (2 points ahead), and are in the best position to move up should they go on a tear.
Rink downed OHA Edmonton three times at home in the Southdale Community Centre this past weekend (Feb. 2-4), 5-2, 4-0 and 4-2; and will meet Pursuit, Yale and West Van this coming weekend at River Cree in Edmonton.
They will then wrap with two more 3-game series at home in Winnipeg, vs IHA and then vs Banff, March 3-5. Given their recent record, it’s possible Rink could win 8 or even all 9 of these games, and possibly finish with 60 points.
NAX – key weekend ahead
As noted above NAX will play four tough games this coming weekend, February 8-11 at River Cree versus BC teams. They’ll face Pursuit on Thursday and Sunday, Yale on Friday, and Shawnigan Lake on Saturday.
NAX has not played Yale or Pursuit yet this year.
In their one league matchup vs Shawnigan Lake, NAX lost 7-2.
NAX will face OHA Edmonton in a series tie-breaker in their final league game, February 21 at home in the Royal Glenora.
In their four game head to head series with OHA Edmonton so far this year, NAX are 2W-2L.
NAX played well vs the top BC teams back in early October, losing 3-1 to Delta, 4-3 OT to BWC and 4-3 SO to OHA Red.
So tough to predict how NAX will finish over their final four games.
CSSHL Midget Prep Standings, Feb. 4, 2018
Top 20 Scoring Leaders (Feb. 4, 2018)
|6||Connor McClennon||14||F||’02||Northern Alberta||27||22||33||55||2||2||3||0||0||3||36|
|7||Kyle Crnkovic||11||F||’02||Northern Alberta||25||27||23||50||2||0||4||1||0||2||26|
|10||Gabe Schovanek||28||F||’01||Pacific Coast||28||21||27||48||1.7||4||8||0||1||0||33|
|11||Matthew Kinash||13||F||’99||OHA Edmonton||27||22||25||47||1.7||6||2||1||0||3||22|
|12||Matthew Byrne||8||F||’00||Okanagan Red||29||21||25||46||1.6||6||4||0||1||3||42|
|18||Peyton McKenzie||19||F||’02||OHA Edmonton||28||16||25||41||1.5||1||5||0||1||1||24|
|19||Sean Ramsay||9||F||’01||Pacific Coast||27||10||30||40||1.5||0||6||0||0||0||16|
Top 10 Goalies (by GGA)
|8||Harris Shoemaker||Okanagan Red||14||11||3||0||0||1||0||1||801||31||2.32||14.7||413||382||0.925|
|9||Keenan Rancier||Okanagan Red||17||11||5||0||0||0||0||4||1008||41||2.44||14.44||501||460||0.918|