Now that the Mash is back, the flow of information has slowed to a trickle. Trust me folks, that’s just a knee-jerk reaction from an otherwise very talkative group that’s on their best behavior. That wont last long.
Speaking of misfits… remember last week when the lack of confidence in Kenai River was mentioned? I got several unfavorable calls from Alaska because of that. So, what does the team do to prove me wrong? And misfit #2 (appropriately labeled for value) Dave Boitz was reportedly staying completely out of Wilderness Head Coach Jon Vaillancourt’s way during the opening home weekend sweep of Minot. I heard something about a concealed shock collar and am waiting for photographic evidence.
NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
The Bismarck Bobcats’ position at the top of the Central Division is powered with a five-game winning streak and second place Minot’s single point weekend in Cloquet. The Bruins and Wilderness are keeping it close. Aberdeen is at .500 while the Blizzard sit at the bottom of the heap and are winless in the last five games.
Once again, the East Division fireworks have started early this season. New Jersey has taken advantage of their experience with wins in eight of the first ten games. The WB/Scranton Knights had their way with the surprisingly awful Jamestown. The Generals and Rebels are the only sub .500 teams in the seven-team division.
There’s a smoke and mirror show going in in the Midwest Division. The illusionist Chippewa Steel remain in first place after the home sweep of Kenai River. Fairbanks is closing in on the division lead after the road sweep over the Magicians. The Magicians and Janesville Jets are both in Alaska for the next two weekends.
The Topeka Pilots are still on top of the South Division with wins in seven of their last ten games. That statistic is a bit misleading with the unbeaten Brahmas sitting just a point behind with four les games played. The expansion New Mexico Ice Wolves remain winless after getting swept at Lone Star. The rest of the division teams are all above .500, proving that are not going to be too many “easy” nights in the dirty south this season.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HOCKEY LEAGUE
The Cowichan Valley Capitals remain atop the Island Division despite looking vulnerable in Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Alberni Valley. Powell River and Nanaimo are sitting in 3rd and 4th place with Victoria at the bottom of the group. Don’t make the mistake of counting The Grizz out yet; Victoria pounded Powell River 7-2 Sunday.
The Mainland Division leading Coquitlam Express looked like Stanley Cup contenders in Saturday’s 7-1 destruction of Salmon Arm. It’s hard to believe it was the same group that got handcuffed in Thursday night’s 4-1 loss at Chilliwack. The 2nd place Bruins are just a point behind the Express. Surrey looks like a much better team this year despite their 4-8-0-0 record.
Can anyone stop the Penticton Vees? The unbeaten Interior Division frontrunners looked good in their Showcase wins over Vernon and Wenatchee. Speaking of the Wild…the young crew is still trying to get it together. Look for something light to get switched in time for the weekend home series with West Kelowna.
CHEERS AND JEERS
Cheers to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for their swift decision to suspend Yorkton Terriers forward Greg Mulhall for the season after his social media rant about running Melville goalie Berk Berkeliev during a game on September 25. We don’t always see eye-to-eye with league commissioner Bill Chow, but he certainly made the right call regarding this situation.
Jeers to Greater Metro Hockey League West for continuing the farce that is the opening of the season. Rosetown was not able to secure ice time for their home opening weekend. Who does that? I’ve never even heard of a team failing to secure ice time after the schedule came out. I don’t know, but that’s something that generally occurs in the Spring. Who’s running this gong show? Oh, Bob Russell? Sorry, but that’s ridiculously funny.
Cheers to former Vernon boss Troy Mick for getting the heck out of Cold Lake before the ice froze. Let’s face it, the last thing that Micker needed was to be part of another catastrophe after last-year’s situation in Texas. This is a good hockey guy that drastically needs a break.
That’s it for today folks!