SJHL Monthly Update – February 2023

Photo: Richard Petersen Photography

Mat Barrett

The home stretch of SJHL regular season is on and as we have expected, next to nothing has been decided when it comes to the playoff race in the standings, especially in the Sherwood Division.

The La Ronge Ice Wolves lead the division heading into the weekend, but that could change as the Ice Wolves are idle while the Flin Flon Bombers are two points back and are chasing with six games in hand. Points are almost even more important for La Ronge, who has just seven games left. Dawson Smith has a .931 save percentage and he’ll need to be big down the stretch for Kevin Kaminskis club to hold on to Home ice advantage in the first round.

As previously mentioned, the Flin Flon Bombers are chasing the Ice Wolves but are in a fantastic position to catch them with six games in hand. The Bombers have played decent as of late, winning six of ten heading into the weekend and will likely have home ice advantage in round one just based on how many games they’ve still got left to play. They’ve got three of the top six scorers in the league and will be a tough out for any opponent in round one.

Hot and cold might be the best description of the Melfort Mustangs through a month-plus of the 2023 portion of the year. They had won three in a row before a pair of losses on their Battlefords and Kindersley western swing. They look like one of the best teams when they play at home, but then struggle at times on the road. In the words of Eminem, “will the real Melfort Mustangs please stand up,”. That’s the lyrics, right?

The Nipawin Hawks are not going to be an easy out for anyone in the first round of playoffs, but the questions is who are they going to meet in round one. They may fall to eighth and meet Battlefords, but they might even climb to sixth and see one of those teams in the battle between second and fifth. Jackson Fellner has been solid for the Hawks and he’ll need to continue that in the playoffs for the Hawks to play spoiler.

A pre-season prediction that all four Sherwood Division teams would make the playoffs is looking quite good right now, it’s just a matter of where they’re going to finish. It’s going to be fun!!