The SJHL regular season is coming to a close, but there’s still plenty to be decided as the playoffs approach and we head into the last weekend of the regular season. One thing we do know, an early season prediction by yours truly that all four Sherwood Division teams would make the playoffs has come true! Flin Flon, Melfort, La Ronge, and Nipawin have all punched their ticket to the dance, and all have a real shot at making a run, although we could have a scenario where the four Sherwood teams must play each other in round one.
With that being said, lets dive into what we do know, which is the fact that the Melfort Mustangs and La Ronge Ice Wolves will meet in the first round. The only thing that needs to be figured out is who is going to have home ice. At the time of writing, Melfort has one game remaining and currently hold a two point lead on the Ice Wolves who have two games remaining. Simply put, a Melfort win, and any La Ronge loss would give Melfort home ice advantage, otherwise, things get a little more complicated. The Ice Wolves won the season series, and when these two teams met, it’s been exciting each and every time. This series would be argulably the most exciting in round one, no matter what other matchups come to be. Buckle up.
For the Flin Flon Bombers, they’re currently battling with the Humboldt Broncos for second place in the SJHL, but the Bombers are an injured crew. Five of their top six point producers are out, and the likelihood of any of them returning by game one is slim. They get the La Ronge Ice Wolves in their final two games and the Bombers are all of a sudden extremely involved in who gets home ice between Melfort and La Ronge. Melfort downed the Bombers 6-3 last week, and now the Mustangs will be cheering on their Sherwood Division rivals. Flin Flon will either meet Estevan in a rematch of last years finals, or the Nipawin Hawks in an all Sherwood division battle.
Speaking of the Nipawin Hawks, they also just have one game remaining at the time of writing, that will be against the Melfort Mustangs. A win, paired with an Estevan loss would give Nipawin the sixth seed, but either way, they’ll take on Humboldt or Flin Flon in round one.
It’s sure to be a wild playoffs in the SJHL as teams vie for the Canterra Seeds Cup. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the ride!