SJHL Monthly Update – November 2022

Photo Credit: Richard Petersen

With just over one-third of the season in the books in the SJHL, we’re learning more and more about who teams are and where they might fall into place as the season moves forward. In the Sherwood Division however, as expected, it is one of the most competitive and tight divisions in the SJHL. First and fourth are separated by 10 points, sure, but 2nd and fourth and just separated by five points. Neither gap is insurmountable by any means and any of the four teams could go on a run and turn the division’s standings on it’s head. All four teams are either in a playoff spot, or are tied for one.

The Flin Flon Bombers have somewhat separated themselves as the team to beat in the Sherwood Division, but the separation isn’t astounding by any means. The Melfort Mustangs were right there with the Bombers on Nov. 2 in a tight 2-1 game, and La Ronge and Nipawin have also had a few tight one-goal games. The Bombers top six has been excellent, and Harmon Laser-Hume has been nothing short of outstanding. It’s the Bombers division right now.

The La Ronge Ice Wolves are in the midst of six straight games at home, probably a welcome sight for a building that’s one of the more difficult ones to win in. La Ronge had a 4-1 win over Melfort at the end of October, and when they’re on, this team is never an easy out. They can score with the best of them, and the goaltending has been solid as of late. Health will be a major key for the Ice Wolves as we head into November and December as they have a very busy month or so.

You can’t win hockey games, don’t score goals. That’s been the main issue plaguing the Melfort Mustangs. Prior to their weekend set with Estevan, it’s been back to back losses where they’ve only scored one goal in each game. Key goals are hard to come by for this group right now, but it’s not like they’re playing bad by any means. Defensively things have looked solid for the most part, and they’re creating a decent amount of chances. James Venne and a healthy Joel Favreau will need to keep being the dynamic duo they have been.

Maguire Ratzlaff, at the time of writing, has 16 goals in 18 games, he had three in 33 a season ago. Ratzlaff has scored 27 per-cent of the Hawks goals and the Nipawin Hawks continue to be in nearly every game, outside of a few tough ones against Notre Dame and Humboldt recently. This roster is solid and while the results haven’t been there consistently, this team could go on a run and firmly put themselves into the playoffs, something they’re currently tied for the last spot of.

As expected, the Sherwood Divison has not disappointed yet this season, and with the snow finally here to stay, we’re into the meat of the SJHL season, which means more heated rivalries, and more intense games as the playoffs near.