Happy New Year to all the readers out there, hopefully your holiday break was full of enjoyment.
Its hard to believe but the teams are entering the home stretch of the regular season already, seems like yesterday we dropped the puck on the season opener.
The Wheat Kings and Huskies continue to battle for first place and a first round playoff bye, the two teams will battle Jan 22 in their first meeting of the new year.
The Vipers had a tough December going 3-4 and dropping off the pace for first, they did recently have both their goalies move on to Jr A programs, one to the NOJHL and one to the USA. The Vipers currently have a 4 point advantage on the Kodiaks for 3rd in league standings. The Kodiaks who went 4-3 (two OTL) have been making progress up the standings, they will look to get off to a hot start with a three game weekend starting with a battle against the Blades Friday night.
The battle for seeds 5-7 is a tight three way race between the Lumber Barons (21pts), Blades (21pts) and Navigators (20pts), while the Lumber Barons do have 2 games in hand on the Navs the two teams will play each other three times Jan 6-Jan 8, this will surely space the teams out in the standings. After this weekend, the Lumber Barons will be on the road for a lot, how will this affect their game. The Blades travel to Dawson Creek and Grande Prairie this weekend for two road games, they went 1-5 (2 OTL) in December, so will look to bounce back with a strong January.
The Flyers picked up their second win of the season with an upset victory over the Vipers. They will look for another when they travel to Fort St. John on Friday to take on the Huskies.
In other league news, Provincials for next year will be hosted by an NWJHL team. Im aware of three teams that put in bids to host, and while an announcement by the successful team has not been made yet, I believe it will be coming soon. The last time provincials was hosted by an NWJHL team was in 2018 when it was hosted by the Huskies.