BLAZERS STAY 5TH IN RANKINGS – Kamloops Blazers

November 3, 2021 at 11:37 am  Kamloops Blazers, Sports

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 5

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. London Knights
3. Edmonton Oil Kings
4. Quebec Remparts
5. Kamloops Blazers
6. Shawinigan Cataractes
7. Everett Silvertips
8. Saskatoon Blades
9. Kingston Frontenacs
10. Sherbrooke Phoenix
HM. Charlottetown Islanders
HM. Saginaw Spirit
HM. Soo Greyhounds

The Winnipeg ICE have reached the top. Following back-to-back honours as the second-best nationally ranked team, the WHL club is No. 1 in the Week 5 edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings. After beginning the new campaign with 11 consecutive victories – one short of the WHL’s all-time start-of-season record – Friday ultimately saw the ICE succumb to the third-place Edmonton Oil Kings in a hard-battled 3-1 final. Still, the squad quickly returned to the win column the following night after coming away with a resounding 7-0 road win in Lethbridge. Leading the ICE to victory was hulking pivot Connor Geekie, a projected early selection in the 2022 NHL Draft who wrapped up the night with a goal and two assists. In all, Geekie was one of eight Winnipeg skaters to register a multi-point effort in the big win.

Beyond Winnipeg, also heating up in the west is the Kamloops Blazers who hold steady at No. 5. Riding a four-game win streak, the weekend saw the Blazers score victories versus Victoria and Prince George to improve to 8-1-0-0 and hold down top spot in the B.C. Division. Elsewhere, the seventh-ranked Everett Silvertips picked up three of four points over the weekend. Securing 15 points through eight games this season, the Silvertips remain undefeated in regulation and stand atop the U.S. Division. Rounding out the WHL, the Saskatoon Blades climb to No. 8 after earning honourable mention in the previous rendition. Headlined by San Jose Sharks prospect Tristen Robins, the budding centre leads the WHL in scoring with 21 points counting seven goals and 14 assists through 10 appearances.

Heading east, the London Knights come in second in the latest Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings after picking up two more victories on the week to improve to eight-straight wins to begin the year. The only CHL squad from coast to coast to carry a perfect record entering November, the past week saw the Knights take down Midwest Division foe Owen Sound for the fourth time this season before then adding another victory versus Sarnia two nights later. While London is receiving offensive support from all corners, leading the pack is Nashville Predators draftee Luke Evangelista whose 10 goals rank tied for first league-wide. Meanwhile, 2002-born netminder Brett Brochu has been nearly unbeatable between the pipes, winning all eight of London’s games while piecing together a 2.07 goals-against average and .935 save percentage, both of which rank tops in the OHL.

Coming in at No. 9, the Kingston Frontenacs led by 2022 NHL Draft headliner Shane Wright are undefeated in regulation in their past five outings. After falling in overtime to the Ottawa 67’s on Friday, the Frontenacs then turned the tables the next night, coming away with a 4-3 win in the Canadian capital.

Seeing a competitive start to the season with little separation in the standings, two more OHL clubs earned recognition in the Week 5 rankings, with both the Saginaw Spirit, who are undefeated in regulation in their past five outings, and the Soo Greyhounds, who hold 14 points for second place in the OHL, coming in as honourable mentions.

In the QMJHL, the Quebec Remparts come in at No. 4 following two weeks at the top. After combining for nine-straight victories, weekend action saw the Remparts stumble in coming up short against the Shawinigan Cataractes and Sherbrooke Phoenix. The club now looks to return to its winning ways Thursday against Saint John.

For the Cataractes, who sit sixth in the latest Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings after coming in as an honourable mention in the week prior, the club has now won seven straight highlighted by Saturday’s 8-5 win against Blainville-Boisbriand that saw Buffalo Sabres prospect Olivier Nadeau factor in on seven of the goals. With 21 points on the season, the talented right-wing sits second in league-wide scoring behind only teammate Xavier Bourgault, a 2021 first-round selection of the Edmonton Oilers who has collected 24 points through 12 appearances. Meanwhile, also putting on an impressive showing in the offensive zone is Phoenix left-wing and Montreal Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy, the first-overall selection from the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft who has registered 19 points through 11 games and sits second to only Bourgault and Nadeau in league scoring. Picking up three points in a pair of weekend victories, Roy’s performance helped raise the Phoenix to 10th in the Week 5 rankings.

Rounding out the latest rendition, the Charlottetown Islanders earn honourable mention in Week 5 after picking up at least one point in each of their past five outings.

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