Blazers 5th in Rankings – Kamloops Blazers

March 23, 2022 at 2:34 pm  Kamloops Blazers, Sports


Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 21

1. Edmonton Oil Kings
2. Winnipeg ICE
3. Hamilton Bulldogs
4. Charlottetown Islanders
5. Kamloops Blazers
6. Everett Silvertips
7. Sherbrooke Phoenix
8. North Bay Battalion
9. Saint John Sea Dogs
10. Portland Winterhawks
HM. Windsor Spitfires
HM. Acadie-Bathurst Titan
HM. Quebec Remparts

The Edmonton Oil Kings continue to hold the crown atop the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings. Closing out the past week with a pair of points, the Oil Kings found the win column against rival Calgary, coming away with a 4-1 triumph in which Arizona Coyotes 2021 first-round pick Dylan Guenther led the way with a two-goal effort, giving him 40 tallies on the season – goal production outpaced by just three players league wide. With the victory, the Oil Kings returned to their winning ways after recently piecing together a 14-game win streak.

Coming away with three wins, the Winnipeg ICE shut down the opposition on the week as they allowed just three goals, with 2004-born netminder Daniel Hauser skating away with a pair of shutouts in which he combined for 43 stops. In all, it marks four times in its past five outings in which the Winnipeg has prevented the opposition from finding the back of the net. For Hauser, the talented netminder continues to shine in 2021-22 where through 29 appearances he has surrendered only a pair of regulation losses coupled with a .913 save percentage and 2.07 goals-against average.

Climbing to No. 5, the Kamloops Blazers are winners of eight straight with the past week highlighted by a pair of victories over rival Kelowna. After coming away with a shootout decision Friday, the Blazers then found the win column in regulation the next night as 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game participant Fraser Minten pushed the pace with a three-point effort while between the pipes New York Rangers draftee Dylan Garand turned aside 33 shots to record his third shutout of the season.

Picking up four of six points on the week, the Everett Silvertips hold down top spot in the WHL’s Western Conference, sporting a record of 41-10-3-5 and 90 points. Leading the way for the Silvertips was budding blue-liner and Anaheim Ducks 2021 second-round selection Olen Zellweger who racked up eight points in three games including four helpers coming in Sunday’s 6-3 takedown of Spokane. In the midst of a breakout campaign, this season has seen Zellweger amass 67 points through 48 appearances to lead all WHL rearguards in scoring.

Rounding out recognition from the WHL, the 10th-placed Portland Winterhawks closed out the week with a pair of victories over rival Seattle, with the latter contest seeing newly minted Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Taylor Gauthier turn aside 20 shots en route to a 3-0 victory and his fourth shutout of the season. Since his arrival in Portland in December, the overage netminder continues to be a force in the blue paint where through 21 contests he has picked up 18 victories with a .943 save percentage and 1.74 goals-against average.

Headlining the OHL, the Hamilton Bulldogs closed out the week with a trio of victories, marking a return to their winning ways after recently stringing together a 12-game win streak. Standing atop the league with a 40-12-2-2 showing and 84 points, for the Bulldogs the past week was underscored by a pair of road victories in Ottawa. Bringing a well-balanced offensive attack, among the leaders for Hamilton this season is standout centre Logan Morrison whose 85 points through 50 games are topped by just five players league wide.

Returning to the national rankings, the eighth-seeded North Bay Battalion added two more victories on the week to make it seven straight that included well-earned triumphs over Mississauga and Barrie. Standing second in the OHL’s Eastern Conference at 35-17-3-3 and 76 points, the Battalion bring a loaded offensive arsenal that counts three players among the league’s top-10 scorers, namely San Jose Sharks prospect Brandon Coe, overage right-wing Mitchell Russell, and Edmonton Oilers draftee Matvey Petrov.

In the honourable mention category, the Windsor Spitfires are beginning to earn national consideration following three-straight victories that helped the squad climb to within a point of top spot in the OHL’s West Division. Among the names to circle on the Spitfires is Dallas Stars draftee Wyatt Johnston who pocketed his first career hat-trick Saturday versus Flint to become the league’s first 100-point producer this season.

Coming away with five of six points on the week, the Charlottetown Islanders continue to showcase as a contender for national supremacy. Standing second in the QMJHL’s Eastern Conference with a 33-9-6-0 showing and 72 points, for the Islanders the past week counted a pair of victories versus Moncton and a hard-battled shootout decision versus Saint John. On the back end, Charlottetown continues to see strong contributions from reigning QMJHL Defenceman of the Year and Vegas Golden Knights draftee Lukas Cormier who put up two goals and four assists in the trio of appearances and now sits second among all league rearguards with 59 points in 43 games.

Holding steady at the seventh spot, the Sherbrooke Phoenix picked up three more victories on the week to make it eight straight games without a loss. Among the highlights was Saturday’s 7-2 takedown of Halifax in which captain Xavier Parent led the way with his fourth four-point effort of 2021-22. On the season, the overage centre has notched 73 points, second best in team scoring to only Montreal Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy.

Returning to the national spotlight, the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia host Saint John Sea Dogs have found their offensive legs with the past week’s pair of outings seeing the team combine for 10 goals. Going without a regulation loss in their past 10 contests, among the most noted contributors for the surging Sea Dogs is veteran right-wing and New York Islanders 2020 fifth-round selection William Dufour who has racked up 19 points counting seven goals and 12 assists through eight games in March.

Earning honourable mention, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan continue to turn heads following a week of action that counted a trio of victories over Cape Breton to push the club’s win streak to six. In all, the three wins saw the Titan combine for 16 goals where nine different skaters found the back of the net. Elsewhere, the Quebec Remparts garnered national consideration following a perfect week of three victories that helped the squad improve to 36-14-1-0 and 73 points, good for first overall in the QMJHL. The Remparts will look to make it four in a row when they return to the ice Friday versus Gatineau.

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