The CHL Daily News

By League Press Release


The defending MasterCard Memorial Cup champion Red Deer Rebels are the
number one ranked team in the final Bank of Montreal MasterCard Canadian
Hockey League Top 10 list of the season, as selected by a panel of National
Hockey League scouts.

The Rebels (45-18-7-1) still have one regular season game to play Tuesday
night at Calgary, but they have won the WHL overall title and they head into
the WHL playoffs as the number one seeded team again this season. Red Deer
was ranked number one for the last five weeks of the season and the first
seven weeks of the season, while the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec
Major Junior Hockey League held the number one spot for the other 10 weeks
in a row.

Red Deer slipped out of the Top 10 for a week during the Titan’s run at the
top, but a franchise record 14-game winning streak and 17 of 18 wins during
one stretch was enough to give the Rebels the nod as No. 1 on the last Bank
of Montreal MasterCard CHL Top 10 list of the season. The Rebels had an
18-week run in the No. 1 spot until the Titan started its 10-week run.

Acadie-Bathurst (44-16-4-5) wound up second in the final poll, up from third
last week, after clinching the QMJHL overall title. The Titan has 99 points
with one game to go Tuesday night and enter the QMJHL playoffs as the number
one seed after appearing on the Top 10 list 19 of the 22 weeks the list was
published this year.

The Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League drop down into third spot
in the final rankings from second spot last week. The Whalers (38-15-10-2)
did have the most points in the OHL and are the number one seeded OHL team
throughout the playoffs.

Swift Current Broncos of the WHL and the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL
held on to their rankings of last week to finish fourth and fifth
respectively in the final rankings. In sixth spot this week are the Toronto
St. Michael’s Majors of the OHL, who climb from eighth spot after a strong
finish to the regular season saw them post the second best overall record in
the OHL, just three points behind Plymouth.

Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL are seventh, same as last week, followed by
the Erie Otters of the OHL, who end up eighth after being sixth last week.
Despite losing a pair of games this past week, the Otters still wound up
third overall in the OHL standings and led the league in victories with 41.

Rounding out the Bank of Montreal CHL Top 10 rankings for this season are
two teams that climbed back on to the list after dropping out recently. The
Regina Pats of the WHL come in ninth after finishing with 92 points, tied
for the third best points total in the OHL, while the Halifax Mooseheads of
the QMJHL return to the Top 10 in 10th spot after edging out the Cape Breton
Screaming Eagles for second place in the Maritimes Division standings with
one game to play.

Cape Breton, 10th last week, and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL
(ninth last week), were dropped from this week’s Bank of Montreal CHL Top 10
list. The Screaming Eagles, the Greyhounds and the Barrie Colts of the OHL
were all just a few selection points away from making the final Top 10, as
selected by the panel of NHL scouts, in the final voting.

The complete list from Week 22 of the Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL Top 10
rankings follows. The rankings can also be found at every week
and all previous rankings are also archived.


There are no games in the WHL on Monday night.

The WHL regular season schedule ends Tuesday night with the Red Deer Rebels
(1) playing in Calgary.

The Rebels held on to take the WHL overall title this season, regardless of
what happens Tuesday night in Calgary. Red Deer is 45-18-7-1, good for 98
points, one point ahead of the Swift Current Broncos in both the overall
standings and in the Central Division. In the East Division, the Brandon
Wheat Kings (43-23-4-2-92 points), tied for first with the Regina Pats, but
Brandon claims first place thanks to most victories.

In the B.C. Division of the Western Conference, the Kamloops Blazers
(38-25-5-4) finish first by two points over the Kootenay Ice. In the U.S.
Division, the Portland Winter Hawks (36-25-5-6) finish first by three points
over the Spokane Chiefs.

Nathan Barrett of Lethbridge is the WHL scoring champion as he finished with
45 goals and 63 assists for 108 points, just one point ahead of Medicine Hat
‘s Joffrey Lupul (56-51-107). Eric Johansson of Tri-City (44-59-103), Tyler
Beechey of Calgary (44-54-98) and Josef Balej of Portland (51-41-92) round
out the top five scorers, with Beechey still having one game left to play.

Cam Ward of Red Deer is the top goalie with a goals against average of 2.26.
Regina’s Josh Harding is second at 2.39, followed by Kelowna’s Shane Bendera
(2.48), Spokane’s Barry Brust (2.58) and Prince George’s Billy Thompson
(2.73). Davis Parley of Kamloops leads the league in save percentage with a
.917 mark, followed by Thompson (.913), Brust (.912), Bendera (.912) and
Ward (.911).

The WHL playoffs open Friday night.


There are no games in the OHL on Monday night.

On Tuesday night in the OHL, there will be a sudden-death game for the final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Kingston Frontenacs will travel
to North Bay to meet the Centennials as both teams finished the regular
season with 49 points. The winner of the game will face the Toronto St.
Michael’s Majors in the first round of the playoffs.

The Plymouth Whalers (39-15-12-2) finished first overall with 92 points in
the OHL, finishing first in the West Division standings by six points over
the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The Midwest Division title was won by the
Erie Otters (41-22-4-1) by five points over the Guelph Storm.

In the Eastern Conference, the Belleville Bulls (39-23-4-2) clinched first
place on the final day of the season. Belleville and Ottawa both had 84
points, but the Bulls had more victories so they wind up with the East
crown. The Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (40-19-8-1) won the Central Division
title with 89 points, two more than the Barrie Colts.

Nathan Robinson is the OHL’s scoring champion, leading a trio of Bulls in
the top three positions. Robinson had 47 goals and 63 assists for 110
points, two more than Mike Renzi (44-64-108) and five ahead of Jason Spezza
(42-63-105). Sarnia’s Kris Newbury (42-62-104) and Erie’s Cory Pecker
(53-46-99) round out the top five scorers.

Peter Budaj of the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors led all goalies in GAA with
a 2.29 mark and in save percentage at .922. Jason Bacashihua of Plymouth
(2.34, .921), David Chant of Barrie (2.60, .919), Ray Emery of Sault Ste.
Marie (2.73, .914) and Scott Dickie of Kitchener (2.83, .910), round out the
top five goalies.

The OHL first round playoffs open Thursday night.


There are no games in the QMJHL Monday night.

On Tuesday night the QMJHL regular season ends with a full slate of games:
Victoriaville at Drummondville, Cape Breton at Halifax, Val-d’Or at
Rouyn-Noranda, Moncton at Acadie-Bathurst, Rimouski at Baie-Comeau,
Shawinigan at Sherbrooke, Montreal at Hull and Quebec at Chicoutimi.

With just one night to go in the regular season, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan
(45-17-4-5) have clinched the overall title with 99 points, also good for a
10-point lead in the Maritimes Division standings over the Halifax
Mooseheads. The Baie-Comeau Drakkar (38-25-6-2) have 84 points, good for a
one-point lead on Chicoutimi in the East Division standings of the Lebel

In the Centre Division, Shawinigan (42-21-5-3) took first place with 92
points, seven points ahead of Victoriaville. In the West Division, Hull
(32-30-3-6) has 73 points, eight more than Val-d’Or.

With one night to go in the regular season, Pierre-Marc Bouchard of
Chicoutimi (45-92-137) has a healthy lead atop the QMJHL scoring race, with
Matthew Lombardi of Victoriaville (56-73-129) in second place. Rounding out
the top five Quebec league scorers are Baie-Comeau’s Yanick Lehoux
(56-69-125), Shawinigan’s Jonathan Bellemare (39-85-124) and Charles Linglet
of Baie-Comeau (52-71-123).

Among the regular goalies, Olivier Michaud of Shawinigan has the best goals
against average with a 2.46 mark. Halifax’s Dany Dallaire is second at 2.64,
followed by Marc-Andre Fleury of Cape Breton at 2.80. Adam Russo of
Acadie-Bathurst (2.81) and Baie-Comeau’s Ghyslain Rousseau (3.12) round out
the top five. Save percentage leaders are Dallaire (.915), Fleury (.914),
Jonathan Cayer of Montreal (.904), Russo (.901) and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers
of Chicoutimi (.899).

The QMJHL playoffs open Friday night.

For complete QMJHL statistics, check out the league’s official website.