Will the Jets make the playoffs? Too early to tell. ITM, playoffs started this week in both the MJHL and the MMJHL. [Standings]
The MMJHL has the top 8 of their 10 teams in the playoffs. The teams are seeded 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5 in the quarter-final round and they play best-of-7 all the way through. Games started on a staggered basis but shall soon revert to (in most cases) a Tuesday-Friday-Sunday rotation. Here's what has happened so far.
Tuesday, March 4th FORT GARRY-FORT ROUGE TWINS 4
ST. BONIFACE RIELS 6 (St. Boniface leads series 1-0)
:. [Summary] RIVER EAST ROYAL KNIGHTS 1
CHARLESWOOD HAWKS 4 (Charleswood leads series 1-0)
Wednesday, March 5th ST. JAMES CANUCKS 2
PEMBINA VALLEY TWISTERS 5 (Pembina Valley leads series 1-0)
Friday, March 7th ST. BONIFACE RIELS 4
FORT GARRY-FORT ROUGE TWINS 3 (St. Boniface leads series 2-0)
:. [Summary] STONEWALL JETS 3
RAIDERS JUNIOR H.C. 7 (Raiders JHC leads series 1-0)
:. [Summary] PEMBINA VALLEY TWISTERS 5
ST. JAMES CANUCKS 6 (in overtime)
(series tied 1-1)
:. [Summary] CHARLESWOOD HAWKS 3
RIVER EAST ROYAL KNIGHTS 1 (Charleswood leads series 2-0)
Sunday, March 9th
Fort Garry at St. Boniface - 7:30 at Southdale CC
Raiders at Stonewall - 5:00 at Veterans Memorial
St. James at Pembina Valley - 4:00 at Morris Rec Centre
River East at Charleswood - 7:30 at Eric Coy Arena
St. Boniface has a high-powered offensive team, and 5 of the top 6 scorers in the league. They were 40 points ahead of the Twins in the season. The Raiders are a good team, and Stonewall missed the playoffs last season. So upsets are not likely in those series. The Twisters are defending champs and should be favoured. St. James, though, have already beaten them once. On paper, the Charleswood-River East rematch from last year should be a toss-up. However, the Hawks are usually the favourites and have run into injury problems all year. They have dominated both games (outshooting the Knights 46-27 and 50-37) and maybe they are just rounding into form. [Standings]
The MJHL instituted a "Survivor Series" this year. The 4th and 5th place teams from each division played a best-of-3 series to decide who would advance to the best-of-7s. So only the Neepawa Natives were eliminated from the playoffs altogether.
In the Sherwood Division, OCN beat Wayway 2 games to 1, and in the Addison Division the Blues beat Winkler 2-0. Therefore, Wayway and Winkler did not survive. In the Sherwood in will be Dauphin v OCN and Virden v Swan Valley. In the Addison it will be Selkirk v Blues and Steinbach v Portage. Selkirk, Steinbach, Dauphin, and Portage are all hughly-rated teams.
On Friday night, the playoffs proper started with one divisional semi-final. PORTAGE TERRIERS 3
STEINBACH PISTONS 4 (in overtime)
(Steinbach leads series 1-0)
This one should be a good series and may well be worth a drive. Steinbach is the defending champs, being last year's Cinderella team. This highly anticipated series drew over 1,000 fans in Steinbach. Portage has a larger arena and if the weather holds they should pack the place.
Sat, Mar. 8 7:30P Swan Valley Stampeders at Virden Oil Capitals
Sun, Mar. 9 6:30P Steinbach Pistons at Portage Terriers
Sun, Mar. 9 7:30P Winnipeg Blues at Selkirk Steelers
Mon, Mar. 10 7:30P Virden Oil Capitals at Swan Valley Stampeders
Tue, Mar. 11 7:30P Selkirk Steelers at Winnipeg Blues (MTS Iceplex)
The OCN-Dauphin schedule is TBA.
I also like to follow the MJHL on radio during the playoffs. Here are the on-line links:
Selkirk: [CJ107 FM
Portage: [CFRY 920 AM 93.1 FM
Dauphin: [CKDM 730 AM
Virden: [Big FM
Swan Valley: [GX94 940 am
OCN: [CJ-1240 AM
Note that not all of those stations carry all games. So it is best to check.