Impressive. Dominant. Perfect. The Portage Terriers romped to their fifth MJHL title in the last eight years, becoming the first team since the Winnipeg South Blues in 1986 to win the league championship with losing a playoff game.
After 14 consecutive weeks atop the CJHL national rankings and a record-setting MJHL regular season, the Portage Terriers are off on the Road to the RBC Cup with their sights set on league, regional and national championships.
The Portage Terriers were fairly quiet as the CJHL national trade deadline came and went on Jan. 10, not surprising considering the RBC Cup hosts sit atop the MJHL standings with a 42-2-2 record, and hold down the No. 1 spot in the national rankings.
Canada’s National Junior A Championship will return to Manitoba for the second time in six years when Portage la Prairie welcomes the 2015 RBC Cup to the PCU Centre, with the MJHL’s Portage Terriers playing host in search their second national title.
The Penticton Vees didn’t have a player in the top 40 of BCHL scoring, but that didn’t matter. The Vees allowed 46 fewer goals than any other team, and used a 13-game winning streak to finish 14 points up on second place.
Another year, another AJHL regular season title for the Spruce Grove Saints. The Saints won their fifth league crown in seven years by finishing in the top two in goals for, goals against, power play, penalty kill, home record and road record.
The Melfort Mustangs were very good in winning their first SJHL regular season title. The Mustangs had the league’s No. 2 home record, No. 1 road record, No. 2 offence and No. 1 defence, along with the leading scorer and top goaltender.
The Portage Terriers put themselves among the best teams in MJHL history. The RBC Cup hosts went 53-3-4, had a +165 goal differential, posted three winning streaks of at least 13 games, and set a league record for fewest losses.
The host team for this year’s Dudley Hewitt Cup, the Fort Frances Lakers geared up for the Central Region tournament by running away with the SIJHL, using a 20-wins-in-22-games run for a 22-point cushion over second-place Minnesota.
The Soo Thunderbirds spread out their offence in 2014-15; eight players recorded at least 40 points and 11 hit double digits in goals, helping the Thunderbirds edge Kirkland Lake and Elliot Lake for another NOJHL regular season title.
No. 2 offence. No. 1 defence. No. 1 power play. No. 2 penalty kill. Two regulation losses in 27 road games. Fourteen straight wins to finish the season. The Aurora Tigers did it all, winning their first OJHL regular season title since 2006-07.
With seven players back from the team that was 2:40 away from an RBC Cup championship last spring, including the reigning national player of the year, the Carleton Place Canadians comfortably sat atop the CCHL standings once again.
In a league known for its offence – nine players scored at least 100 points and the leading goal scorer finished with 83 – the Cougars de Sherbrooke earned the LHJQ regular season title with defence and a stellar record on home ice.
Six points out of first place with just four games to go, the Dieppe Commandos won them all – including two victories over the Woodstock Slammers – and used the MHL’s highest-powered offence to edge out the Slammers for top spot.