It was noted in last week’s OLA Jr A Power Rankings that the middle section is volatile. Hopefully that prepared you for this week’s movement. That’s what’ll happen when #6 beats #1, #2 is crushed by #4, #4 loses to #7…you get the picture. There’s movement aplenty in the middle of the rankings. At the very top and among the bottom four, however, there is some stability to provide a touch of tranquility amid the roiling waters of the Power Rankings. The big question of the week: is Burlington really that good? The Chiefs stopped the express train to an undefeated season that was the Six Nations Arrows dead in its tracks with a 10-9 win on a Monday night that saw surprises in all three games.
1 (1) Six Nations Arrows 6-1
Last week: W15-6 St. Catharines, W15-4 Barrie, L10-9 Burlington
This week: vs Orangeville, @ Whitby, vs Whitby
It was obvious Burlington would be a test, but Barrie looked like they could test the Arrows as well and Six Nations passed that one with flying colours. This week will be a fun one for Arrows fans with both of last year’s OLA Minto Cup reps coming to town and a road tilt with the Warriors thrown in.
2 (6) Burlington Chiefs 4-1
Last week: W9-4 Toronto, W10-9 Six Nations
This week: @ KW, @ Brampton
If the win over Six Nations had come at the ILA, I would have been tempted to soar the Chiefs all the way to the aerie atop the Power Rankings. As it is, a flight from 6 to 2 is not too shabby for a club that we didn’t really know too much about because they hadn’t really faced the top teams yet. This week, we’ll see how they respond to facing an underachieving Braves squad and the dangerous Excelsiors after their big win.
3 (3) Barrie Lakeshores 6-2
Last week: W9-8 Whitby, L15-4 Six Nations
This week: vs Peterborough, @ Whitby
Barrie beat Whitby and Whitby beat Peterborough, so they should appear in that order. But Barrie got crushed by Six nations and Peterborough crushed then-#2 Orangeville, so the Lakers should move ahead of Barrie. But that means Whitby should move ahead of Barrie, except that Barrie just beat Whitby. You see how tough this Power Rankings thing can be? What we’ve settled on for now is the status quo for these three teams this week and allowing the Lakeshores and Lakers to settle something head to head.
4 (4) Peterborough Lakers 4-3
Last week: W15-6 Orangeville, L10-8 Brampton
This week: @ Toronto, @ Barrie, vs Mississauga
The Lakers looked like they were finding their form when they handled the Northmen so easily, then they fell to Brampton even with their lineup finally rounding into final form with Zac Currier returning. Maybe it’ll just take a few games to gel. We’ll see this week with a game against a winless Beaches squad that gave them some trouble in the Boro early in the season and the trip to Barrie.
5 (5) Whitby Warriors 4-3
Last week: L9-8 Barrie, W11-3 Toronto
This week: vs Six Nations, @ Six Nations, vs Barrie
The Warriors have a huge week coming with their season series against the Arrows plus a home date against the Lakeshores. This is when we’ll get to see just how well the young Whitby additions this summer are getting the hang of the Junior A loop.
6 (7) Brampton Excelsiors 3-3
Last week: W11-7 St. Catharines, W10-8 Peterborough
This week: vs Mississauga, @ Mississauga, vs Burlington
A different kind of challenge for the Excelsiors this week. They have to keep their focus in back-to-back games against the Tomahawks with Burlington looming on the horizon. They’re in the midst of growing from a young team to a veteran one, so this will be a good test of how that process is coming along.
7 (2) Orangeville Northmen 5-3
Last week: L15-6 Peterborough, W14-12 Toronto
This week: @ Six Nations, vs St. Catharines, vs KW
The drop may seem a little harsh, but the Power Rankings doesn’t take kindly to teams that we give a big bump to dropping the ball the following week. Actually, the up and down season Orangeville is having is not surprising for a team that lost 13 players from a group that had won three Minto Cups in five years; there are bound to be growing pains. The game against Toronto could be seen two ways: a sign to worry that they trailed a winless last-place team in the third period or a sign they’re maturing that they were able to pull out the win.
8 (8) Kitchener-Waterloo Braves 4-4
Last week: W14-7 Mississauga, W11-6 Mississauga, L7-3 St. Catharines
This week: @ St. Catharines, vs Burlington, @ Orangeville
Despite the disparity in their records, it was a close call as to whether the Braves would slip behind the Athletics in the Rankings after losing to them. Much should be settled this week, though, when the pair face each other and both play Orangeville.
9 (9) St. Catharines Athletics 2-6
Last week: L15-6 Six Nations, L11-7 Brampton, W7-3 KW
This week: vs KW, @ Orangeville, @ Toronto
The win over KW was a big confidence boost for the rebuilding Athletics. They don’t score much, but St. Catharines is getting contributions from up and down the lineup and both goalies are allowing less than 10 goals a game.
10 (10) Mississauga Tomahawks 1-5
Last week: L14-7 KW, L11-6 KW
This week: @ Brampton, vs Brampton, @ Peterborough
Three players—Travis Arch, Ryan Callaghan and Anthony Joaquim—are tied for the team goal scoring lead with 7 each.
11 (11) Toronto Beaches 0-8
Last week: L9-4 Burlington, L14-12 Orangeville, L11-3 Whitby
This week: @ Peterborough, @ St. Catharines
The Beaches led the Northmen 8-6 before surrendering 5 straight goals to finish the second period. That they then reeled off 4 in a row of their own to start the third has to be encouraging. That Orangeville then scored the game’s last 3 to take the game 14-12 must be agonizing. This Beaches team just looks too good for the losing streak to last much longer.
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