Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Mustangs welcome Bombers for Game 58!

Game 58, the final regular season game goes tonight for the Melfort Mustangs and Flin Flon Bombers. The Bombers are in town for a 7:30pm game with the Mustangs. Tonight is a makeup game from Jan 8th.

The game tonight will single handily decide 2 of the 4 SJHL Quarter-Final matchups as playoff spots 3rd, 4th and 5th will be locked in. Currently you can see the standings at the bottom of the page, but Melfort sits 5th and with a regulation or overtime win would move into 3rd place. With that happening it would set up a 3v6 Melfort – Estevan first round series. That would put Yorkton(4th) and La Ronge(5th) into the 4v5 meeting. Playoff spots for 1st(Battleford) and 2nd(Flin Flon) are already locked in. They await a Melville Humboldt game tomorrow to decide who they play in the 1v8 and 2v7 matchups. It’s still a little complicated but with 2 games left in the SJHL season all 4 Quarter-Final series will be set! It’s described a little better at the bottom of the page thanks to the SJHL Website story.

The Mustangs come into tonight’s game having shutout the Nipawin Hawks back to back this weekend. The Mustangs are 7-1 in their last 8 games and have used a solid end of February to push themselves into a shot at 3rd place overall.

Shawn Parkinson has been lights out for the Mustangs over that stretch. Parkinson has a .951 save percentage in the last 8 games with a 1.12 GAA, a big reason for the Mustangs success this month. Kenzie Arnold who leads the team with 51 points on the season has also been a big part of the success. Kenzie has scored twice and added nine assists for 11 points in the last 8 games. Arnold, alongside line mate Tian Rask and his six goals and six assists has also been a top performer the past few weeks.

Nolan Kadachuk and Alex Rondeau have played the most minutes as defenceman recently and have also seen success on the score sheet. Since the win against Flin Flon on Feb 12th Rondeau has scored four times and added six assists for 10 points while Kadachuk has also chipped in with six assists in that stretch.

The Flin Flon Bombers coming into tonight’s game locked into second in the SJHL and with that makes it a meaningless game for them, or a tune up game for playoffs, if you look at it that way. It’s unkown what the Bombers will dress for a lineup tonight but with leading scorers Alec Malo and Cole Rafuse sitting on 88 points a piece, both are within striking distance of 90 and one possibly could come away with the teams scoring lead at the end of the season.

Bomber goaltenders Cal Schell and Jacob Delorme have split games in February with neither guy taking the starting job in net. Both have played well and have helped Flin Flon lock up second spot in the SJHL Standings.

1 xy – Battlefords North Stars 58 45 11 2 0 92
2 xy – Flin Flon Bombers 57 36 14 7 0 79
3 xy – Yorkton Terriers 58 35 20 2 1 73
4 x – La Ronge Ice Wolves 58 33 19 3 3 72
5 x – Melfort Mustangs 57 31 17 6 3 71
6 x – Estevan Bruins 58 31 23 3 1 66
7 x – Nipawin Hawks 58 30 24 3 1 64
8 x – Humboldt Broncos 57 27 21 7 2 63
9 Kindersley Klippers 58 24 27 6 1 55
10 Notre Dame Hounds 58 18 32 5 3 44
11 Weyburn Red Wings 58 20 35 1 2 43
12 Melville Millionaires 57 16 35 2 4 38

From the SJHL Website….

There are two games left, and the first one Monday will iron out 3rd, 4th, and 5th when Melfort welcomes Flin Flon. The finale on Tuesday will decide 7th and 8th, as Humboldt plays host to Melville.

While this is always prefaced with an asterisk and subject to human error, there are still three different ways Yorkton, La Ronge and Melfort could finish depending what Melfort does on Monday. The Mustangs can still be 3rd, 4th, or 5th. The Ice Wolves will be 4th or 5th, and Yorkton will be 3rd or 4th. It looks like the only playoff matchup that won’t happen is Yorkton vs Melfort. If Yorkton stays in 3rd, they play Estevan for sure, and if they’re 4th, they’ll have home ice against La Ronge, leaving Melfort up against Estevan. La Ronge can still have home ice vs Melfort, only if the Mustangs lose on Monday, and that can be in regulation, overtime, or a shootout.

Remember the first tie-breaker is now Regulation & Overtime wins (total wins minus shootout wins), THEN head to head second.

Also keeping in mind Flin Flon has 2nd place sewn up and will be hosting Game 1 of the Quarter-Finals, likely four nights after Monday’s road game in Melfort. Here’s what can happen:

Scenario #1 – Melfort wins in regulation or overtime

3rd Melfort 73 points (31 ROW)
4th Yorkton 73 points (30 ROW)
5th La Ronge 72 points

3) Melfort vs 6) Estevan
4) Yorkton vs 5) La Ronge

Scenario #2 – Melfort wins in a shootout

3) Yorkton 73 points (30 ROW, 3 wins vs Melfort)
4) Melfort 73 points (30 ROW, 1 win vs Yorkton)
5) La Ronge 72 points

3) Yorkton vs 6) Estevan
4) Melfort vs 5) La Ronge

Scenario #3 – Melfort loses in overtime or a shootout

3) Yorkton 73 points
4) La Ronge 72 points (32 ROW)
5) Melfort 72 points (30 ROW)

3) Yorkton vs 6) Estevan
4) La Ronge vs 5) Melfort

Scenario #4 Melfort loses in regulation – same as Scenario #3, but no tie-breakers needed, standings stay like they are today

3) Yorkton 73 points
4) La Ronge 72 points
5) Melfort 71 points

3) Yorkton vs 6) Estevan
4) La Ronge vs 5) Melfort

Tonight’s game starts at 7:30pm from the Palace in Melfort and there will be no radio broadcast. Tickets are available at The game can be caught on Hockey TV with an account.

Photo Credit: Kelly Jacobson Photography