Pikes Peak and Steamboat to Battle for First Place in RMJHL
The defending champion Pikes Peak Miners will clash for the last time this weekend with the team that, for most of the season, replaced them on top of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League standings.
Steamboat, which has slipped to second place at 25-7-0-1, hosts the Saturday game. After losing two out of three, the Wranglers came back with a three-game sweep of the third-place Breckenridge Bolts last weekend.
Shawn Catudal had four points and five assists in Steamboat’s three-game sweep to take over the team lead with 39 points in 30 games. Ten of his teammates have at least 16 points.
Pikes Peak has won 15 straight to improve to 26-6-0-0 and climb to the top of the standings. The Miners have won 19 of 20 since a 7-5 start.
Ian Zaleski of the Miners leads the league with 30 goals and 30 assists. Jacob May adds 52 points and Brett Hawkins 51 for a team that features a dozen players with at least 15 points.
Kole Mudra, last season’s RMJHL scoring leader, has 40 points in 17 games since returning to Pikes Peak in December.
EASTERN SHOWDOWN: The Eastern Hockey League has its own weekend showdown.
The Mid-Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia Revolution travel to the Boston Division-leading Walpole Express for a Sunday-morning game.
Philadelphia won the first meeting 6-2 behind four points each from Justin Meers and Samir Abouelhana.
USHL ROUNDUP: Team USA used a big January to make a huge jump in the USAHockeyMagazine.com USHL Power Rankings for the start of February.
The Tri-City Storm ascended from second to first and USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program jumped all the way up to second.
Tri-City is on top of the rankings for the first time this season. Team USA, the USHL’s highest-scoring team, had been ranked No. 13 out of 17 teams in the league.
Tri-City took over the Western Conference lead at the time of the poll at 23-9-1-1. The Storm is allowing fewer than two goals per game.
Team USA entered February on a 10-game winning streak that carried the team into the Eastern Conference lead at 22-9-0-1. Jack Hughes had 12 points in five games during January, leading an offense that is averaging close to five goals per game on the season.
Tristan Ashbrook helped the Lincoln Stars slow down Team USA. Ashbrook, an RPI commit, continued his recent scoring surge with the game-winning goal in Friday’s 5-3 victory, and then had an assist in a 4-3 win Saturday to complete the sweep.
After scoring eight points in the first 26 games, Ashbrook has nine in the last nine games, including six in three games last week. He started the week with a goal and two assists in a 7-1 win over the Sioux City Musketeers.
Defenseman Travis Mitchell went plus-6 and had three assists when the Omaha Lancers were winning twice while moving into a tie for first place in the Western Conference and the league’s overall standings.
DOUBLE DIPS: Ryan Naumovski of the New Jersey Titans scored the game-winning goal in both games as the New Jersey Titans swept the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in a North American Hockey League home-and-home series.
Namovski had three goals and two assists in the sweep.
Defenseman Carter Ekberg had consecutive two-assist games to help the Janesville Jets beat the Kenai River Brown Bears, 6-2, and Coulee Region Chill, 3-1, in the NAHL.
COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Brian Hurley, a defenseman with the USHL’s Fargo Force, has committed to attend Clarkson University.
The 19-year-old from Dellwood, Minnesota, has 25 points in 76 games over two USHL seasons after playing one year in the North American Hockey League for the Minnesota Wilderness. He has four goals and 10 assists in 36 games this season.
ONE-TIMERS: The Lone Star Brahmas swept a weekend series from the Topeka RoadRunners and are now unbeaten in regulation in their last five NAHL games … The St. Louis Jr. Blues completed a weekend sweep of the Atlanta Capitals with Sunday’s 5-2 victory that clinched the North American 3 Hockey League Midwest Division title … Zander Allen had four goals for the New England Wolves in Sunday’s 7-3 EHL win over the Valley Junior Warriors.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.