Mid-Season ReviewDecember 24th, 2018 at 8:41AM December 24th, 2018 2:45PM
Bradford, Ontario- It’s Christmas Eve, and every team has now played their last game and is now on their Christmas Break until January 4, 2019. With three months of hockey played in the GMHL, it’s time to take a look back and review the first half of the season.
At the beginning of the year, a couple of teams got off to a hot start, including the Tillsonburg Hurricanes and Bradford Rattlers who each won six games straight to begin the year before losing. However, no team was hotter than the Ville-Marie Pirates who went undefeated in the entire first month with a 14-0-0 record. After a 14 game win streak, the New Tecumseth played the spoilers and finally brought down the Pirates in the second month of the season. Other teams with hot starts were Kingsville Kings (8-3-0), Almaguin Spartans (8-4-0), West Nipissing Lynx (7-3-1), Oshawa Riverkings (7-3-0), and the Windsor Aces (6-3-0).
The second month of the season saw some teams that had some slow starts begin to speed up. Most notable were the Temiscaming Titans, who started the year 3-3-2, but caught lightning in a bottle and went on a 9 game win streak moving up from 8th in the North Division to 3rd before the Bradford Rattlers snapped their streak. Kingsville is another notable team, going 3-3 to start the year, but then going on a 10 game win streak, jumping into first in the South Division for a bit before the Ravens jumped ahead of them. The St. George Ravens also started the year a little slow, going 3-2 in their first 5 games, but then winning 13 of their next 14 games and jumping into first place in the South Division. The second month of the season also saw the emergence of the Rattlers in the North who took advantage of the void left by the Ville-Marie Pirates, and went on a 12 Game win streak to take over sole possession of first place in the North Division. However, the New Tecumseth Civics proved again they are not to be underestimated and took down the Rattlers snapping their win streak. So far this season New Tecumseth has snapped a 14 Game Win Streak and a 12 Game Win Streak against two of the top teams in the league. Other teams who picked it up in the second month were North York Renegades (12-6-0) and Northumberland Stars (10-9-0).
In the final month before the break, the hottest team by far was the St. George Ravens, who finished their year on a 17 Game Win Streak, and are on top of the South Division with a 9 Point lead over the next team. The Rattlers bounced back from their loss to the Civics with a 5 game win streak going into the break to keep their spot on top of the North Division with a 5 Point lead over the next team and two games in hand. Some teams who dipped in the second month found their stride again leading into the break, including the Tillsonburg Hurricanes who went 7-1 in going into the break and moving back into 2nd place in the South Division. The Whalers had a good month too, with a 7-3-0 record bumping up their record to 14-13-1 and jumping up to 7th in South Division.
There are some questions going into the second half of the season though. The biggest is, who will win the North Division? While the Rattlers are in pretty good shape right now, Temiscaming, Ville-Marie, and Almaguin are on their heels, and all of those teams play each other multiple times in the new year, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Rattlers can hold on to the North Division title, or if the Titans, Pirates, Spartans, or another team can catch up and steal it for themselves. In the South, the question will be whether or not the Ravens continue to stay hot? Right now they are on a 17 Game win streak, and have 9 Point lead on first place, and it’ll be hard to catch up to them in the second half of the season. Tillsonburg probably presents the biggest challenge to the Ravens, being the closest to them in the standings, however, Kingsville and Windsor are also potential threats, and even if they don’t catch up to the Ravens, the Kings and Aces could be potential spoilers by helping Tillsonburg catch up.
The GMHL would like to wish it’s fans, staff, and players a happy holidays, and we hope everyone enjoys their break. We look forward to continuing GMHL action in the New Year, and seeing the results it brings.