A trio of new No. 1’s among ‘07, ‘09, ‘10 birth years
Youth hockey schedules have been jam packed with teams getting as many games in as they can before halting for holiday breaks. Three clubs in particular took advantage of a heavy slate of games to pick up some big victories. The recent runs earned them spots as new No. 1 teams in their respective countries.
No. 1 Dynamo Moscow (12-4-0) showed up in a big way in a resounding 10-1 win over previous No. 1 in Russia Vityaz Podolsk. Ivan Ryabkin, one of Dynamo’s leading scorers, led the charge with four goals and one assist. With the match being Vityaz’s second loss on the season overall, it just shows how perfect of a game their ’07 opponents must play to best them. Dynamo proved it was more than up to the challenge.
The Toronto Jr. Canadiens (31-7-1) put up a strong defensive effort in a 3-0 shutout of the No. 2 Don Mills Flyers. The win effectively vaulted The Jr. Canadiens into the top spot among 2009-born Canadian teams. Winners of their last four, the Jr. Canadiens will need to continue to pile up wins against premier teams to continue to hold their new position.
2010-born U.S. programs also have a new leader of the Top 10, with the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (37-4-3). It has been a spot the No. 2 Minuteman Flames have held since rankings for this season began, but it was time the Jr. Flyers got their due. Solid wins amongst fellow Top-10 teams such as the No. 9 Buffalo Jr. Sabres and No. 8 Chicago Reapers gave them the boost they needed to finally leapfrog into the first overall spot.
‘06 Bishop Kearney cracks Top 10
When the Bishop Kearney Selects (24-13-2) faced off with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres on Dec. 10, the latter was in a firm position in the No. 10 spot among 2006 U.S. teams. The Selects were on the outside looking in, not having been in the Top 10 since Oct. 26th.
However, a two-game series was a huge opportunity for BK to make some noise, and they passed with flying colors. By beating the Jr. Sabres in both games, 4-1 and 3-2, Selects edged their way into the top tier of clubs amongst their birth year.
Some other teams that were able to get into the Top 10 conversation were ‘07 Lokomotiv 2004 Yaroslavl, ‘08 Seacoast Performance Academy, and ‘09 Little Caesars.
‘11 Little Caesars, SKA Strelna’s statement wins
2011-born Little Caesars (29-9-3) used a solid stretch of results against both U.S. and Canadian teams. In doing so, they’ve stated their case to be included in the best of the best. But Caesars’ most impressive feat was splitting two games to the No. 1 team of their birth year, the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. Their other victories also included topping the Don Mills Flyers, Toronto Red Wings, and Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Not to mention a tie with the No. 13 Chicago Reapers.
‘11 SKA Strelna’s (18-8-1) recent results propelled them into the No. 9 spot among Russian teams. It was a valiant effort in a 2-1 shootout loss to No. 2 Dynamo St. Petersburg, as well as a dominant 8-0 victory over the SKA Silver Lions. While the result against St. Petersburg didn’t fall Strelna’s way, taking a top team to a shootout is certainly noteworthy.
Be sure to check out the complete world rankings, including Top 10s by country and World Top 25s for each of the 2006, 2007, 2008, 200, 2010 and 2011 birth years.