CHL Notebook: Battles for playoff positioning heating up


OHL's London Knights celebrate a goal. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

The regular season is winding down across the Canadian Hockey League and positioning is still up in the air in many cases.

The Western Conference of the Ontario Hockey League is a prime example.

The top four seeds in the conference – the London Knights, Saginaw Spirit, Kitchener Rangers, and Flint Firebirds – are separated by just four points.

All four teams have played well of late, with the Knights leading the way atop the standings.

With eight wins in their last 10 games, the Knights hold a slim one-point lead over Kitchener in the Midwest Division.

Saginaw also has a narrow lead atop the West Division, leading Flint by a single point as well.

The top of the conference isn’t the only spot where things are tight.

Battling for the final playoff spot in the conference, the Erie Otters lead the Soo Greyhounds by three points heading into the final three weeks of the regular season and have a game in hand.

Meanwhile, in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Moncton Wildcats continue to roll right along.

Leading the QMJHL’s Eastern Conference standings, the Wildcats have won 10 consecutive games and have gone 21 games without losing in regulation time.

While the acquisition of Benoit Olivier Groulx (Anaheim Ducks) from the Halifax Mooseheads has paid off nicely, Minnesota Wild prospect Alexander Khovanov has played some of his best hockey of late.

The veteran centre has points in 14 straight games, including a three-assist game against the Rimouski Oceanic on Sunday. It’s the longest active streak in the league.

In that stretch, Khovanov has 31 points, including a pair of four-point games, and the Russian has used the hot stretch to move into second in league scoring behind Rimouski’s Alexis Lafreniere.

In the Western Hockey League, the Everett Silvertips are riding a 10-game winning streak and have used the streak to move into top spot in the league’s U.S. Division.

Since suffering back-to-back losses in mid-January, Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf has been on quite a roll.

The Calgary Flames prospect has lost just one game in regulation and one in overtime since losses against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Jan. 11 and the Regina Pats on Jan. 12.

Since then, Wolf has posted a record of 16-1-1-0 and has surrendered two goals or less in 14 of those games.

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