MSL Power Rankings: Redmen Over Lakers

*Current official standings according to Pointstreak in first brackets, standings if Peterborough wins their forfeiture appeal in second brackets. Rankings based on current official standings.

1. Brooklin Redmen (7-1) (6-2)

The Brooklin Redmen take over top stop in the power rankings this week, with the least number of losses in the MSL. They had the weekend off, their last game a win over Oakville on Wednesday. Part of their success to date is Mike Cudmore’s proficiency on faceoffs. Of recorded stats, he has won 50 percent of the draws he has taken (faceoff stats are not kept in every arena). Shawn Williams’ 25 points in five games is a boost to the Redmen, who are led on the scoreboard by Shayne Jackson, rookie Dan Lintner, and Derek Hopcroft. Zack Higgins and Steve Fryer have split the time in net, with Fryer getting the edge in GAA by a significant margin, although their save percentages are fairly close. They are a strong tandem in net and pose a threat to all other teams.

2. Peterborough Lakers (5-5) (8-2)

Peterborough is still waiting for the OLA to schedule a hearing for their formal appeal regarding their three-win forfeiture. While the official standings have been changed to reflect that those games are now losses, team members are confident that decision will be overturned and they will get some points back. The road from here on out gets a little easier for the Lakers as they only face Brooklin twice more and won’t see Six Nations again until a possible playoff round. The rest of their games are against teams lower than themselves in the standings, which should equal wins for the powerful Lakers. However, the Lakers are occasionally guilty of playing to the level of their competition, as we saw versus Oakville last night as they allowed the Rock to dominate much of the game. Mark Steenhuis continued his scoring tear this week, and he still holds the top spot in the MSL scoring race with 44 points. John Grant Jr. had a quiet weekend for the Lakers, only notching nine points in his three games. The Lakers have been relying heavily on their top scorers (Steenhuis, Shawn Evans, Adam Jones, and Aaron Wilson), and will need to open up a more balanced scoring approach to climb back into top spot in the league.

3. Six Nations (6-5)

Six Nations has played the most number of games to date and while they have shown flashes of their Mann Cup dominance, are really little better than a .500 team with a 6-5 record. The Chiefs were hoping for a 2-0 weekend against the Lakers but only managed a series split, giving up a valuable two points to the Lakers who are now chasing them in the standings. Lineup consistency is still an issue for the Chiefs with only Mike McNamara having suited up for all 11 games. Jeff Shattler and Roger Vyse lead the team with 31 points apiece, while Mann Cup MVP Cody Jamieson sits third with 27.

4. KW Kodiaks (4-4)

The Kodiaks are sitting right where they want to be at this point of the season: middle of the pack, where they will comfortably make playoffs and hope to upset the  No. 1 seeded team. That goal will be hard to achieve though without Dhane Smith who left last week for the WLA. Top scorer Ryan Benesch missed the weekend games, and KW lost on Thursday; however, they were able to beat Oakville on Sunday. Dillon Ward and Mike Poulin have combined for an 8.88 GAA so far this season, which is right on par with how the team does offensively, averaging 9.25 goals scored per game. Youngster Corey Fowler stepped up on Sunday and added five points, while goaltender Ward chipped in with four assists over the weekend. Ward’s long pass will help his forwards on the breakout.

5. Brampton Excelsiors (2-4) (1-5)

Brampton officially won its first game of the season last Thursday versus a Kodiaks team that was missing its top two scorers. Brampton is the lowest scoring team in the league with only 41 goals scored so far, while letting in an average of 10 goals per game. Goaltender Anthony Cosmo has only suited up for one game so far, with Tye Belanger handling the bulk of games. Brampton still has a lot of games to play, so they have a chance to add some points with four games left against KW and Oakville.

6. Oakville Rock (2-7) (1-8)

It really hurts to be a Rock fan right now. The team had a 3-1 mid-game lead on the Lakers on Monday, but saw that lead disappear into the hands of the more experienced Lakers. The Rock’s losing streak now sits at seven games, their only two wins coming from a Peterborough forfeit and an early season win over Six Nations. Since that win, their defense has provided no support to Nick Rose, who has given everything he has and then some in the Oakville net. They’re only averaging 7.5 goals per game, which is not enough in this high powered offensive league.