GWMHL

Around the League: Midseason Arrives

In News on December 18, 2019 at 9:42 am

It’s midseason, and with 40 games in the books, the GWMHL takes its annual pause for the free agent claim period and a little R&R. Here’s an overview of what’s happened this season so far.

In the Plante Conference, the top three teams (Parry SoundEl Dorado, and Salem) are no surprise, but PIttsburgh is still right in the mix despite slumping to an 8-10-2 record in the second quarter. Parry Sound had a great quarter, going 13-3-4 and was undefeated on the road (7-0-3). Denver was a big riser on the quarter, going 10-7-3 (including a very nice 6-2-2 road record) but still has a tough road ahead of it if it wants to make the playoffs — it rose from 9th in the conference to 7th.

In the Sawchuk, Boston was the big story, with a 7-1-2 home record and running the table (10-0-0) away. That vaulted the Banshees to first in the conference and the league, just ahead of Adirondack. Speaking of the Aces, their emergence continued nicely in Q2 (12-5-3) and they finally seem poised to make some postseason waves. Finally, Vancouver recovered a bit (10-8-2) to climb out of the Sawchuk basement and pull to within five points of 4th place Ice Harbor. There’s more parity in this conference, though, so basically every team is still in the hunt.

Leading the league in points is Parry Sound’s Connor McDavid — no surprise there — with 64, ahead of San Jose‘s John Tavares (58) and Ice Harbor’s Sasha Barkov (56). Denver’s Cam Atkinson continues his torrid goal-scoring pace and now leads the league with 32, one ahead of Farmington winger Mikko Rantanen. Could we see a 60-goal season in Gump this year? It’s possible. Atkinson’s teammate Keith Yandle is tied with Boston’s Mark Giordano for most points among defensemen with 38, while South Side‘s Brady Tkachuk leads all rookies with 34 points. Of note, a profoundly disappointing start for much-hyped Winnipeg freshman Elias Pettersson, who has just 5 goals and 18 points so far. Boston’s off-season acquisition of Ben Bishop has proved shrewd, as the netminder is tied for second in wins with 16 and tops the league in GAA (1.99) and save percentage (.936).

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