5 Big Surprises at the Midway Point

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2022 at 10:26 am

Forty games are in the books. That’s plenty of time to weed out the outliers, the statistical anomalies and the weird hot streaks, so it’s a good time to look at the biggest shockers of the season so far.

1) Adirondack goes from drafting first overall to… first overall

The GWMHL has seen its share of spectacular turnarounds, but few of them have been as remarkable as the Adirondack Aces, who went from a pitiful 22-53-7 record last season to a league-leading 32-7-1 record today. Adirondack’s poor year last season was a bit of a head-scratcher and a rebound seemed inevitable, but to be launched right into the stratosphere? Shocking. Led by first overall pick Kirill Kaprizov’s 27 goals and an excellent start by Semyon Varlamov, the Aces have dramatically complicated the already-crowded Sawchuk Conference playoff race.

2) Ice Harbor could still make the playoffs despite allowing a ridiculous number of goals

Only Boston has allowed more goals than Ice Harbor’s 173, yet the Storm have a solid 21-15-4 record and are just three points from fourth place in the Sawchuk. While Carter Hart (20gp, 4.83, .850) and Linus Ullmark (20gp, 3.71, .894) have languished, the scorers in front of them have gotten it done — the Storm are even outscoring the high-powered West Virginia River Rats, thanks in no small part to Jonathan Huberdeau’s 31 goals and 63 points.

3) Connor Brown, scoring star?!

Defensive forward Brown had a whopping 92 points in 316 games heading into this season, with a career high of 18 goals. But beginning the season at left wing on Vancouver’s first line (with Elias Lindholm and Mark Stone) seems to have turned him into a sniper, with 34 goals in 40 games. That ties him with West Virginia’s Leon Draisaitl for the league lead. And while Brown has all the makings of a one-season wonder, the Night Train will take any boost they get as they try to hold on to a playoff berth down the stretch.

4) Carson Soucy, scoring star?!?!?!?!

Nobody would have mistaken Carson Soucy for an offensive defenseman, but the second-year blueliner has taken the reins of the Winnipeg Falcons’ thin defense and is scoring at nearly a point per game pace. Soucy’s 37 points in 40 games puts him seventh in defenseman scoring, and he’s playing nearly 23 minutes a night. The Falcons have other problems, and it’ll be an uphill climb if they’re to make the playoffs, but Soucy isn’t letting them fade just yet.

5) Banshees banished to basement

It was no secret that Boston brass weren’t going for it this year — we’d have seen a lot more trades otherwise, and the team unloaded vets in the offseason — but the fall of the Banshees, just two seasons removed from a finals appearance, is still a bit of a shock. At 12-25-3, the Banshees are near the bottom of the Sawchuk, have allowed more goals than any other team and are giving up the most shots, too, at 38.3 per game. It might not be long before the team turns it around, but this season is a lost cause.


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