Three Manitoba Junior Hockey League teams are in top eight of the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s weekly Top 20 rankings midway through January. The East Division leading Steinbach Pistons (28-4-3) remain at number four; the West Division leading Virden Oil Capitals (26-5-2-2) jumped from number 10 to six while the Winkler Flyers (25-5-2-2) moved from number nine to number eight. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Flin Flon Bombers (29-2-2) are the number one ranked team in the country for the 11th week in a row.
The Winnipeg Jets wrap up their four-game homestand tonight (7 p.m.) when they face the N.Y. Islanders at Canada Life Centre. The Jets franchise record eight-game win streak and 14-game points streak came to an end Saturday night with a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rick Bowness will serve as one of the four head coaches at the 2024 NHL All-Star Game. The 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend is being hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on February 1st-3rd. Bowness, 68, is in his second season as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets and has led the club to a 28-10-4 record. Winnipeg leads the league with 2.29 goals-against per game. The Jets are currently on a franchise record streak of 32 consecutive games allowing three goals or fewer, while their 12 straight games without allowing more than two goals is also a club record. Winnipeg also set the franchise records for longest winning streak (eight games: Dec. 30/23-Jan. 11/24) and longest point streak (14 games: 12-0-2 from Dec. 13/23-Jan.11/24). Bowness joins Rick Tocchet of the Vancouver Canucks (Pacific), Peter Laviolette of the New York Rangers (Metropolitan), and Jim Montgomery of the Boston Bruins (Atlantic). Under the All-Star selection process, the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage (points earned divided by total possible points) in each of the four divisions through games of Saturday, Jan. 13 – the halfway point of the regular season – guide one of the four All-Star rosters.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes have re-signed left-handed pitcher Travis Seabrooke for the upcoming season. Primarily used as a starter in 2023, Seabrooke posted a 6-6 record with a 6.30 earned run average. The 28-year-old Peterborough, Ontario native was named American Association Pitcher of the Week July 3 after a complete game, six-hit shutout of the Lincoln Saltdogs June 27. Seabrooke also represented Canada at the WBSC Americas Pan Am Games Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he won his only start, a 10-0, five-inning victory over Honduras June 20 in which he gave up only two hits. Winnipeg now has six players under contract for the 2024 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 30 players during spring training, which begins May 1st.