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Steinbach on cruise control as HTJHL enters stretch run

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With under a month left to play, the Steinbach Huskies have locked down top spot in the Hanover-Tache Junior Hockey League.

The club has only lost one game across their 20 played, and hold a 12 point lead on second place Springfield, with only four games remaining on their regular season schedule.

The Huskies dominance has been complete this season, as their 141 goals scored on the season are 50 more than any other team, and their 39 goals given up are 25 more than anyone else.

Macdonald's Adam Peters looks to defend a Steinbach Huskies' player from cutting to the net. Macdonald was in tough against the HTJHL leading Huskies, only bringing 10 skaters to their Jan. 11 matchup. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)

Up front, Steinbach is lead by captain and the league’s leading scorer Brandon Thiessen. Thissen has an incredible 54 points in 20 games this season. If that wasn’t enough for the opposition, four of the top five scorers in the league wear Huskies uniforms, with only Red River’s Braden Hildebrand (second in league scoring with 44 points) preventing the all-Steinbach sweep of the top four scorers.

Springfield and Red River are locked in a battle for second place in the league, with Red River only three points behind the Xtreme with a game in hand. Their final placement in the league could come down to a Feb. 3 showdown in St Jean, where Red River plays their home games, which will act as the final game of the season for both clubs.

While the Mudbugs currently sit third, they are the only team to have a victory over Steinbach this season.

Niverville, Lorette and Landmark are all battling for playoff spots. The three teams are all within three points of each other as the season enters the final month.

Finally it’s a season to forget for Macdonald, as the team has only two wins on the season, and appears out of the race completely, sitting in the basement of the league standings.

Brandon Thiessen doing what he does best this season - picking up points. The Steinbach captain has 54 points this season in 2- games played. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)

The final regular season game of the year is scheduled to be a matchup between Steinbach and Macdonald on Feb. 5 at the T.G. Smith Centre. The two teams recently faced off on Jan. 11 in Steinbach, with the Huskies coming out on top 12-3.

Brandon Palmer manages to get a stick on a Macdonald shot, one of his 23 saves in a 12-3 victory. The Steinbach netminder has the best save percentage in the HTJHL this season and a perfect 9-0 record in games he's started. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)
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