It's getting pretty crowded at the top of the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League standings.
The Springfield Xtreme edged the St. Adolphe Hawks 5-4 Monday night at St. Adolphe to move into a first pace tie with the Red River Mudbugs with just days left in the regular season.
Springfield and Red River both have 35 points on identical 17-5-1-0 records, while the Hawks remain just two points back at 15-5-2-1. All three of those teams have two games remaining, so this one will go down to the wire.
Nate Renooy, with a shorthanded goal, scored what proved to be the winning goal with 2:09 remaining in the third, which gave the Xtreme a 5-2 lead at the time. But the Hawks replied with two quick goals by Curtis Metzler and Alex Joyal to make the score 5-4, but Trey Blank hung on in the final minute in net to preserve the 5-4 Springfield victory.
Matt Lamoureux scored twice for the Xtreme in the first, including a shorthanded marker. League scorilng leader Eric Lebrun was held off the scoresheet for the Hawks.
There are six games remaining on the regular season schedule in the ensuing days, including Thursday night at Mitchell as the Mohawks host the Lorette Comets at 8:00 p.m., in what amounts to a preview of their opening round playoff series. Regardless of the result in Thursday's game, Lorette will finish fourth and Mitchell fifth.
The top two finishers in the league receive a first round bye in the playoffs.