The Saskatoon Quakers held the Prairie Junior Hockey League record for most team points in a 40-game season at 76 back in 2015-2016 when they won the league championship. But that record is now owned by the Delisle Chiefs.
The Chiefs not only topped the league standings well before the season ended, they have taken over the points record previously held by the Quakers after earning their 77th point in their last game of the season on Sunday, winning 7-1 over the Prince Albert Titans. The former Tri Town Thunder recorded 78 points back in 2009-2010, but was done during a 42-game schedule.
Delisle also tied the most wins record in a 40-game season at 38 set by the Quakers team from 2015-2016 and were 4 goals shy of tying the record for fewest goals allowed in a season.
"We're all pretty excited to set a new record for the league. It has been a long coming for us; we've had good teams and this year's came together as one," said Chiefs general manager Ryan Marushak. "We bought into the system that the coaching staff put in place and we're excited to carry on the momentum into the playoffs."
Once the dust had settled after an exciting few months of hockey, the Chiefs completed the regular season with 38 wins, 1 regulation loss and 1 overtime loss. The next closest team to them in the league standings are the Quakers at 65 points (32-7-0-1).
Even when it comes to their league-leading goal differential, the Chiefs registered the second-most goals for while posting the fewest amount of goals amongst all PJHL teams. They were the only club to allow less than 100 goals this winter.
Marushak explained how they owe it to their balanced play on the ice.
"We built our team on defence first, going along with the old saying 'defence wins championships', and we played a very sound game defensively all year," he said. "I'd owe it to buying in defensively and capitalizing on our opportunities offensively."
This is no doubt a season to remember so far for the Chiefs'. But nothing would make it their best in the club's history more than winning a league title.
Delisle came up just short of accomplishing that goal last season when they lost to the Regina Capitals in the championship series 4-1. The Chiefs had another appearance back in 2012 but lost in 5 games to the Traveland RV Storm.
Aiming to win their first league trophy in club history, the Chiefs will have a little help on their side heading into the fray – home ice advantage. Their first-place finish to the campaign will give them that all important advantage heading into some difficult matchups this winter and spring.
"Having home ice is very critical in our league. Delisle's a tough place to play in, so we're very happy to have home ice advantage," said Marushak. "It's not as loud in the regular season. But in playoffs it gets loud and it's different when teams come in to play."
Dates have not yet been announced for the Chiefs' first playoff series. They will have to wait until the Bob Dybvig Division's Survivor Series has been completed between the West Central Rage and the Saskatoon Royals. The winner of that series will move on to face Delisle in the semifinals.