It's coming right down to the wire for the U17 AAA South Fort Chev Rangers.
With just two games remaining in their regular season, the Rangers find themselves atop the league with 58 points and a sparkling 28-2-1-1 record.
"We are on a 16-game winning streak right now," said Mason Hawkes, the head coach of the Rangers. "We've kept the train on the tracks and have kept going in the right direction."
With such a fantastic record it would be easy to assume that first place is all but guaranteed, but that isn't the case.
Their bitter rivals, the St. Albert Tetz Powell CPAs Flyers are just three points back of the Rangers in second place.
Hawkes is doing his best to make sure that his team keeps humming along at a high pace despite having a playoff spot all but locked up.
"Every game we play the same way, whether it's a team at the top or bottom of the standings," said Hawkes. "I think the players have bought into that."
"In terms of practice, we've tried to have really competitive practices the last two months or so because February is that time of the year where [playing] starts to become kind of a grind for the players."
The grind doesn't seem to be hurting the team, with perhaps some players being motivated by some friendly competition as well.
The Rangers' two top scorers are separated by one point, with Hunter Yanick sitting at 45 and Kale Dach right behind him with 44.
On defence, the club has three players over the 20-point mark led by Zachary Mazurenko's 26 points.
The club has also received stellar goaltending with starter Gage Roberts posting a .926 save percentage through 21 games and backup Lachlan Kirby sitting at a .925 save percentage in his 11 appearances.
Though there are plenty of standouts, Hawkes doesn't feel the need to shower praise on any single player.
"I think it's a team effort, we don't single out anybody," said Hawkes. "I think everybody is doing a good job and everyone is helping out."
The club's next two games will be vital if they want to cement their first-place position.
"We're four lines deep up front, three strong [defensive] pairs and two good goalies," said Hawkes. "We've focused all year on defending properly and that's kind of the foundation of our game."
As they play out the stretch before playoffs, the hope is that they can get eager fans out to support their bid for the top of the league.
"All of our guys are really excited for this run right now, I think we have a chance to go deep [into the playoffs]," said Hawkes. "There have been a few games where we have had quite a few people in the stands and [the team] has really rallied around that and enjoyed it."
Unfortunately, the team won't be playing in Fort Saskatchewan until the playoffs begin. Their next game is set to go in Edmonton on Saturday (Mar. 4) at the Bill Hunter Arena.
The Rangers close out their season on March 11 against the Leduc Techmation Oil Kings at the Aspen Custom Trailers Arena.