The home stretch of the Mid-States Hockey Association regular season is definitely upon us.
And with just over two weeks left until the start of the playoffs, only a few of the area's near 50 hockey-playing clubs know for sure which post-season tournament they're going to be in.
John Burroughs is one of those clubs.
The Bombers, 4-14 with just three games left on the schedule, already know no matter how they close out the regular season, that they'll be playing in the Founder's Cup playoffs with 12-15 other developing club hockey programs.
JBS was 4-17 last year, and hoped to improve their record this year, and maybe earn a berth in the next level up Wickenheiser Cup (Wick Cup) playoffs.
Unfortunately, that's not going to happen this year.
But the Bombers still have a shot at finishing with a better record this year, if they can just pull out one more win in any of their final three games against either Fort Zumwalt South (January 19), Webster Groves (January 22), or Priory (January 25).
Individually, junior Alex Jasiek is having a terrific year for the Bombers, ranking among the area's best with 18 goals this season.
Senior Alec Cornwell is also near the top is scoring, with 12 goals and 12 assists for the Bombers.
The teams from MICDS and Ladue though, are among the many other area teams that still have a shot of at least making the Wick Cup tournament.
Ladue, which has a 5-8-3 record, finds itself straddling the borderline between qualifying for the Wick Cup or defending its Founder's Cup title from last year.
The Rams have been on a bit of a roll the last three weeks, going 3-2-1 heading into Saturday night's matchup with Mid-States Suburban Central champ Westminster Christian.
That score was not readily available at press time, but win or lose, Ladue still can determine its own destiny with four games left to go.
Monday night will be huge for the Rams, as they'll face off against the neighborhood rival MICDS Rams, in what figures to be a spirited matchup at the Queeny Park Ice Rink.
MICDS, 7-8-2, still has a shot of even making the elite-level Challenge Cup playoffs, but they'll probably need to win each of their last four games to make it happen.
That means MICDS will have to continue to find a way to score without sophomore leading scorer Charles Combs, who transferred to De Smet over the winter holiday break.
Senior Brandon Klar, the area leader in assists, now has 24 helpers on the year, to go along with teammate Matthew Myers' 11 goals and 18 assists.
Myers had a hat trick in MICDS' last game, Friday night against Webster Groves.
Ladue's scoring is also led by a senior, with forward Charlie Jonas ranking among the area's best with 17 goals and 14 assists.
Juniors Colton Schalk and Matthew Gould aren't far behind in scoring for the Rams. Schalk has 14 goals and 13 assists, while Gould has 12 and 10 this year.
REMAINING MID-STATES HOCKEY ASSOCIATION SCHEDULES
LADUE RAMS ............. MICDS RAMS ............. JBS BOMBERS
1/14 v. MICDS ............... 1/14 v. Ladue ................ 1/19 v. Ft. Zumwalt S.
1/18 v. Parkway West ..... 1/18 v. Howell North .. 1/22 v. Webster Groves
1/19 v. Parkway North .... 1/21 v. Lindbergh ....... 1/25 v. Priory
1/24 v. Priory .................. 1/26 v. Whitfield