Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CIS Top Ten (#7): V-Reds Drop A Spot

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears top the CIS men’s hockey national rankings for the seventh time in as many polls this season after receiving all 17 first-place votes from the media panel for the first time this fall.

The most significant change in the new Top 10 sees the Calgary Dinos move past the reigning University Cup champion UNB Varsity Reds in second place.

The last time the Dinos hit No. 2 in the national charts was back in 2002-03, when they occupied that spot in the first three polls of the campaign (Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5). Those early-season rankings 11 years ago were also the last time provincial rivals Alberta and Calgary were 1-2 in the country.

Rounding out this week’s poll behing Alberta (12-0), Calgary (12-0) and UNB (8-0-1) are the No. 4 Acadia Axemen (8-1 / up one position), No. 5 McGill Redmen (8-2-1 / down one), No. 6 Lakehead Thunderwolves (9-1 / up two), No. 7 Windsor Lancers (9-2 / no change), No. 8 Western Mustangs (7-3 / up two), No. 9 UPEI Panthers (4-3-1 / down three), as well as the previously unranked UQTR Patriotes (7-4) at No. 10.

Alberta and Calgary both remained perfect in league play over the past weekend thanks to two-game sweeps over Regina (3-2 and 5-1) and Mount Royal (3-0 and 8-1), respectively.

Something’s got to give this weekend when the Bears and Dinos meet for their much-anticipated first showdown of the regular schedule, Friday in Calgary and Saturday in Edmonton. Fittingly, the co-Canada West leaders went 2-2 head-to-head in pre-season action back in September, with the Bears winning the first two confrontations in Banff, 4-2 (Sept. 6) and 3-0 (Sept. 7), and the Dinos responding a few weeks later with a pair of one-goal victories, 3-2 in Calgary (Sept. 27) and a 5-4 in St. Albert (Sept. 28).

The two teams have played only four times in the past while ranked 1-2 in the nation, all in the winter of 1990. With Alberta holding the No. 1 spot for a regular season series on Feb. 2-3 and Calgary sitting atop the rankings going into the best-of-three Canada West final on March 2-3, the Dinos took three out of four matchups en route to the conference title.

Meanwhile in Eastern Canada, Acadia handed UNB its first loss of the campaign last Friday night in Fredericton, edging the national champs 4-3 in a shootout. The result left the V-Reds with a slim one-point lead over the Axemen in the AUS standings and only one spot ahead of their conference rivals in the Top 10.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#7)

Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points.

(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes)

1. Alberta (12-0-0) / 170 points (17) / (1)
2. Calgary (12-0-0) / 146 / (3)
3. UNB (8-0-1) / 139 / (2)
4. Acadia (8-1-0) / 119 / (5)
5. McGill (8-2-1) / 94 / (4)
6. Lakehead (9-1-0) / 82 / (8)
7. Windsor (9-2-0) / 64 / (7)
8. Western (7-3-0) / 37 / (10)
9. UPEI (4-3-1) / 26 / (6)
10. UQTR (7-4-0) / 14 / (NR)

Other teams receiving votes: Toronto (11), Queen’s (10), StFX (9), Saskatchewan (8), Ottawa (3), Saint Mary’s (2), Carleton (1).