Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CIS Top Ten (#15): V-Reds Remain In 2nd

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears remain atop the CIS men’s hockey rankings heading into the final weekend of the 28-game regular season schedule.

The Bears (23-2-1) top the media poll for the second straight week and for the 10th time this season after receiving 16 of 17 first-place votes – one more than last week – and 169 points from the national panel.

The reigning University Cup champion UNB Varsity Reds (22-3-1) earned the remaining first-place nod and 152 points to stay confortable in second position. The Acadia Axemen (20-3-3) move up one spot to No. 3, while the Calgary Dinos (21-2-3) fall to No. 4, one week after dropping out of first place for the first time since early December.

Rounding out the 15th poll of the campaign are the No. 5 McGill Redmen (20-5-2 / up one position), No. 6 Carleton Ravens (20-5-1 / up one), No. 7 UQTR Patriotes (20-6 / down two), No. 8 Western Mustangs (19-6-1 / up one), No. 9 Saskatchewan Huskies (15-10-1 / up one) and No. 10 Moncton Aigles Bleus (16-10 / down two).

Alberta, UNB and Acadia all went 2-0 this past weekend, while Calgary suffered its third straight loss last Thursday before getting back in the win column on Friday.

The Bears swept Regina 5-0 and 5-2. The V-Reds dominated St. Thomas 6-1 and Moncton 4-0. The Axemen beat Saint Mary’s 5-2 and Dalhousie 6-1. The Dinos lost 4-3 in overtime against Mount Royal but won the rematch 5-2.

Heading into the last weekend of league play, only one team, No. 8 Western, has clinched first place in its division or conference. With two games remaining, the Mustangs hold a six-point lead over Lakehead in the OUA West.

The three other races could come down to the final day.

In Canada West, Alberta and Calgary battle head-to-head Friday in Edmonton and Saturday in Calgary, with the Bears entering the two-game set with a two-point cushion over their provincial rivals. The first two duels of the campaign – in November - ended with a 2-0 Dinos victory and a 3-2 Bears win in double overtime.

In the AUS, where UNB has a two-point advantage over Acadia, the V-Reds and Axemen are set to take on Dalhousie and Moncton, respectively, on Friday, before facing each other in their season finale Saturday in Wolfville, N.S. Acadia prevailed in two of the first three head-to-head matchups, including a shootout win.

In the OUA East, McGill currently has 42 points, Carleton 41 and UQTR 40 but the Redmen only have one game left compared to two apiece for the Ravens and Patriotes. On paper, Carleton seems well positioned to steal first place away from McGill as the Ravens end the schedule against RMC (3-20-3) and Laurentian (5-21), who occupy the last two positions in the ten-team division.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#15)

Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points. The CIS Men’s Ice Hockey Top Ten Committee is made up of media members from across Canada.

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

1. Alberta (23-2-1) / 169 points (16) / (1)
2. UNB (22-3-1) / 152 (1) / (2)
3. Acadia (20-3-3) / 129 / (4)
4. Calgary (21-2-3) / 127 / (3)
5. McGill (20-5-2) / 91 / (6)
6. Carleton (20-5-1) / 90 / (7)
7. UQTR (20-6-0) / 55 / (5) *
8. Western (19-6-1) / 55 / (9)
9. Saskatchewan (15-10-1) / 27 / (10)
10. Moncton (16-10-0) / 20 / (8)


* UQTR is ranked higher than Western based on number of higher-placed votes.

Other teams receiving votes: UPEI (10), Queen’s (8), Lakehead (1), Ryerson (1).