Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CIS Top Ten (#1): Bears Open Season On Top, V-Reds 2nd

OTTAWA (CIS) – Seven months after capturing their second straight national championship, the University of Alberta Golden Bears (1-0-1) top the first CIS men's hockey rankings of the season for the third consecutive year.

In the closest inaugural poll in recent memory, the reigning CIS champs and the New Brunswick Varsity Reds (1-0-0) both received 150 points from the 16-member media panel but the Bears merited No. 1 status thanks to a greater number of higher place votes, including nine first-place nods for Alberta compared to six for UNB.

Rounding out the first Top 10 of the campaign are the third-ranked Saint Mary's Huskies (1-0-0 / 88 points), No. 4 McGill Redmen (2-0-0 / 84), No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies (2-0-0 / 78), No. 6 Windsor Lancers (2-0-0 / 63), No. 7 Acadia Axemen (0-1-0 / 56), No. 8 UQTR Patriotes (1-1-0 / 53), No. 9 Calgary Dinos (0-1-1 / 26) and No. 10 St. Francis Xavier X-Men (1-0-0 / 25).

Saskatchewan earned the remaining vote for first place.

The top-ranked Golden Bears, who last March defeated UNB 6-3 in the CIS championship final in Halifax to add a 15th University Cup title to their record collection, opened the new Canada West schedule this past weekend with a two-game set at Lethbridge, winning the opener 2-0 on Friday before dropping the rematch 3-2 in double overtime the following night.

Alberta, which had maintained a 5-3 overall mark in preseason action including a 3-0 record versus CIS competition, hits the road again this week for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader at Regina (1-1-0). Both games are slated for 7 pm CT, live on CanadaWest.TV.

For its part, second-ranked UNB has been as dominant as ever so far this fall. The V-Reds kicked off their AUS schedule on Saturday with an 8-2 rout over visiting UPEI after going 5-1 overall in the preseason (3-0 vs. CIS), including a 5-3 victory against the AHL's Portland Pirates on Oct. 1st.

The Varsity Reds will be featured in the lone Top-10 matchup of the coming weekend as they host No. 10 StFX Friday at 7 p.m. AT, live on AUStv.ca.

CIS MEN'S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#1)
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) / (previous ranking)
1. Alberta (1-0-1) / 150 points (9) / (-) *
2. UNB (1-0-0) / 150 (6) / (-)
3. Saint Mary's (1-0-0) / 88 / (-)
4. McGill (2-0-0) / 84 / (-)
5. Saskatchewan (2-0-0) / 78 (1) / (-)
6. Windsor (2-0-0) / 63 / (-)
7. Acadia (0-1-0) / 56 / (-)
8. UQTR (1-1-0) / 53 / (-)
9. Calgary (0-1-1) / 26 / (-)
10. StFX (1-0-0) / 25 / (-)

* Alberta (over UNB) was awarded the higher ranking based on number of higher place votes.

Other teams receiving votes: Western (20), Guelph (19), Carleton (19), Lethbridge (15), UBC (10), Manitoba (8), Moncton (7), UPEI (6), Queen's (3).