OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears top the ninth and final CIS men's hockey rankings of the fall semester. The first portion of the regular schedule came to an end last weekend and conference play will resume on January 3.
The Bears (14-4-0) lead the Top 10 for the fourth straight week after receiving nine of 16 first-place votes and 158 points from the national media panel. In yet another close poll, no less than three other teams also earned first-place nods, including the second-ranked Acadia Axemen (4), No. 3 Saskatchewan Huskies (2) and No. 5 Western Mustangs (1).
Acadia (12-3-1) moves up two spots in the new poll, Saskatchewan (13-3-0) stays put and Western (13-3-0) gains one position. The UNB Varsity Reds (12-4-0) drop a pair and fall to No. 4 this week.
Rounding out the last Top 10 of the fall are the sixth-seeded UQTR Patriotes (12-3-1), down one position; No. 7 Saint Mary's Huskies (11-4-1), up one; No. 8 Windsor Lancers (12-4-0), down one; No. 9 Manitoba Bisons (9-4-3), up one; and No. 10 Carleton Ravens (10-4-2), down one.
Standings in all three CIS conferences could hardly be closer at the December break.
In Canada West, Alberta holds a slim two-point advantage over Saskatchewan but the Huskies have two games in hand.
In the AUS, after 16 league contests, Acadia has 25 points, UNB 24 and Saint Mary's 23.
In the OUA West division, Western leads Windsor by two points and unranked Guelph by three. In the OUA East, division-leading UQTR has a three-point cushion over Carleton.
The top-ranked Golden Bears wrapped up the fall semester last weekend with a two-game split against Manitoba, in Winnipeg. Alberta took the opener 3-2 in a shootout on Friday but dropped Saturday's rematch by a 4-2 score.
The Axemen closed out the first half with a bang. Following a 3-1 win over UPEI last Friday, they edged UNB 3-2 on home ice the next night to secure first place in the Atlantic conference heading into the break.
Also last weekend, Saskatchewan swept Canada West newcomer Mount Royal 6-2 and 6-3; UNB beat Dalhousie 5-2 before falling to Acadia; Western outscored York 10-5 and Brock 4-1; UQTR edged RMC 4-3 in a shootout and Queen's 2-1 in overtime; Saint Mary's downed St. Thomas 3-2 in OT and Moncton 5-2; Windsor lost 3-2 to Guelph on Friday but won the rematch 5-2 on Saturday; Carleton defeated Nipissing 3-2 in OT and lost by the same score against Ryerson, also in extra time.