OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears lead the CIS men's hockey Top 10 for the seventh consecutive ranking period, dating back to mid-November.
The Bears (18-4-0) received 16 of 17 first-place votes from the national media panel this week, one more than last Tuesday. Despite dropping one position to No. 3 in the new poll, behind the UNB Varsity Reds (18-5-0), the Western Ontario Mustangs (18-4-0) earned the remaining first-place nod.
Rounding out the new Top 10 are the No. 4 Saint Mary's Huskies (16-5-2) and No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies (15-7-0), who both stay put; the No. 6 Acadia Axemen (15-6-2) and No. 7 UQTR Patriotes (15-5-1), who swap positions this week; the No. 9 Carleton Ravens (16-5-2) and No. 9 Manitoba Bisons (13-5-4), also swapping places; and the Calgary Dinos (14-8-0), who remain at No. 10.
Top-ranked Alberta, which now holds a comfortable six-point lead atop the Canada West standings with six games remaining in conference play, dominated visiting Lethbridge last weekend, defeating the struggling Pronghorns (1-19-2) 4-1 and 9-1. The Bears face another provincial rival this weekend as they are set to visit No. 10 Calgary on Friday before returning to Edmonton to host the Dinos the following night.
UNB picked up three wins over the last seven days, including a 7-0 domination of cross-town rival St. Thomas (3-19-1) and a pair of 3-2 overtime thrillers on the road, against UPEI (12-9-2) and Moncton (9-9-5). The V-Reds, who hold a slim two-point advantage over Saint Mary's with five games left on the AUS schedule, host the Huskies on Friday night and StFX on Saturday.
In the OUA, Western saw its 15-game winning streak come to an end last Thursday when Laurier goaltender Ryan Daniels turn aside all 36 shots fired at him en route to a 2-0 Golden Hawks victory. The Mustangs quickly got back on track two days later with a 3-1 defeat of Guelph and lead the OUA West by six points with six league contests remaining.
Other key matchups to keep an eye on this week include a trio of OUA East battles as No. 7 UQTR hosts reigning University Cup champion McGill (14-6-1) on Tuesday and No. 8 Carleton on Friday, before McGill pays a visit to Carleton on Sunday.