OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds top the CIS men's hockey rankings for the second straight week after extending their winning streak to seven games.
The leading trio remains unchanged in the 14th national poll of the campaign as UNB (22-5-0) stays ahead of the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears (21-4-1) and No. 3 Western Mustangs (21-4-1). The V-Reds received 13 of 17 first-place votes from the media panel, with the four remaining nods going to the Bears.
Rounding out the new Top 10 are the No. 4 Saint Mary's Huskies (18-7-2), who move up one position; No. 5 UQTR Patriotes (19-6-1), down one spot; No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies (17-8-1), up one; No. 7 Manitoba Bisons (16-6-4), also up one; No. 8 Acadia Axemen (16-9-2), down two; No. 9 Carleton Ravens (18-6-2), who stay put this week; and No. 10 Calgary Dinos (16-10-0), also holding on to their previous position.
The regular season comes to an end across the country this weekend, with UNB (AUS), Alberta (Canada West) and Western (OUA West) having secured first place in their respective conference or division standings.
The only race still to be determined heading into the final weekend of league play is in the OUA East division, where fifth-ranked UQTR holds a slim one-point lead over No. 9 Carleton with two home games remaining for both teams. The Patriotes host RMC (3-21-2) and Queen's (10-10-6) on Friday and Saturday, while the Ravens battle Nipissing (14-10-2) and Ryerson (11-15-0).
In the Atlantic conference, UNB has now won 10 of its last 11 contests following victories over St. Thomas, 5-1, and UPEI, 5-2. The V-Reds, who lead the AUS standings by six points with one game left, close out the regular schedule Friday night with a home tilt against Moncton (12-9-6) and then will enjoy a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
In Canada West, Alberta posted back-to-back shutouts against Regina over the weekend, 6-0 and 2-0. The Bears, who currently have a seven-point cushion over Manitoba and lead Saskatchewan by eight, end league play with a two-game series versus UBC (14-9-3) in Vancouver.
In Ontario, Western outscored Windsor 7-3 last Friday but was upset 2-1 in overtime by York on Saturday. The Mustangs still hold a commanding nine-point advantage atop the OUA West standings as they get set to wrap up their conference schedule at home against Brock (8-14-4) and Windsor (16-9-1).
Following a month-long playoff season, the top six teams in the nation will battle for the University Cup from March 14 to 17 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.