OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds top the CIS men's hockey rankings for the third consecutive week.
The leading trio remains unchanged in the 15th national poll of the campaign as UNB (23-5-0) stays ahead of the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears (23-4-1) and No. 3 Western Mustangs (21-5-2). The V-Reds did lose one first-place vote to the Bears this week, earning 12 nods from the media panel compared to five for their Edmonton rivals.
The only change in the new Top 10 sees the UQTR Patriotes (21-6-1) and Saint Mary's Huskies (18-7-3) switch positions at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. The sixth-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies (19-8-1), No. 7 Manitoba Bisons (17-7-4), No. 8 Acadia Axemen (17-9-2), No. 9 Carleton Ravens (19-7-2) and No. 10 Calgary Dinos (17-11-0) all hold on to their previous spot.
The regular season came to an end this past weekend in all three CIS conferences and most playoff-bound teams don't get much of a break as the first post-season match-ups are scheduled for Wednesday night.
Only four Top-10 squads will enjoy a well-deserved rest in the first-round, including UNB, Alberta, Saint Mary's and Saskatchewan.
Top-ranked UNB wrapped up conference play last Friday with a 2-0 shutout against Moncton and finished with a comfortable seven-point lead atop the AUS standings. The V-Reds are currently riding an eight-game winning streak and have won 11 of 12 since league play resumed in January.
Alberta, which prevailed with an eight-point cushion in the Canada West race, is also red-hot going into the post season having won four straight and nine of 10 since the December break. The Bears defeated UBC 2-0 and 5-2 last weekend in Vancouver. With their 2-0 victory on Friday night, they became the first team in Canada West history to post three consecutive shutouts in conference action.
In the OUA, Western and UQTR, who finished first in the West and East divisions, respectively, ended league play in opposite fashion. The Mustangs have lost three straight following defeats at the hands of Brock, 4-3 in a shootout, and Windsor, 3-2. The Patriotes closed out the regular season with convincing victories against RMC, 5-2, and Queen's, 7-3, and have now won three straight and seven of their last eight contests.
Following a month-long playoff season, the top six teams in the nation will gather at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon from March 14 to 17 for the PotashCorp University Cup championship, presented by Co-op.
Below is a complete post-season schedule for this week (all times LOCAL).