Men's hockey Top 10: Can West heavies upset, Big week for Laurier; Saint Mary's downs UNB

Laurier pulled ahead of the pack in the OUA Far West with a pair of wins (and Lakehead losses), as the Nos. 4, 5 and 7 teams each had winless weekends:
  1. Alberta — It can be reasonably expected that the Golden Bears (3-2 shootout loss, 7-2 win at Regina) might drop a few points here and there before the playoffs.

    The Golden Bears' last four series are each against playoff teams who have a little more motivation. That should keep them from coasting and getting into bad habits.

    Chad Klassen had a four-point night Saturday for Alberta. Friday, Cougars goalie Adam Ward making 34 saves before going 3-for-3 in the tiebreaker.
  2. UNB — Ex-OHLer Luke Lynes had three points, two in the game's first 10 minutes, in Saturday's 6-2 road rout of No. 10 St. FX.

    The V-Reds might have been steamed after blowing a third-period lead in Friday's 5-4 road loss to Saint Mary's. They had a 38-22 edge in shots on goal in that contest.
  3. Trois-Rivières — Well, if this weekend offered a possible preview of the Eastern final in the OUA, McGill's 4-3 overtime win over the Patriotes on Saturday was a potential drop of blood in the water. Ask again after their return game next week.

    Trois-Rivières played a pair of typically hairy Far East games this week (Friday, the Patriotes pulled out a 5-3 win over Ottawa on Étienne Bellavance-Martin's goal with 4:04 remaining, getting revenge for a loss last week).

    Leonard Verrilli got the game-winner for McGill on a 4-on-3 power play 4:17 into overtime. It capped off a game where Trois-Rivières went down 2-0, had Alexandre Demers get thrown out for a check from behind, and forced overtime on goal by Bellavance-Martin with a minute and a half remaining.

  4. Saskatchewan — Lost their cool some time in the second period of the first game vs. Calgary and dropped a pair to the last-place the Dinos, 6-3 and 7-0 (!).

    Calgary had four power plays in a row, and the Huskies had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a misconduct to Casey Lee.

    This is good a place as any, since it affects Canada West's second-best team, that the conference will send only one team to the University Cup. The AUS has a "rotating assigned berth" to go along with Lakehead at the host team and the East and West champions out of the OUA.
  5. Lakehead — The Thunderwolves had a perhaps worse week than the Huskies, losing twice at home, 3-1 and 6-3 to Waterloo.

    Waterloo's line of Shane Hart-Chris Ray-Sean Roche totalled 11 points for the Warriors in the second game.
  6. Laurier — Moved five points ahead of Lakehead and six ahead of Western after winning twice. Craig Voakes had a hat trick (six other Golden Hawks had more than one point) in a stat-padding 8-0 blowout of Windsor, coming on the heels of 5-4 comeback win.

    The Golden Hawks have a two-game series vs. Lakehead next weekend. Win both, they'll have a first-round bye.

    Against Western, Laurier's Luke Girard got a goal at 19:59 of the second to square the game 3-3, and sometimes that's one of the hundred tiny things (glove tap: John Updike) that tip the outcome in one direction. The teams traded power-play goals in the third, before fifth-year man Nick Vergeer got the game-winner on a wraparound with 10:34 remaining.
  7. Moncton — Ended up with just a single point after losing 4-3 in a shootout to Acadia and losing 6-4 at UPEI.
  8. Saint Mary's — Blew out UPEI 7-3 on Saturday to cap a week where they also beat UNB 5-4. Marc Rancourt had four points in the second game after getting the game-winner.
  9. Western — Split a pair of one-goal games, with Luc Martin scoring late in a 3-2 win over Windsor, who got 49 saves from goalie Jim Watt, 26 in the second period alone.

  10. St. FX — Lost 6-2 to New Brunswick on Saturday after edging UPEI 6-5 in a shootout on Friday. Will Colbert had a hand in goals at the tailend of the first and second of the first two periods to help the X-Men win in a shootout.
Outside the Top 10
  • How epic is Queen's lack of goal scoring? They've scored 47 goals all season. Laurier's Jean-Michel Rizk has 46 points, meaning he's had a hand in nearly as many goals as a whole team. The same could be said of Rizk's teammate Mark Voakes, the OUA co-scoring leader.
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  1. The V-Reds are, amazingly, 2.4 goals better than the average team this year. (In NHL terms, think San Jose and Boston put together, then add some more.) I'm surprised they aren't #1 with a bullet by default in every poll.

  2. UNB are ranked #2 because Alberta is still the best team in the country. Arron Sorochan is the reason for that. By the way, Laurier averages more goals per game than the V-Reds …