Men's hockey Top 10: Final weekend of the regular season

Updated with the Friday evening games:
  1. Alberta — Split with Manitoba (4-1 win, 2-1 loss). With Alberta having seven regulars at the Winter Universiade, does that mean the team is the Golden Bs?

    Manitoba goalie Steve Christie made 35 saves for the Bisons on Saturday night.
  2. UNB — Finished the regular season with an AUS-best 21-4-3 record after wins over UPEI (5-2) and Moncton (6-2 on Saturday).

    Forwards Jimmy Cuddihy and Luke Lynes each had three points vs. Moncton. Kyle Bailey had a hat trick Friday vs. UPEI.

  3. Laurier — Beat Waterloo (6-2, Thursday) and lost to Windsor (2-1, Friday) in a nothing game for them.

    Golden Hawks centre Jean-Michel Rizk went pointless Friday, but won the OUA scoring title with 54 points (25G-29A). He semi-halfway backed in when Trois-Rivières' Jonathan Boutin was also kept off the sheet, even though his team scored fivegoals.
  4. Saint Mary's — The AUS regular-season runners-up beat Dalhousie (5-3, Saturday) and Acadia (6-3, Wednesday), with Cody Thornton counting five points over the week. Saint Mary's will await for the dust to settle from the UPEI-Moncton and Acadia-St. FX first-round series.

    SMU centre Marc Rancourt finished with 57 points. Only former UNB star Rob Hennigar (58), now playing in the New Islanders system, has had more in the regular season in the past five years.
  5. Trois-Rivières — Lost their finale 6-5 in overtime at Concordia, with Kevin Gager scoring the game-winner for the Stingers.

    The Patriotes' two netminders gave up six goals on 23 shots, which means they violated John Tortorella's 25 per cent rule.

    UQTR's results over the final 3-4 weeks of the season have been puzzling, and they could meet Concordia in the second round of the playoffs.
  6. Western — Lost 5-1 and 4-3 (in overtime) at Lakehead, which had something to play for; the Mustangs will have home-ice advantage vs. Guelph in Round 1 of the playoffs. Kris Hogg had to win it twice for the Thunderwolves. He put Lakehead ahead with 2:26 left, but Western's Aaron Snow forced a minute later before Snow sniped in overtime.

    Thunderwolves winger Arron Alphonso scored a goal in his first game back from an injury on Friday.

  7. Moncton — Lost 6-2 to Saint Mary's. Will have home ice for a first-round series vs. the UPEI Panthers, who beat them the last two times they played.

    (The Atlantic playoffs will be best-of-3, best-of-5 and best-of-3 in the final since both teams are going to the University Cup.)
  8. Saskatchewan — Home and home vs. Regina next weekend, with nothing at stake since they have clinched second in Can West without playing.
  9. Waterloo — The Warriors hung on to home ice for the first round vs. Lakehead, with 'tender Pier Pelletier recording a 40-save shutout in a 1-0 win Saturday which ended Windsor's season (and makes for the inevitable "Lancers' hearts Pier-sed by hot goalie" headline; feel free to steal that, Windsor Star, it's all about collaboration).

    Waterloo made it interesting with two losses (3-2 to Toronto on Wednesday and 6-2 to Laurier).

    Lancers goalie Jim Watt stopped 86-of-88 shots against Laurier and Waterloo this weekend. A tip of the cap is due to Windsor coach Kevin Hamlin, whose team had a solid season in their first season under the one-time U of T goalie.
  10. McGill — Beat Carleton (4-1, Friday) and lost at Ottawa (2-1, Saturday). The latter will be a playoff preview if the Gee-Gees TCB on Sunday.

    Marko Kovacevic scored twice in a 4-1 win over fifth-place Carleton on Friday.

    Queen's (12-13-3), which beat RMC 3-1 on Friday, gets in if Ottawa (10-11-5) loses in regulation to Ryerson Ryerson (2 p.m., Sunday), but you'd think that would be unlikely.

Outside the Top 10
  • The OUA's unbalanced schedule had an impact on the final weeks. Guelph got in over Windsor for the final West playoff berth. Ottawa appears to be in a good spot, needing only a OT/SO loss or win over last-place Ryerson to get in over Queen's for the last spot in the East.

    There are good arguments over the merits unbalanced schedule and the lose-by-a-little or charity point.

    Ottawa (11-11-5) had to play 16 games vs. the tough Far East, but didn't face the Far West. The Gee-Gees also had more OTL points than any other team in the conference.

    Queen's (12-13-3) played 15 games vs. the Far East and even tougher Far West (they played Lakehead twice), going 3-11-1. The Golden Gaels might have had a tougher schedule, but if they had gone on, the OUA would have had a playoff team with just six regulation-time wins all season.

    Justice was probably served by Ottawa, with nine wins in regulation, getting into the playoffs.
  • Coach Shawn Camp's Gryphons closed out the regular season by running off seven wins in a row — one over McGill and six straight decisions over division, the last a 5-4 OT win over UOIT on Friday.

    More power to any team which can do that, bearing in mind it's a product of the scheduling. Darryl Munch scored the Gryphons' game-winner 2:32 into the extra session after UOIT forced overtime on Derrick Bagshaw's third goal of the night with 59 seconds remaining.
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