- Alberta — Split vs. Lethbridge, winning 6-2 and losing 6-4. Derek Ryan had four goals in two games.
- New Brunswick — A split weekend (4-3 OT win over Saint Mary's, 3-2 home loss to St. FX) was enough to all but wrap up first place. The Varsity Reds need only one more point.
Against Saint Mary's, UNB rookie defenceman Jonathan Harty doubled his season goal total by tallying twice, including the game-winner 2:23 into the extra session.
- Trois-Rivières — Playing at UQTR can feel like being in a Vegas casino, no clocks, no daylight seeping in. The Patriotes snapped a five-game funk by blowing out Carleton 10-1 Saturday, with Jonathan Boutin tallying six points to become the first OUA player to hit 50 for the season.
Coach Jacques Laporte's team has earned just five of its last 12 possible points. They've lost twice to McGill (including a 4-3 decision Friday) and once to Concordia, each a potential playoff opponent.
- Laurier — Centre Jean-Michel Rizk scored or set up five of Laurier's six goals in successive 3-1 home wins over Lakehead.
Laurier needs only one point in its last two games to have home ice through the OUA West playoffs.
- Saint Mary's — Scoring stars Cam Fergus and Marc Rancourt were each minus-2 in the 4-3 OT loss to UNB. You can bet Saint Mary's coach Trevor Stienburg, the one-time Quebec Nordique, noticed.
The Huskies had seven goal scorers in a 7-4 win over St. FX on Wednesday. Rancourt notched three assists. They control their destination for the playoffs and will likely get a first-round bye in the AUS.
- Lakehead — See No. 4. Granted, since they are the University Cup host team, it's not as if the Thunderwolves have a lot to lose.
Lakehead's last two are at home against Western, which it might still face in the first round (they could cut Western out of third place and play spoiler for Waterloo). That should be a wake-up call for the Thunderwolves.
- Saskatchewan — Split at UBC, winning 4-2 and losing 2-1 thanks largely to a 42-save effort by the T-Birds' Francois Thuot, a former OHL goalie. The Huskies' lead over third-place Manitoba was slashed to two points. They have a bye before a home-and-home series vs. Regina on Feb. 20-21.
The Bisons would probably have to win both their games against Alberta next weekend to take second place.
Can West scoring leader Stephen DaSilva scored the game-winner for Saskatchewan on Friday.
- Moncton — Trailed in their wins over Dalhousie (4-2) and Acadia (4-3) and actually were shut out in four out of six periods of hockey. They will likely finish third in the Atlantic conference.
- Western — Beat Waterloo (6-5, shootout) and Windsor (6-3) and, at least for now, are in the driver's seat for third in the western half of the OUA. Western's only remaining games are at Lakehead, while Waterloo, four points out, still has four to play.
Mustangs goalie Brad Topping actually faced more shooters in the shootout (11) than he did in the actual game (8) in a 6-5 shootout win over Waterloo on Friday. Topping came on early in the third period for starter Keyvan Hunt, who had given up goals 1:31 apart to give up a two-goal lead. One wonders who Western comes back with Saturday at Windsor.
The Mustangs have a three-point lead for a No. 3 playoff seed.
- Waterloo — Split a pair of shootout games (6-5 loss to Western, 2-1 win over Windsor in a rare Sunday night game), moving with two points of the third-place Mustangs with three games to play (Western only has two left).
Waterloo's Doug Spooner scored the shootout winner vs. Windsor and also assisted on the game-tying goal with 5:28 remaining. The teams meet again next weekend, with Windsor at risk of missing the playoffs. The final playoff berth in both OUA conferences is up for grabs; Guelph should get in the West, but Ottawa, from the Far East, has the upper hand over Queen's.
- Carleton's Ryan Berard-Brandon MacLean-Andrew Gibbons line helped the Ravens clinch an OUA East playoff berth, accounting for three goals in a 4-1 win at Concordia, who they might end up facing in the playoffs.
(Would you believe that a game that included the 15th and 16th-ranked power plays in the OUA included a short-handed goal by each team? Yes, you would.)
- Kevin Désfossés made 48 saves for McGill in its win over UQTR.
- It would be remiss note to note that second-year team Ontario Tech beat Brock 3-2 in a shootout on Friday and that rookie Josh Vatri has had a productive season with 28 points in 21 games.
- Greg Layson has some thoughts on the all-Canada West men's hockey roster that is going to the World University Games, which start next week in Harbin, China.