Hockey: Men's Top 10 tracker; Teams on the rink at the brink

This week: the #1 team finds itself down 2-0 in a best of five, five #1 teams have other playoff series going on, and three finish their season (or await the finishing of it) admist uncertainty surrounding the Canada West playoff seedings.

  1. UNB (27-1, 1st RPI): The only team to beat them this year did so again in Game 1: St. F-X won 3-2 on a Brennan Wray goal with three minutes left. It sounds like the X-Men trapped their way to victory against a UNB team that hadn't played in nearly two weeks.

    And in Game 2, surely the biggest win of the CIS hockey season so far: St. F-X won 3-2 again in what had to be frustrating for the Reds: only six shots all game from the X-Men, and none in the third. St. F-X had a two-goal lead for most of the second and a 3-0 lead for about eight minutes. Phil Mangan scored twice for X, Bryan Gillis stopped 29 of 31 shots, and Ben Shutron had two points for UNB.

    This series continues Tuesday.

  2. Alberta (23-5, 2nd RPI): Idle.

  3. UQTR (25-6, 4th RPI): Won 6-3 at Ryerson to start their series Thursday. Then they're at home Friday and Saturday if necessary (which it isn't). The Rams actually outshot them by one in Game 1 but they were down three goals at three different points in the game. UQTR won Game 2 6-3 as well. There's not really much to say here.

  4. Acadia (20-9, 6th RPI): Already beat SMU 2-1 in the first game of their semifinal; they lost 4-1 on Friday. Lots of penalties in this one: the Axemen's only goal came on the powerplay in the second period.

  5. McGill (24-6, 3rd RPI): Upset by Carleton at home in Game 1, 5 to 2; the Ravens had a 3-0 lead after two and scored four powerplay goals. Game 2 was a 5-1 win for McGill and doesn't sound like it was close at all once McGill tied it at 1 with six minutes to go in the first. Alexandre Picard-Hooper had a three-point night. The rubber match is Sunday night at McGill.

  6. Western (23-8, t-4th RPI): Beat Windsor 5-2; second game was Friday in Windsor and Western won 3-1 behind goals from Aaron Snow and Geoff Killing (two headline-friendly last names, there), and then Yashar Farmanara iced the game late in the third. Seems like good effort from Windsor, but they're eliminated.

  7. Lakehead (21-10, 7th RPI): In Game 1, beat Guelph in Guelph in overtime; Andy Hyvarinen scoring the winner. Game 2 is in Thunder Bay on Friday and should be a raucous one, and it should have been: Scott Dobben tied it with 1:02 in the third and then Matt Dias took a break from slugging .488 with the Atlanta Braves to complete a hat trick 4:19 into overtime.

    Lakehead and Western play each other starting Wednesday in Thunder Bay in the OUA West final. Yet another great series that you should all pay attention to.

  8. Saint Mary's (18-12, t-10th RPI): Down 1-0 in best-of-five to Acadia, with another game in Wolfville on Friday. SMU won this one, though, 3 to 1 plus an empty-netter. First Star Cody Thornton had two goals.

  9. Saskatchewan (15-11, t-12th RPI): At Lethbridge for two to finish the season, starting Friday. They lost the first 4-3; their two third-period goals not being enough to offset the four Lethbridge goals in periods 1 and 2. A point from the U of S in Saturday's game gives them second-place, but a regulation loss and a Manitoba win puts them in third. And they beat Lethbridge 3-2 in overtime. Steven Gillin had a hand in all three goals.

  10. Manitoba (14-12, 9th RPI): Host Regina Friday and Saturday. They beat Regina 4-1 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday, outshooting them nearly 2 to 1 over the weekend, and outscoring them 7-1 after the first period. Kyle Howarth scored three times in the two games.
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  1. Should the X hockey team be ranked at least 10th if they beat #1 in their home barn 3 straight times ?

  2. Probably. They're up to 13th in RPI now, having contributed to UNB's fall to 2nd. And they're at +1.1 in SRS, behind only UNB, SMU, Acadia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.