Hockey: Men's Top 10 tracker; Upsets abound in OUA West

Waterloo's in the driver's seat in the OUA West

Down east, UNB has matched the 2002-03 Mustangs as the only team to start league play 24-0-0, and they won them all on the ice.
  1. UNB Varsity Reds (160, all 16 first-place votes) (36-1, 26-0-0 AUS, 1st RPI) — Won 4-1 at Dalhousie on Saturday, although it was tied until the midway point of the third period.

    Friday's 5-3 comeback victory over St. FX included three short-handed goals, two by the X-Men. Who gives up two shorties and still wins? UNB, that's who.

    Wednesday, Luke Gallant had a three-point night in a 5-1 win over Moncton.

  2. Alberta Golden Bears (144) (25-5, 20-3-1 CW, 2nd RPI) — It seems like the Golden Bears always have a couple losses late in the season once the hay is in the barn.

    They split with Lethbridge, losing 5-4 on Saturday after an 8-6 comeack win. Their other two remaining foes are UBC and Regina .

  3. UQTR Patriotes (112) (22-7, 20-3-2 OUA-E, 7th RPI) — Beat Ottawa 8-2 on Friday.

    UQTR got the two points vs. Concordia the hard way, winning 4-3 in a shootout after the Stingers' Maxime Joyal made 65 saves. Alexandre Blais had the equalizer with 3:50 left in the third and made good in the second round of the shootout.

  4. Acadia Axemen (104) (21-12, 18-6-2 AUS, 5th RPI) — Had a six-point week, twice winning in overtime. Jonathan Laberge scored the decider in a 4-3 win at Moncton on Saturday.

    Acadia beat St. Thomas 6-4 Friday in a game which got a little hairy at the end, with six goals in the final period.

    Andrew Clark scored the winner in an 4-3 overtime win over Dalhousie on Wednesday. The goal came 6:43 into overtime, or 1:43 after every other league would have gone to a shootout. Bless the AUS for marching to its own drum.

  5. Western Mustangs (85) (21-10, 19-7-0 OUA-W, 4th RPI) — Lost 4-3 at Guelph on Thursday and are no longer in control of their destiny as far as finishing first is concerned. They should make Destiny run a 5K before practice on Monday.

    Western whipped up on Windsor 6-2 on Wednesday, as Keaton Turkiewicz became the first OUA West player to hit 20 goals for the season.

  6. McGill Redmen (81) (25-10-1, 20-5-0 OUA-E, 3rd RPI) — Had a pretty nice weekend in the nation's capital, winning 4-1 at Ottawa and 5-1 at Carleton.

  7. Lakehead Thunderwolves (81) (21-10, 18-6-2 OUA-W, 8th RPI) — A home split with UOIT (6-5 loss, 8-2 win) left them tied for second place with Western. There were only 16 penalty minutes assessed in the second game, which might be a record low for the second game of the weekend at the Fort Williams Gardens.

    The Ridgebacks have scored 18 goals in four games vs. Lakehead this season and have averaged 2.8 in their other 22 games.

  8. Manitoba Bisons (50) (21-11, 14-8-2 CW, 9th RPI) — Split at Regina (3-2 win after a 4-0 loss). Saskatchewan is three points back with two games in hand.

  9. Waterloo Warriors (27) (22-9, 19-6-1 OUA-W, 5th RPI) — Wins over Brock (6-4 at home) and York (2-1 in OT at home) put the Warriors in first place heading into the final weekend, where they get two winnables vs. Windsor and UOIT (consider that a kiss of death, knowing this division).

    Shane Hart and Chris Ray factored in both goals in Friday's 2-1 OT win over York.

  10. Saint Mary's Huskies (21) (19-14, 14-8-4 AUS, 11th RPI) — Beat St. Thomas 5-2 on Saturday, putting the Tommies on the cusp of elimination in AUS. SMU would face Dalhousie in the first round if the playoffs were starting on Sunday.

    Friday, Justin Munden scored 6:35 into OT to lift the eastern Huskies to a 3-2 win over Moncton. That's two AUS games this week where the winner was scored after the five-minute mark of overtime.

    Mike Danton had the tying goal with 3:27 to go.
Outside the top 10:
  • The ARV teams: Laurier (8), Saskatchewan (6), Calgary (2).

  • Toronto (32 points with two games left) has the inside track on third place in the OUA East. Carleton (31, still has go to UQTR) and Queen's (30) are close behind.

  • If the playoffs were starting Sunday in the OUA, the matchups would be: Concordia-UQTR, Nipissing-McGill, Ryerson-Toronto, Queen's-Carleton in the East; UOIT-Waterloo, Windsor-Western, York-Lakehead, Guelph-Laurier in the West.

  • Queen's beat RMC 3-0 in the annual Carr-Harris Cup between the Kingston rivals on Thursday. The Gaels are running out of road (only two games left), so they might need further help from the Paladins.

  • Ryerson is wreaking havoc for the teams ahead of them in the OUA East. The sixth-place Rams, who lit Queen's up for nine goals last week, cut Toronto out of a point with a 3-2 OT win on Wednesday.

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  1. Of course, the Official Hollywood Top 34 has a much better analysis! (In brackets are the records of the A level teams against other A level teams.)

    1 UNB (10-0-0)
    2 Alberta (11-2-1)

    3 Manitoba (7-4-1)
    4 Western Ontario (7-3-0)
    5 Waterloo (6-3-0)
    6 Acadia (6-5-1)
    7 Lakehead (4-5-0)
    8 UQTR (2-2-0)
    9 Saskatchewan (2-5-3)
    10 St. Mary's (3-6-3)
    11 Calgary (4-6-2)
    12 Laurier (2-6-2)

    13 St. FX (3-5-2)
    14 McGill (2-2-0)

    15 Carleton
    16 Lethbridge
    17 UPEI
    18 Regina

    19 Dalhousie
    20 Guelph
    21 Moncton
    22 Toronto
    23 York
    24 St. Thomas
    25 UBC

    26 Windsor
    27 UOIT
    28 Queen's
    29 Brock

    30 Nipissing
    31 Ryerson
    32 Concordia
    33 RMC
    34 Ottawa

    The whole post is at

  2. UQTR and Mcgill are both ranked far to high.

  3. I've been a UQTR basher all year and I'm actually okay with where they are based on their play since Christmas (I can forgive that OT blip against Ottawa last week...shots on goal suggest the Pats ran into a hot goalie). The team that seems to be ranked too high to me is Western. I know the votes are close in 5 through 7 but they have been a different team the last 3 weeks and I'm shocked they've only dropped 2 slots.

  4. Thanks, H to the 'Wood. I don't recall my exact ballot (and it's confidential besides) but I put Acadia, Lakehead and Manitoba ahead of UQTR, Western and McGill, not necessarily in that order.

    I knew going in the Pats would be No. 3. They have put up the numbers and people correctly saw the Ottawa game was an anomaly because they ran into perhaps the best 'tender in the OUA East (if it's not Riley Whitlock, who is it?).

    Was a bit surprised to see the Bisons not get more love for getting a second win over the Golden Bears.

  5. Not quite sure I agree with your assessment about the toughtest test being Guelph. Guelph is no doubt a great team, but I am a little surprised.

    So far Guelph is 0 for 2 against Western, being outscored 9-4. Laurier on the other hand, has been in the voting for the top 10 almost all season long and is still considered one of the "Big four." Each of their losses so far against Western has been by one goal, and they have beaten the Thunderwolves in Thunder Bay this year.

    I am not guarenteeing a win by Laurier against Western or Lakehead, but I would have thought that Laurier would have been considered above Guelph, especially seeing as how they are included in this as the "11th" team.

    Hollywood's ranking also has Laurier at 12 and Guelph at 20.

  6. if only there was a trading deadline in CIS hockey. Western would be trading Keyvan Hunt and his dad's BMW to Ottawa for Whitlock ; )

  7. Daniel Da Silva2/02/2010 9:32 pm

    I think Western would trade Keyvan for anyone at this point. While the play of their goaltending has been awful lately, I feel like Singer will turn it around defensively over the next few games.

  8. @8:05: I'll see that point on Laurier, although the Guelph game is this week so I thought why not put the focus there for the the being.

    Guelph is playing well since the break, though. And Western, to quote Hank Hill, ain't right these days.

  9. Okay sure. Guelph is a very good team. I've seen them play 3 times this year, and they played well on each occasion. They had a great recruiting class. I think the teams finishing first/second have a large advantage in the first round, as I would much rather play a team like Windsor/Brock/UOIT etc than Guelph.

    With their poor showing against top teams so far, I would like to see Laurier pick up a win in either their game against Lakehead or against Western. They could use some confidence I think.

  10. This has to be one of the more head scratching games of the year. Tonight (Wednesday), Windsor and Western combined for 109 shots on net (in a game won by Western 6-2), including 59 by Windsor at the beleaguered Keyvan Hunt. I'd love to hear from anyone who was at this game - how could a game be this wide open?

    In related news, UQTR had 30 shots on goal in the first period against Concordia tonight.

  11. To finish off the previous post, UQTR ended up outshooting Concordia 69-19 but needed a shootout goal to win the game. I think Concordia will take that point every night.

  12. according to the OUA website, the Western - Windsor games had 89 shots: 50 by Western and 39 by Windsor. Still very open, but different than what you have there. Perhaps there was an error?

  13. @10:21. Yep, they've changed it since I posted last night. I looked at it right after the game and it had Windsor with 21 shots in both the 1st and 2nd periods. Now it says 11 for each period. Guess they looked at the game film ;)

    It didn't seem right to me...I had this vision of each team racing up and down the ice and blasting away non-stop for 3 periods.

  14. @10:21 & 10:40: There was a scorekeeping error. They had the shots corrected Western 50-Windsor 39 in a later release.

  15. and....guelph with the biggest test? they took out western tonight 4-3!

  16. Every time I see a reference to the Mustangs 2002-03 24-0-0 season (see top of the post) I feel the need to remind whoever is listening that Western actually lost their opening two games of the season that year to Lakehead....but Western was awarded the win in both games because the 'Wolves had used an ineligible player. The Mustangs had actually gone 22-0-2 the prior season and won the University Cup - and that was the better team...most likely the best team Western has ever had. The 24-0-0 went out in 2 straight against Lakeheadd in the playoffs.

    It also reminds me of one of those raging discussions on one of the boards at the time where AUS fans were saying things like "our conference is the toughest and we have would never see a team go unbeaten in our conference." Wonder where those posters are now?

  17. Good point — was actually not aware since that season I was out of loop (working in a small town out West).

  18. "Wonder where those posters are now?"

    Those posters are bragging themselves up to anyone that will listen. They are currently 25 and 0. Things do not work that way at UNB my friend.

  19. @12:54: "Those posters are bragging themselves up to anyone that will listen. They are currently 25 and 0. Things do not work that way at UNB my friend."

    Can you please connect the dots for me about how this connects to what the previous poster said? I don't get it. All they were saying is that AUS fans have said in the past (and I remember those comments) that because of parity in the AUS, you'd never see an undefeated team - at the time, it was a direct shot at the weakness of the OUA. And now voila - the AUS has an unbeaten team.

  20. I would still argue that, top to bottom, the AUS is still a tougher conference than the OUA...which makes what UNB is doing even more impressive...they have just been a juggernaut so far this year.

  21. @3:04: That may be so, but that's a whole other discussion. The comment you made in your first post still doesn't make sense as a response to the what you quoted.

  22. I didn't make the first post...

  23. The 2001-02 Western team was pretty good but as I recall Alberta had outshot them 38-17 and lost 4-1 after Mike D'Alessandro made 37 saves.
    This came one year after The Golden Bears outshot Western 42-24 but lost 5-3.
    Both of those Championships were played in Kitchener
    Traditionally the OUA schools have had it taken to them pretty good by the other Conferences at Nationals.
    Case in point Alberta has not lost game to an OUA team at nationals since the 2001-02 season, going 8-0...
    No question though the AUS has proven to the toughest Conference based upon University Cup records over the last decade.
    UNB's dominance this season in the AUS isn't a reflection on the Conference having a down year; but rather a program that is getting the best kids out of all three Major Junior Leagues...and has elevated itself to a level above everybody else.

    Bob Stauffer

  24. I gotta agree with Bob. UNB has just elevated itself to the point where their 3 or 4 healthy scratch players each game would be 2nd liners (at least) on any team they are playing night in and night out. This is pretty much just a lost year for everyone else in the conference as there is only 1 AUS team going to Nationals. Acadia or SMU who would give anyone else in the country a run for their money will be sitting at home during Nationals cause although UNB may lose 1 game to a hot goalie during the AUS playoffs, no way a team is beating them in a best of 5 series....far too much depth.

    Sure there is less parity than there used to be in the AUS, but that is not because teams got worse, it is because UNB has pretty much put an all-star team together or former Major Junior Stars.