Meantime, Manitoba earned the second Canada West berth, taking out Saskatchewan 5-1 in the series decider on the Huskies' home ice. Blair Macaulay had a hat trick for the nationals-bound Bisons (nice to see, speaking as a former resident of the keystone province).
A good talking point: The AUS is the only conference in the country with first-round byes, since Canada West (which cut its post-season from six teams to four) and OUA (which expanded from 12 to 16) made a change. Did sitting around for a week hurt UNB and Acadia? Really, though, there are no excuses.
It took until the season's final poll to have more than two teams get a No. 1 vote. That's right up there with when football had four teams getting No. 1 votes after Laval lost in the regular season.
- Alberta Golden Bears (170 points, nine first-place votes) (30-6, 23-4-1 CW, 2-0 playoffs, 1st in RPI through Friday) — Beat Calgary 3-1 and 5-2 to get one of Canada West's two berths.
- UNB Varsity Reds (165, eight first-place votes) (37-5, 27-1-0 AUS, 0-3 playoffs, 2nd RPI) — One has to wonder if a team ever went through a CIS season with only four losses against Canadian competition, all to the same team.
Who knows what did in UNB. Taking a penalty on the shift after tying a must-win game in the third period, as it did in Tuesday's season-ended, was a killer. Phil Mangan scored the series-winning goal on the ensuing St. FX power play.
- UQTR Patriotes (144, one first-place vote) (29-9, 23-3-2 OUA-E, 4-2 playoffs, 6th RPI) — Got a life preserver from Lakehead and will host Western in the OUA third-place game next week.
- Acadia Axemen (111) (23-16, 19-6-3 AUS, 1-3 playoffs, 7th RPI) — Did the see-you-later and now they'll be spectators.
- McGill Redmen (107) (33-12-1, 22-6-0 OUA-E, 6-1 playoffs, 3rd RPI) — Swept UQTR 3-2 and 7-4 to win the East for the third successive year. The Redmen power play was 7-of-12 in the series with its best offensive d-man, captain Yan Turcotte, sitting out a suspension.
Francis Verreault-Paul had a five-point night in Friday's series clincher vs. the Patriots. Defenceman Sebastien Rioux also had four points in the two games, picking up for the suspended Turcotte.
McGill will face Lakehead for the Queen's Cup.
- Western Mustangs (96) (27-12, 21-7-0 OUA-W, 4-2 playoffs, 5th RPI) — Will travel to UQTR for a third-place game.
The Mustangs beat the Pats 5-1 in London in the regular season, but that was when it had a healthy Anthony Grieco in goal. Teams seem able to win up there at Le Colisée, which used to be a non-starter.
- Lakehead Thunderwolves (65) (28-12, 19-7-2 OUA-W, 6-1 playoffs, 4th RPI) — Beat Western 4-1 and 5-2, so like Carleton in basketball, they'll host nationals having qualified on merit.
Scott Dobben scored the series-winning goal on a penalty shot with eight seconds left in the second period on Saturday. It was short-handed, too. A penalty-shot shortie, eh?
- Saint Mary's Huskies (48) (27-15, 16-8-4 AUS, 6-1 playoffs, 8th RPI) — Took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 AUS championship by winning 7-1 in the opener on Sunday.
For those scoring at home, that's an aggregate 16-3 score in the Huskies' past two games against the Axemen and X-Men
Alberta and McGill have pulled off the puck double.
- Saskatchewan Huskies (42) (20-18, 16-8-4 CW, 1-2 playoffs, 12th RPI) — Done for the season after a 5-1 loss to Manitoba in Game 3 on Saturday. The Bisons came back after losing the lid-lifter, also winning 4-2 on Saturday .
Saskatchewan won 5-2 on Friday.
- St. Francis Xavier X-Men (23) (20-21-1, 11-12-5 AUS, 5-1 playoffs, 13th RPI) — Lost 7-1 to Saint Mary's in the opener of the best-of-5 AUS championship series.
- The ARV teams: Manitoba (21), Waterloo (1).