After a sweep of the Regina Cougars over the weekend on the road, the Alberta Golden Bears managed to avoid in any lull in their game coming off a bye to hold onto their number-one ranking. Alberta saw an increase of five first place votes, to distance themselves in the poll from both McGill and UNB.
1. Alberta (9-1-0) / 171 pts (9) / (1)
2. McGill (12-0-0) / 159 (7) / (2)
3. UNB (8-2-0) / 145 (2) / (3)
4. Western Ontario (10-0-1) / 132 / (4)
5. Manitoba (6-2-2) / 91 / (5)
6. Saint Mary’s (5-3-0) / 87 / (6)
7. Saskatchewan (6-4-0) / 60 / (7)
8. UPEI (6-3-1) / 56 / (8)
9. Calgary (6-4-2) / 31 / (10)
10. Concordia (9-3-0) / 29 / (NR)
Dropped from the rankings: Carleton (#9 last week)
Other teams receiving votes: Lakehead (14), Acadia (4), StFX (3), Carleton (3), Ottawa (2), Wilfrid Laurier (2), Waterloo (1)
Top three tales: Alberta saw their point total in the poll jump eight thanks in part to UNB's 1-1 record over the weekend. The Bears were strong over the weekend, winning 5-0 and 4-2 over Regina. Those wins stretched Alberta's winning streak to seven after suffering their lone setback of the regular season against UBC October 15. Sniper Chad Klassen continues to lead the conference in scoring with 23 points - just one more than linemate Derek Ryan.
McGill continues to roll through their OUA schedule, and remains the lone undefeated team in the nation thanks to their two wins over the weekend against Ryerson - 5-1 and 6-2. Francis Verreault-Paul sits second in the conference in scoring with 25 points, but leads the nation in goal scoring with 18. Ottawa's Kyle Ireland leads the conference, and the nation with 28 points through 12 games.
The Varsity Reds suffered a setback this weekend with a 3-1 loss to the defending national champion Saint Mary's Huskies. After coming out and downing St. FX 6-1 Friday, UNB suffered their second loss of the season to SMU in Halifax Saturday. The weekend split led to the V-Reds losing five of their seven first place votes from a week ago.
Movers and shakers:Very little movement this week inside the top 10, with the only changes from last week's poll being at the bottom of the heap. Calgary moved up a spot thanks to their impressive weekend in Winnipeg against Manitoba, while Concordia is back in the top 10 after two wins over RMC this past weekend. Aside from those two changes, and the voting shift at the top for first place, 1-8 in the poll is the same as a week ago.
Conference checkup:Out west, Alberta has a comfortable, albeit not huge lead over the rest of the conference for first place with 18 points. Manitoba and Calgary sit four points back with 14 a piece. Saskatchewan sits fourth with 12, and then the rest of the conference is all in single digit point totals. Things are shaking out pretty much how many envisioned them, with last year's playoff teams all inside the top four again thus far.
In the OUA, McGill is running away with the OUA East, while Western is doing the same in the OUA West. Both teams have healthy six point leads over the second place teams in their respective divisions. Western's Josh Unice has been big in goal for the Mustangs, leading the conference in GAA at 1.30 and SV% - .961. The former draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks was a big addition for head coach Clarke Singer, and has already proven his worth this season.
Despite the loss this weekend, UNB remained three points clear of surprising UPEI in the standings with 16 points. Matt Carter has been a big part of the Panthers success this season, leading the conference in scoring with 19 points. Five points separate places two through seven in the standings, while St. Thomas is falling back of the pack with only four points.
Top 10 games this weekend:
- #7 Saskatchewan travels to Edmonton for two games against #1 Alberta