Hockey - CIS top 10: V-Reds hold down top spot while Alberta falls

For the second consecutive week, a disappointing weekend has led to the Alberta Golden Bears falling in the CIS top 10, with McGill now the number-two team in the nation, while the UNB Varsity Reds remain the top team in the rankings.

1. UNB (15-4-0) / 157 pts (13) / (1)
2. McGill (19-0-2) / 138 (3) / (3)
3. Alberta (13-3-2) / 126 / (2)
4. Western Ontario (16-1-3) / 110 / (5)
5. Saint Mary’s (13-5-1) / 107 / (4)
6. Saskatchewan (11-7-0) / 71 / (7)
7. UPEI (10-6-3) / 42 / (6)
8. Manitoba (8-4-4) / 40 / (9)
9. StFX (11-7-1) / 22 / (NR)
10. Lakehead (13-6-1) / 21 / (8)

Dropped from the top 10: UQTR (#10 last week)
Other teams receiving votes: UQTR (19), Nipissing (14), Calgary (6), Acadia (3), Wilfrid Laurier (3), Waterloo (1).

Top three tales: UNB won both their games over the weekend - 7-4 versus Moncton on Friday night on the road, and 2-1 over UPEI on Saturday night at home. The V-Reds have been unbeatable on home ice this season having won all 11 of their games at the Aitken Centre in Fredericton, which bodes well for Hunter Tremblay and company come March.

The now number-two Redmen remain the only team in the nation not to have lost a regulation game during the regular season, and take over the second spot for the first time since mid-November. In their lone game over the weekend on Friday night against Carleton, McGill got all they could handle from the Ravens, but managed to pull out a 5-4 victory.

McGill moved up into the number-two spot thanks to another stumble for the Alberta Golden Bears over the weekend who split for the second consecutive weekend, losing Saturday night in Lethbridge. Alberta has struggled of late, coming out with four consecutive subpar performances to start the second half of their season.

Best of the rest: As for the rest of the rankings, there wasn't much movement this week. UQTR fell from the top 10, replaced by St. FX who jumped into the number nine spot, while Lakehead fell two spots into tenth. As for the rest of the poll, there was some minor juggling of the order, but nothing considerable.

Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan moved up one spot by virtue of a split against one another over the weekend oddly enough, while SMU and Western flip-flopped in the number-four and five holes. Rounding out the changes, UPEI slid one spot into number-seven this week.

Top 10 games this weekend: Friday - #1 UNB vs. #5 SMU, #9 St. FX vs. #7 UPEI; Saturday - #9 St. FX vs. #1 UNB, #5 SMU vs. #7 UPEI
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  1. I wonder how many teams McGill could beat in the AUS?....My guess is not many seeing how they played out here over the Christmas Break...I guess they might be able to beat STU

  2. How about this for an ordering of McGill in the AUS?


    In other words, middle-of-the-pack.

  3. McGill did lose a tight game to St FX as well. My guess is they would be somewhere between 3rd and 6th in either the AUS or the CW.

  4. I should add that Lakehead also lost twice to Manitoba (5-1 and 3-0) and UQTR went 2-3 against the AUS.

    None of this makes the OUA terrible, just a level behind the other two conferences.

  5. UNB beat McGill 7-1, UNB hammered SMU 10-3

    McGill lost to StFX in OT on the road during the Christmas break,

    Also during the Christmas break, SMU lost on home ice to a bottom feeder OUA east team, which had just played the night before.

    Now, based on these comparative results and the 'logic' presented to us by Jon and Rob, which team is better this year, SMU or McGill?

    Careful, it’s a trick question!

  6. While I believe out of conference exhibition games are important, and about the only conference comparisons we have other than Nationals, I also agree with Kate Hole's point about basketball that sometimes teams simply have a bad game. You don't want to read too much into a one-off, although you may be tempted (and I often am ...). Take UNB's 6-3 loss to Dal in November as an example - both V-Reds' goalies struggled and the Dal goalie stood on his head.

    McGill played an overtime game against StFX, and came back from a three-goal deficit to tie the game, only to then lose it in OT. Then they bussed to Fredericton. They were a little banged up. And then a rested UNB hockey team was all over them from the opening faceoff, determined to prove a point. That game was effectively over in less than 8 minutes. It was the worst performance I've seen from McGill in Fredericton, and conversely an extremely good start by UNB. Would the outcome be the same if they meet at the University Cup in March? I'm not sure.

    As Evan points out, SMU lost to Toronto over the holidays, albeit in a shootout after heavily outshooting them all game. That game never should have been close.

    Back in late September, UNB did embarrass a sluggish SMU team who didn't have a good preseason. Look where they are now. At that same Fall Classic tournament Guelph was outplayed by UNB, but their goalie kept them in the game (4-2) and then they only lost by a goal to UPEI the next day. But Guelph has gone on, surprisingly to me, to have a not-so-great season in the OUA.

    So stuff like this does make it difficult to compare. Right now McGill might be a middle-of-the-AUS team (which is how I rate them), but who is to know how good they could be if they met AUS-calibre competition every game, instead of just when they arrive at the University Cup?

  7. Something (Windows, Firefox, my cold?) just ate my first overlong comment, so I'll try again.

    SMU should have beat Toronto, but they outshot them heavily in the game, in a neutral site in an unfamiliar rink, and it was an OT shootout that got the win for UofT. And yes, SMU got embarrassed by UNB, but that was back in the fall when the Huskies, were, well, awful. It happens sometimes -- University Cup hangover maybe?

    Kate Hole makes a good point in her basketball post that sometimes teams just have a bad game. Which makes these comparisons difficult. I thought McGill had a bad start against UNB, whereas the V-Reds had a great start. That game was effectively over in less than 8 minutes. I've seen McGill a few times in recent years, and that was probably the worst I've seen them. And UNB was jacked, well rested and wanting to send a statement.

    That being said, I would agree with others that McGill is probably a middle-of-the-AUS team. I do believe that if they faced AUS-calibre teams more often, they would be a better team. But they don't. That's one reason why when I'm picking my top 10, I usually pick a OUA West team ahead of McGill.

  8. Oops, I guess my first post showed up after all. %$#@$ computers!

  9. It is always dangerous to generalize after an exhibition game. However, these are the OUA records against the AUS and CW this year (and I may have missed some):
    Guelph 0-1-1 (UNB, UPEI)
    Brock 0-2-0 (Man.)
    Lakehead 2-2-0 (beat Reg., lost to Man.)
    McGill 0-1-1 (St FX, UNB)
    UQTR 2-3-0 (split StFX & STU, lost to Acad.)
    Toronto 1-1-0 (beat SMU, lost to Acad.)
    total 5-10-2