With the AUS and OUA playoffs in full swing there was no movement inside the top four in the 15th top 10 poll of the season, with the biggest change in the poll coming in the form of a three spot drop by the Saskatchewan Huskies. This won't be the final poll of the season, with at least one more coming next week at the conclusion of the Canada West regular season. There is even talk that we will have a top 10 poll until the end of the postseason. However many more polls we have, we'll continue to have a weekly post. Without further ado here it is:
1. UNB (23-5-0) / 179 pts (17) / (1)
2. McGill (24-2-2 / 2-0 playoffs) / 152 (1) / (2)
3. Alberta (18-5-3) / 141 / (3)
4. Saint Mary’s (18-9-1) / 127 / (4)
5. Western Ontario (20-3-5 / 2-0 playoffs) / 96 / (6)
6. St. Francis Xavier (17-10-1 / 2-0 playoffs) / 87 / (7)
7. Calgary (16-8-2) / 78 / (8)
8. Saskatchewan (16-10-0) / 56 / (5)
9. UQTR (19-8-1 / 2-1 playoffs) / 31/ (9)
10. Carleton (18-8-2 / 2-1 playoffs) / 17 / (10)
Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (14), Manitoba (4), UPEI (2), Waterloo (2), Wilfrid Laurier (2), Guelph (1), Nipissing (1)
Dropped from the top 10: None.
Top three tales: Top ranked UNB was idle this past week as they waited to see who they would face in the AUS semis. The Varsity Reds will take on unranked Acadia in Fredericton on Friday to kick off that best-of-five AUS semifinal. UNB took the season series with a 3-1-0 record against the Axemen, with the AUS regular season champions only loss coming back on November 26.
As for the Redmen, they swept their opening round playoff series against Ottawa with a narrow 2-1 win in Game 1 before a 10-5 win to round out the series. They will take on Nipissing tonight in the opening game of their OUA East semi-final series in North Bay. McGill went 2-0-0 against Nipissing this season, and is 6-0-0 against the Lakers in OUA regular season and playoff play since Nipissing joined the OUA in 09/10.
Out west Alberta managed two narrow wins at home this past weekend against Manitoba - 4-3 in a SO Friday and 4-3 in OT on Saturday. The Bears have clinched first place in the conference with one weekend to go in the regular season. They travel to Vancouver this weekend to take on UBC.
Best of the rest: The defending national champion and number-four ranked SMU Huskies had a first round playoff bye, and will take on number-six St. FX Friday night in Antigonish when their best-of-five AUS semi-final series opens up. The X-Men won four of the six meetings between the two teams during the regular season including the final two meetings of the year January 26 and 28.
Western Ontario - the fifth ranked team in the nation - is coming off a sweep of Windsor in the opening round of the OUA playoffs and will take on Waterloo starting tomorrow in OUA West semi-final action. The Mustangs went 3-0-0 against the Warriors in the regular season.
The number-seven spot in the poll is held by Calgary - the only other team in Canada West assured of a playoff spot along with Alberta. The Dinos swept Regina this past weekend, and will host Lethbridge this weekend to wrap up the regular season. Calgary will be playing to lock up second place and home ice in the first round of the playoffs while Lethbridge is desperate for wins sitting only one point back of Manitoba for the fourth and final playoff spot in the conference.
After a surprising sweep at the hands of the Pronghorns in Lethbridge this past weekend, the Saskatchewan Huskies fall this week to number-eight in the poll. The U of S squad has yet to guarantee themselves a playoff spot, and will head to Winnipeg this weekend to try and do that.
Rounding out the poll is a pair of OUA teams - UQTR and Carleton. Those two teams will meet one another in OUA East semi-final action beginning tonight after winning their opening round series in three games. The two teams split the regular season series with two wins a piece.
Top 10 games this week: #4 SMU vs. #6 St. FX ( Fri., Feb. 25; Sun., Feb. 27), #9 UQTR vs. #10 Carleton (OUA East semis - Wed., Feb. 23; Fri., Feb. 25; Sun., Feb. 27 (if necessary))