With the playoffs now upon us in both the OUA and AUS, and near for Canada West, the top three teams in the nation remain unchanged from last week with UNB the top ranked squad in CIS, followed by McGill and Alberta.
I have just one question with this poll - who voted for McGill at number-one?
1. UNB (23-5-0) / 179 (17) / (1)
2. McGill (24-2-2) / 150 (1) / (2)
3. Alberta (16-5-3) / 135 / (3)
4. Saint Mary’s (18-9-1) / 131 / (5)
5. Saskatchewan (16-8-0) / 105 / (6)
6. Western Ontario (20-3-5) / 85 / (4)
7. StFX (17-10-1) / 83 / (7)
8. Calgary (13-8-2) / 46 / (9)
9. UQTR (19-8-1) / 33 / (NR)
10. Carleton (18-8-2) / 19 / (8)
Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (9), Manitoba (8), UPEI (5), Guelph (1), Nipissing (1).
Dropped from top 10: Acadia (#10 last week)
Top three tales: The Varsity Reds finished off their regular season the right way this past weekend with a trio of wins - 3-1 over St. Thomas, 4-0 against Acadia, 4-0, and downed Dalhousie 5-2. The three wins wrapped up what was another stellar regular season for head coach Gardiner MacDougall and company, who now have a bye in the first round of the AUS playoffs. They'll start their postseason campaign sometime next week after the AUS quarters wrap up.
McGill also completed their regular season schedule in good form this past week with a 7-0 shutout of Ottawa, before a 4-1 win over Concordia to cap their 28 game schedule. The Redmen finished first in the OUA and will have home ice throughout the playoffs. The OUA postseason gets underway tonight with five games including McGill's quarterfinal opener against Ottawa in Montreal. The defending Queen's Cup champs went 4-0-0 during the regular season against the Gee-Gees.
Rounding out the top three again this week is the Alberta Golden Bears who are the lone team inside the top three with regular season games left on the schedule. The Bears went into Saskatoon this past weekend for a key conference series against the Huskies with first place on the line. Alberta would emerge after a 2-1 OT loss Friday with a 4-0 victory Saturday to earn a three point weekend and extend their lead to three over Saskatchewan for first in the conference. The defending conference champs will host Manitoba this weekend in the second-to-last regular season weekend in Canada West.
Best of the rest: The two Huskie teams hold down fifth and sixth with SMU in the number-five spot, and Saskatchewan in the number-six slot. SMU has a bye this week as the first round of the AUS playoffs unfold after finishing second to UNB during the regular season. Saskatchewan on the other hand has two games this weekend in Lethbridge against the Pronghorns who need a big weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Falling two spots this week in the poll was the now number-six ranked Western Ontario Mustangs who head into the playoffs losers of three straight including loses to Brock 6-4 Friday and Guelph 3-2 in a SO Saturday this past weekend. The 'Stangs take on Windsor tomorrow night in the first game of their OUA opening round playoff series.
Spots seven - ten are St. FX, Calgary, UQTR and Carleton. The X-Men face Dalhousie in AUS quarterfinal action this week with Game 1 going tomorrow night in Antigonish, while OUA playoff action features UQTR taking on Concordia, and Carleton against Toronto. The number-eight Dinos play in Lethbridge tonight in a makeup game for that January game that got postponed due to weather, and then host Regina at home Friday and Saturday.
Top ten games this week: None