Hockey: CIS top 10 - Top three hold strong as playoffs roll on

The top two teams in CIS continued to roll this past week, while the number-three Bears join the playoff party this weekend against unranked Manitoba. Here's a look at the top 10:

1. UNB (23-5-0 / 2-0 playoffs) / 179 pts (17) / (1)
2. McGill (24-2-2 / 4-0 playoffs) / 154 (1) / (2)
3. Alberta (19-6-3) / 141 / (3)
4. Saint Mary’s (18-9-1 / 1-1 playoffs) / 119 / (4)
5. Western Ontario (20-3-5 / 4-1 playoffs) / 107 / (5)
6. StFX (17-10-1 / 3-1 playoffs) / 90 / (6)
7. Calgary (17-8-3) / 70 / (7)
8. UQTR (19-8-1 / 4-2 playoffs) / 46 / (9)
9. Saskatchewan (17-11-0) / 44 / (8)
10. Guelph (15-10-3 / 4-2 playoffs) / 16 / (NR) - X

Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (16) – X, Manitoba (5), Carleton (1)

Top three tales: Number-one UNB opened their playoff push this past weekend against Acadia, and lead that AUS semi-final series 2-0. The Varsity Reds cruised to a 4-0 win in Game 1 of the series before netting an epic win in Game 2. It took 121:53 to find a winner, but when the time finally came it was UNB skating away with a 3-2 win in a marathon four overtime game. The V-Reds dominated the Axemen firing 78 shots on goal compared to only 38 by Acadia. Game 3 in that best-of-five series goes tomorrow night in Wolfville as UNB continues their University Cup tune up tour.

As for McGill, they look like they're headed for a collision with Western Ontario for the Queen's Cup, as both teams march through the OUA playoffs. The Redmen must first take down the number-eight ranked UQTR Patriotes in the OUA East final. McGill went 3-0-1 against the Patriotes this season, with that best-of-three series getting underway tonight in Montreal.

Rounding out the top three is Alberta who split last weekend against UBC to finish up their regular season campaign with a record of 19-6-3 - the first time the Golden Bears didn't finish with at least 20 wins during the regular season since 1997-98 when they went 19-4-5. Alberta opens their best-of-three Canada West semi-final series this Friday at home against Manitoba, with the winner guaranteed a nationals berth.

Best of the rest: The defending national champions and number-four ranked Saint Mary's Huskies are against the ropes now in their AUS semi-final series against number-six St. FX. The X-Men took Game 1 by a score of 5-3 this past Friday and Game 3 last night 3-2. A 4-3 SMU win was sandwiched in there as well. Game 4 goes this Sunday in Antigonish.

The aforementioned Western Mustangs are the fifth ranked team in the nation again this week and are just moments from puck drop against number-ten Guelph in the OUA West Final.

Rounding out the top 10 are the number-seven Calgary Dinos and number-nine Saskatchewan Huskies who will get things started in their Canada West semi this Friday in the Stampede City. Calgary is coming off a split against Lethbridge, while Saskatchewan split last weekend on the road against Manitoba. It will be the first time Calgary has hosted a Canada West playoff series since the 2007/08 season when they hosted Regina in the conference quarters (the second to last last season six teams qualified for playoffs in Can West).

Top 10 games this week: #2 McGill vs. #8 UQTR (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday*), #4 SMU vs. #6 St. FX (Sunday), #5 Western vs. #10 Guelph (Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday*), #7 Calgary vs. #9 Saskatchewan (Friday, Saturday, Sunday*)
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