Men's hockey: Top 10 tracker: Plenty of top-ten matchups to cure the Januaries in all of us

This week's action (schedule, rankings) for the top 10 hockey teams...

  1. UNB (+2.2 SRS, RPI #2) — W 5-1 at STU, L 5-1 at Moncton, L 8-7 vs. UPEI

    Not much to say from afar about the St. Thomas game, though it was 3-1 until UNB's third and fourth powerplay goals came in the last 90 seconds of the third.

    Friday was certainly not what UNB expected. After trading goals in the first, Moncton's Charles Bergeron broke through on the power play against and they didn't give up the lead again (or another goal). Dan LaCosta has had the best save percentage of any of the three goaltenders UNB have used this year, but not on this night, allowing 5 goals on 27 shots.

    Saturday was also quite unexpected, if only because you don't see 15 goals all that often. The Panthers had a 6-1 lead after three shorties in the second, and that's about all I think I can say, because there are goalie discrepancies between the two boxscores available. Over at the CIS site, it says Travis Fullerton and Seamus Bowen appeared for UNB, while the AUS site says it was LaCosta and Matthew Davis (which is likely correct). While they figure that out, we'll move on to the other teams.

  2. McGill (+0.8 SRS RPI #1) — W 1-0 (SO) vs. Carleton

    They scored just one even-strength goal in their 4-3 loss to Toronto last week. One assumes that wouldn't happen against Carleton, in front of an expected sellout crowd, but it was actually worse than that: they didn't score a goal at all until the shootout. Of course, they didn't allow one either, coming away with the shootout win (or as we call it around here, a tie). Hubert Morin made 32 of 32 saves and stopped all three Carleton shooters.

  3. Saskatchewan (+1.0 SRS, RPI #6) — L 4-2 at Manitoba, L 3-1 at Manitoba

    Series of the week? Sure, why not. Give Manitoba the sweep. On Friday, the Huskies didn't score until the second half of the third period, when they were down 2-0, and to make matters worse after scoring both their goals they allowed another one within a minute each time. (Only 451 people went to see this game? Really?) On Saturday, they didn't score until what we're going to call garbage time, 58:42 of a 3-0 game. Not the best week for Saskatchewan.

  4. Western (+0.8 SRS, RPI #9) — W 1-0 at Lakehead, W 1-0 at Lakehead

    (Friday link goes to the OUA boxscore, since it's not on the CIS site yet.) There was only one goal all game here, from Keaton Turkiewicz on the PP in the second. Repeat the same sentence, but with "Zach Harnden" and "the first", and you've got Saturday's game. (Harnden would later get two and 10 for checking to the head.)

  5. Alberta (+0.7 SRS, RPI #3) — W 5-0 vs. Lethbridge, W 6-1 vs. Lethbridge

    In his last game, Lethbridge's Scott Bowles played the first period then was pulled after allowing 3 on 10 shots. In this weekend's games, Bowles was left in for all 11, facing 78 shots in total.

    Johnny Lazo scored two for Alberta on Friday (putting him, I believe, fifth in goals in Canada West); Alex Rodgers and Kruise Reddick had two assists each. Lazo scored again on Saturday, and the Bears also got two from Jordan Hickmott in what was another rather lifeless game for Lethbridge.

  6. Acadia (+1.5 SRS, RPI #16) — W 4-3 vs. St. F-X, W 1-0 at St. F-X

    Another typically above-average Acadia season seems ready to continue against the X-Men (shootout win over UNB or no shootout win over UNB). The Axemen did need a few powerplays and 49:36 to take the lead for good, but they did. Andrew Clark assisted on all four goals, his sixth multi-assist game of the year and his 11th with two points or more.

    Sunday it looked close there for a minute, with the Axemen's one-goal lead withstanding a short powerplay in the third that ended 34 seconds after it began when X's Bryce Swan took a slashing call. Oops. Given how little Acadia had tried to attack that period (three shots, even though they had nearly four minutes of 5-on-4), that could have been the difference here. Two one-goal wins for Acadia, though.

  7. Moncton (+1.3 SRS, RPI #17) — W 4-2 at UPEI, W 5-1 vs. UNB, W 7-2 vs. St. Thomas

    Three wins in four days, outscoring their opponents 14-5, combined with UNB's two losses, put those Blue Eagles into a tie for first place. I don't know my AUS tiebreakers, but UNB's behind on wins so I'm going with that. It'll also make the season finale between these teams, on Feb. 11, that much more interesting.

  8. Lakehead (+0.5 SRS, RPI #8) — L 1-0 vs. Western, L 1-0 vs. Western

    Poor Jeff Bosch. He's faced 38 UOIT shots this year and allowed 10 goals (including seven in last week's 8-5 loss), for a horrid save percentage of .737. Yet against everyone else he has a .909. It's probably going to be Alex Dupuis for both of these road games against the good-but-not-that-much-better-than-Lakehead Mustangs.

    Dupuis did his best in both games, but it's hard to win without scoring (or, at the very least, when you have more ten-minute misconducts than goals).

    This is why you read the Lakehead recaps of games: most other schools would just say "Matt Caria was given a game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct", if they mention such a penalty at all, not "mouthing off to the official." It's a small thing but it at least lets you know (more about) what happened.

    UPDATE: But, apparently, that's not all that happened. Caria has been suspended for two games for "a racial slur." (Thanks to Always OUA for the pointer.)

  9. Manitoba (+1.0 SRS, RPI #4) — W 4-2 vs. Saskatchewan, W 3-1 vs. Saskatchewan

    Ten Bisons got on the scoresheet in their Friday win over Saskatchewan, with both Matthew Lowry and Blair Macaulay receiving a goal and an assist. First conference win over Sask. for Manitoba since Feb. 26 of last year. They liked it so much, they did it again. Joe Caligiuri was in goal for both games, stopping 64 of 67, a few months after he let in 5 of 32 against these same Huskies.

  10. Saint Mary's (+1.6 SRS, RPI #5) — L 4-3 (OT) at Dalhousie, W 6-4 vs. Dalhousie

    A home-and-home against Dalhousie without any travel is a good opportunity for the Huskies to keep pace with the UNBs and Acadias of the AUS. Dal's opponents have a save percentage of .915, which, if they were a team, would lead the AUS. (Am I just an idiot, or can I not see the individual leaders for save percentage in the AUS?)

    However, Dal's Friday opponent, those Huskies, managed a save percentage of merely .818, losing 4-3 in overtime. It's almost like teams can upset other teams or something. Jordan Villeneuve-Gagne scored the OT winner here. Another loss would hurt that RPI quite a bit...but they didn't lose again, putting up 5 to Dal's 1 after three powerplay goals in the third, and just sort of hanging on for the rest of the game.

    (I would really like someone to explain to me how, in the Saturday game, the Huskies recorded a shot on goal on an empty net but did not score...)
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  1. The stats team had a tough time at the UNB game Saturday night, including when they uploaded the game files after the game. UPEI had two shorties in the second period sandwiched around a goal seconds after a UNB power play finished.

    Matt Davis came in to spell LaCosta to start the second period. The confusion is that UNB doesn't have a lot of spare jerseys, so when Fullerton is on the shelf (like now) they take his #1 UNB jersey, tape over the name, and hand it to Davis or Seamus Bowen or Mike MacKay to wear. They've all worn that #1 I believe this season.

  2. Oh, the first tie-breaker in the AUS is head-to-head, so UNB is 2-1 vs. Moncton and thus gets the nod in the standings.