Men's Puck Bracketlogy: UNB (probably) still the top seed, Alberta looks to borrow the OUA's copy of The Road Warrior

The first teams slotted into the OUA / RSEQ seeds are, obvious hacky reference alert, like seat-fillers at the Oscars. No one expects they will be there very long.

Ontario's remake of the Road Warrior (booooooooooooooo), starring Queen's Jared Bethune, Guelph's Scott Simmonds and Western's Luke Peressini, hastened some revising. It is not clear what should be read into the away teams going 11-1 during the second round, beyond the obvious point that the talent gets distributed very fairly across the vast majority of the conference. That makes the league basically like every division of the 1980s NHL that did not feature the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. The regular season doesn't really matter.

At this writing, Alberta and Saskatchewan, shocker, have qualified out of Canada West to join host Lethbridge. New Brunswick and Saint Mary's could qualify within 24 hours, while Ontario has a two-stage process to decide its division champions and the third-place team.

  1. UNB (AUS champion). The schedule has Lethbridge playing its quarterfinal on the Thursday night and common sense would just suggest splitting up the host 'Horns from the team in the same province. So UNB goes here.

    The Varsity Reds had 102 shots in their two wins against UPEI, but Panthers goaltender Matt Mancina has been tough.
  2. Alberta (Canada West champion). When they played in Saskatoon on the final weekend before the break, Saskatchewan won the first game and Alberta won the second decisively with a 41-22 edge on the shot counter. With a best-of-3 packed into three days, all those coach words, depth, stamina, are going to be extra-paramount. Also, Alberta goalie Zach Sawchenko was the second-team all-star pick with Saskatchewan's Taran Kozun on the first team, so there's a score to settle.
  3. Carleton (OUA champion). Again with the chalk pick — hey, you don't go into the media to learn from folly.

    Carleton has home-ice advantage throughout the rest of the Queen's Cup playoffs. And the Ravens' Fran├žois Brassard is the most seasoned goaltender still competing, for what that might be worth. In a league where a first-year such as Queen's tendy Justin Fazio is 21 years old, it might not count for much.

    One outcome to feel fairly confident about is that the Queen's-Carleton winner, who will host the Queen's Cup, probably wins it too. The East is the deeper side of the league.
  4. Guelph (OUA No. 2). Queen's-Carleton and Western-Guelph are both coin flips. Guelph did have a better goals-against record than Western over the entire run of the regular season, but then again, some guy also thought that would see Brock through.
  5. Saskatchewan (Canada West No. 2). Could hop right up there if they beat Alberta.
  6. Saint Mary's (AUS No. 2). It's not over yet, but they have St. FX down to its last strike.
  7. Queen's (OUA No. 3). So if Queen's should defeat Carleton after defeating Ottawa, does that make them the city champions? The mind reels.
  8. Lethbridge (host). They have some down time. Can they do my taxes?
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