Men's Puck Bracketology: We are all Pronghorns

The University Cup is not so much seeded, as it is slotted.

The something-for-everyone regionalism that defines (and confines) Canada comes into play. For review, conference champions are seeded 1-2-3. The Ontario runner-up draws into the No. 4 seed. Five and six fall to finalists from down east and out west. The OUA has a third assigned berth that is part of the deal for taking in three Quebec schools. 

So be it. The reality is that the seeding is based more on your conference than how your team actually does that hockey. It might look like this:
Lethbridge (host)
The only limb to go slightly out on is whether the seeding committee would really care about Lethbridge playing the Canada West champion in the quarterfinal. After all, they're not really in the same league with Alberta or Saskatchewan.

Following the chalk, a tentative first stab at the field:
  1. UNB (AUS champion). A plus-91 goal differential. Next year AUS should increase the regular season again, just so the Varsity Reds can go for 100.
  2. Alberta (Canada West champion). The conference has been very top-heavy, with Alberta and Saskatchewan playing their four games before Christmas and then pulverizing everyone else. Alberta gets the benefit of the doubt strictly for the fact it enters the playoffs on a longer win streak.
  3. Ottawa (OUA champion). Again, defer to goal differential; the Gee-Gees were plus-52 playing in the deeper half of their conference.
  4. Brock (OUA No. 2). The Badgers allow one fewer goal per game than Ryerson, which does have home-ice advantage throughout OUA West playoffs.

    For those wondering, the No. 4 seed/OUA runner-up is 1-3 at nationals over the last four seasons, with a minus-11 goal differential.
  5. Saskatchewan (Canada West No. 2). The perennial bridesmaid — three consecutive semifinals, but no University Cup yet.
  6. Saint Mary's (AUS No. 2). Upsets happen in AUS, but Saint Mary's is basically lying in wait while St. Francis Xavier and Acadia play a series where players are going to have suppress a lot of emotion.
  7. Carleton (OUA No. 3). Really, it could be any two among Ottawa, Carleton, McGill and Queen's emerging for the OUA Queen's Cup and the third-place play-in game. The season to date points to Ottawa, history points to McGill, hot-hand theories point to Carleton and coaching suggests Queen's could be a tough out.
  8. Lethbridge (host). Looking at a 25-day layoff before the touranment if/after they get swept by Calgary. 
The University Cup is March 14-17 at Lethbridge.
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