CIS MEN'S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#11): McGill No. 1 for first time in five years
OTTAWA (CIS) - The McGill Redmen are the new team to beat in Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's hockey.
The Redmen (17-2-2) received 12 of 17 first-place votes and 158 points from the national media panel to take over at No. 1 from the New Brunswick Varsity Reds (14-5-2), who had earned the top spot in each of the first 10 polls of the season.
UNB, the reigning University Cup champion, falls to No. 3 in the new Top 10 behind the Western Ontario Mustangs (18-2-2), who move up two positions this week. UNB and Western both received one first-place nod and 127 points from the panel, but the Mustangs were awarded second place thanks to a greater number of higher-placed votes.
No less than three other teams earned a first-place vote this week, including the No. 4 Moncton Aigles Bleus (15-6-0), No. 5 Acadia Axemen (15-6-1) and No. 8 Manitoba Bisons (14-4-2).
Rounding out the new national poll are the No. 6 Alberta Golden Bears (15-5-2), No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (15-5-2), No. 9 Trois-Rivières Patriotes (17-5-1) and No. 10 Saint Mary's Huskies (13-7-2).
McGill, which had been ranked second behind UNB each of the past eight weeks, moves up to No. 1 for the first time since February of 2006 (Feb. 21 poll). The Redmen edged Carleton 1-0 in a shootout Friday night in their lone outing of the past week, and are set to battle Ottawa (12-10-1) and Carleton (12-7-3) this weekend.
Western travelled to Thunder Bay and posted a pair of crucial 1-0 wins over Lakehead (16-6-0), which was ranked ninth in the country going into the weekend series. The No. 2 national ranking is the Mustangs' best since the 2003-04 campaign.
The No. 1 and No. 2 rankings for McGill and Western also mark the first time since 1998-99 that OUA teams hold the top two positions in the CIS men's hockey poll.
Meanwhile, UNB has now dropped four of its last five contests following weekend losses to Moncton, 5-1, and UPEI, 8-7. The V-Reds had been No. 1 in 21 consecutive ranking periods dating back to December of 2010.
Also of note in the 11th poll of the campaign is a four-spot drop by Saskatchewan. Fresh off a huge two-game sweep of archrival Alberta two weeks ago, the Huskies went 0-for-2 in Winnipeg this past weekend, losing 4-2 and 3-1 to Manitoba.
Following results from the last seven days, the standings in all CIS divisions and conferences are as close as ever with less than a month remaining in the regular season.
In the OUA East, McGill holds a slim one-point advantage over UQTR. The Redmen, however, have two games in hand.
In the OUA West, Western has the biggest lead in the country, six points over Lakehead with six games to play.
In the AUS, UNB fell into a tie for second place with Moncton, one point behind Acadia.
Finally, in Canada West, Saskatchewan and Alberta are now tied atop the standings but Manitoba trails the Huskies and Bears by only two points, with two games in hand.
CIS MEN'S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#11)
Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points. The CIS Men's Ice Hockey Top Ten Committee is made up of media members from across Canada.
(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)
1. McGill (17-2-2) / 158 pts (12) / (2)
2. Western Ontario (18-2-2) / 127 (1) / (4) *
3. UNB (14-5-2) / 127 (1) / (1)
4. Moncton (15-6-0) / 107 (1) / (7)
5. Acadia (15-6-1) / 106 (1) / (6)
6. Alberta (15-5-2) / 94 / (5)
7. Saskatchewan (15-5-2) / 85 / (3)
8. Manitoba (14-4-2) / 65 (1) / (9)
9. UQTR (17-5-1) / 31 / (NR)
10. Saint Mary's (13-7-2) / 13 / (10) *
Other teams receiving votes: Lakehead (13), UPEI (7), UBC (2).
* Western Ontario (over UNB) and Saint Mary's (over Lakehead) were awarded the higher ranking based on number of higher-placed votes.
For more information contact:
Manager, Communications & Media Relations
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Off: 613-562-5670 ext. 25
belanger [at] universitysport [dot] ca