Top-ranked UNB to open playoffs against No. 9 UPEI

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OTTAWA (ISN) – The reigning national champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds top the CIS men’s hockey rankings for the 12th time in 15 polls this season.

The V-Reds (20-5-3) received 15 first-place votes and 167 points this week from the 17-member media panel to remain at No. 1 in front of the McGill Redmen (22-4-2 / 2-0 playoffs), who earned the remaining first-place nods and 143 points in the new poll.

The only changes in the new Top 10 are at No. 3 and No. 4, with the Manitoba Bisons (20-5-3) moving ahead of the Western Mustangs (21-4-3 / 2-0 playoffs).

The No. 5 Alberta Golden Bears (20-6-2), No. 6 Saint Mary’s Huskies (18-7-3), No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (19-6-3), No. 8 Moncton Aigles Bleus (18-9-1 / 2-1 playoffs), No. 9 UPEI Panthers (18-10-0 / 2-1 playoffs) and No. 10 UQTR Patriotes (19-7-2 / 2-1 playoffs) all maintain their positions from last Tuesday.

Last weekend marked the start of the playoffs in the AUS and OUA conferences, while the regular season came to an end in Canada West.

Top-ranked UNB and No. 6 Saint Mary’s both enjoyed a bye in the first round of the AUS post-season after finishing first and second, respectively, in the league standings. The best-of-five Atlantic conference semifinal series open on Friday night with the V-Reds hosting UPEI and the Huskies playing host to Moncton.

UPEI and Moncton survived a scare in the AUS quarter-finals as both best-of-three series went the distance. The Panthers edged Acadia 6-5 in double overtime in Game 3, while the Aigles Bleus blanked StFX 1-0 in the decisive match.

In Ontario, logic was respected as nationally-ranked McGill, Western and UQTR all advanced to the second round. The Redmen downed Queen’s in two straight games, the Mustangs swept Laurier, while the Patriotes rebounded from an embarrassing 9-2 loss in their series opener against Ryerson to eliminate the Rams in three contests.

The best-of-three OUA East and West semifinals kick off Wednesday, including Ottawa at McGill, Carleton at UQTR, Brock at Western and Lakehead at Windsor.

In Canada West, an exciting finish to conference play saw Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan all sweep their final two-game sets against UBC, Lethbridge and Regina, respectively. The Bisons ended up with 43 points, one more than the Golden Bears and two more than the Huskies, to win the regular season title for the first time since the 1970-71 campaign.

Manitoba and Alberta will enjoy a bye in the first round of the Canada West post-season. The best-of-three semifinals open Friday with Saskatchewan hosting Lethbridge and Calgary hosting UBC.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#15)

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. UNB (20-5-3) / 167 pts (15) / (1)

2. McGill (22-4-2 / 2-0 playoffs) / 143 (2) / (2)

3. Manitoba (20-5-3) / 125 / (4)

4. Western (21-4-3 / 2-0 playoffs) / 112 / (3)

5. Alberta (20-6-2) / 110 / (5)

6. Saint Mary’s (18-7-3) / 91 / (6)

7. Saskatchewan (19-6-3) / 67 / (7)

8. Moncton (18-9-1 / 2-1 playoffs) / 39 / (8)

9. UPEI (18-10-0 / 2-1 playoffs) / 36 / (9)

10. UQTR (19-7-2 / 2-1 playoffs) / 20 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: Lakehead (13), Ottawa (5), Acadia (4), Calgary (2), Carleton (1).

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY SCHEDULE: Feb. 22-26 (all times LOCAL)

Wednesday, Feb. 22

19:30 Carleton at UQTR (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA East semifinal)

19:30 Ottawa at McGill (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA East semifinal)

19:30 Lakehead at Windsor (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA West semifinal)

19:30 Brock at Western (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA West semifinal)

Friday, Feb. 24

19:00 UPEI at UNB (Game 1 best-of-5 AUS semifinal)

19:00 Moncton at Saint Mary’s (Game 1 best-of-5 AUS semifinal)

19:00 McGill at Ottawa (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA East semifinal)

19:00 Lethbridge at Saskatchewan (Game 1 best-of-3 Canada West semifinal)

19:00 UBC at Calgary (Game 1 best-of-3 Canada West semifinal)

19:15 Western at Brock (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA West semifinal)

19:30 Windsor at Lakehead (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA West semifinal)

Saturday, Feb. 25

15:00 UQTR at Carleton (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA East semifinal)

19:00 UPEI at UNB (Game 2 best-of-5 AUS semifinal)

19:00 Moncton at Saint Mary’s (Game 2 best-of-5 AUS semifinal)

19:00 Lethbridge at Saskatchewan (Game 2 best-of-3 Canada West semifinal)

19:00 UBC at Calgary (Game 2 best-of-3 Canada West semifinal)

19:30 Windsor at Lakehead (if necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA West semifinal)

Sunday, Feb. 26

17:00 UBC at Calgary (if necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 Canada West semifinal)

19:00 Ottawa at McGill (if necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA East semifinal)

19:00 Lethbridge at Saskatchewan (if necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 Canada West semifinal)

19:30 Brock at Western (if necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA West semifinal)

20:00 Carleton at UQTR (if necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA East semifinal)

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