OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears top the CIS men's hockey rankings for the second straight week after claiming the 50th Canada West banner in program history.
The Bears (23-4-1 regular season / 4-1 playoffs) received 13 first-place votes – two more than last week - and 166 points from the 17-member media panel to remain in front of the New Brunswick Varsity Reds (23-5-0 / 4-2), who earned the remaining first-place nods and 157 points.
The only change in the 18th national poll of the campaign sees the Waterloo Warriors (12-11-5 / 6-1) move past the Carleton Ravens (19-7-2 / 5-3) in sixth position.
Rounding out the new Top 10 are the No. 3 UQTR Patriotes (21-6-1 / 6-1), No. 4 Saint Mary's Huskies (18-7-3 / 4-2), No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies (19-8-1 / 3-3), No. 8 Windsor Lancers (18-9-1 / 4-2), No. 9 UPEI Panthers (15-11-2 / 3-3) and No. 10 Western Mustangs (21-5-2 / 3-2).
UNB, UQTR and Waterloo all punched their tickets for the CIS championship over the past week, joining Alberta, Saint Mary's and tournament host Saskatchewan for the PotashCorp University Cup, presented by Co-op, from March 14 to 17 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.
The V-Reds dominated UPEI 5-1 last Tuesday (Feb. 26) to win their best-of-five semifinal series in four games and earn the chance to battle the Huskies for the AUS crown. The best-of-three final is currently tied at one apiece following a 1-0 UNB win in double overtime in Game 1 and a 5-2 Saint Mary's victory in Game 2. The third-and decisive contest is set for Thursday night in Fredericton.
The Patriotes advanced the hard way, edging Carleton 2-1 in quadruple OT in the winner-take-all duel of the best-of-three OUA East final, on Sunday. Pierre-Olivier Moring was the hero with an unassisted University Cup clincher after 54:17 of extra time.
The Warriors swept Windsor 3-2 in OT and 5-3 in the OUA West final. Waterloo hosts UQTR on Saturday in the single-game OUA Wilson Cup title match.
In the best-of-three Canada West championship series, the top-ranked Bears blanked the Huskies 5-0 in the opener, lost the second confrontation 5-4 in OT, and then rebounded with a solid 5-2 win in Game 3.