OTTAWA (CIS) - The University of Alberta Golden Bears move up one position in the second national poll of the young CIS men's hockey season to claim the No. 1 spot from the New Brunswick Varsity Reds, who drop to second place in the new Top 10.
Alberta and UNB both received seven first-place votes from the 17-member media panel this week but the Bears tallied a total of 155 points compared to 133 for the V-Reds. The UQTR Patriotes (1), Western Mustangs (1) and St. Francis Xavier X-Men (1) also received first-place consideration.
Rounding out the new poll behind Alberta and UNB are No. 3 UQTR and the No. 4 Saskatchewan Huskies, who both hold on to their previous position; the No. 5 Moncton Aigles Bleus, up three spots; No. 6 Western, staying put; No. 7 StFX, up a pair; the No. 8 Calgary Dinos, down one; the No. 9 UPEI Panthers, unranked last week; and the Lakehead Thunderwolves, who hold on at No. 10.
The big losers in this week's voting were the reigning University Cup champion McGill Redmen, who opened at No. 5 last Tuesday despite an 0-2 start to the regular season, and now find themselves outside the Top 10 with a 1-3 conference record.
McGill wasn't the only powerhouse to struggle over the past seven days as seven Top-10 teams, including the top five, suffered their first conference loss.
Alberta (3-1-0) moves up to No. 1 despite splitting a two-game set against CIS newcomer Mount Royal that included a 3-1 home win on Friday and a 2-1 road loss on Saturday. Things don't get any easier this week for the Bears as they travel to Saskatoon for a pair of contests against the No. 4 Huskies (3-1-0), who also split a doubleheader last weekend, losing 3-1 and winning 2-1 against Manitoba.
UNB (1-1-0) opened the AUS schedule last Friday with a solid 5-2 win over cross-town rival St. Thomas but the V-Reds were outplayed in their own rink the following night, falling 5-2 to Moncton (1-1-0).
Third-ranked UQTR improved to 3-0 in league play last Friday thanks to a 3-2 win at Nipissing, only to lose 6-2 at Ottawa the next day.
One night before its big win over UNB, Moncton had lost 4-3 to UPEI in its conference opener.
In addition to the two-game series between Alberta and Saskatchewan, Top-10 battles this week include No. 9 UPEI at No. 7 StFX on Friday, and No. 2 UNB at StFX on Saturday.