CIS Men’s Hockey Top 10 (#14): UNB back in driver’s seat heading into final week of league play

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds are back at No. 1 in the CIS men's hockey national rankings just in time for the end of the regular season.

Ranked second behind the Saskatchewan Huskies each of the past two weeks, the V-Reds (21-3-2) return to the top for the first time in three months after receiving 14 of 15 first-place votes and 149 points in the new media poll. UNB led three consecutive rankings during the fall semester, including the Oct. 27, Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 polls.

The UQTR Patriotes (22-3-1), who merited the remaining first-place nod, also move up one spot this week thanks to a 132-point tally. Saskatchewan (21-5-0) drops to No. 3 with 118 points.

Rounding out the 14th poll of the campaign are the fourth-ranked Acadia Axemen (18-6-2 / 87 points / no change), No. 5 Alberta Golden Bears (17-7-2 / 83 / up two positions), No. 6 McGill Redmen (21-5-1 / 80 / down one), No. 7 Mount Royal Cougars (17-6-3 / 74 / down one), No. 8 St. Francis Xavier X-Men (17-6-3 / 39 / up one), No. 9 Carleton Ravens (19-7-0 / 27 / down one) and No. 10 Saint Mary's Huskies (16-8-2 / 23 / no change).

UNB (AUS), UQTR (OUA) and Saskatchewan (Canada West) have all secured first place overall in their respective conferences heading into the final week of league play. The Varsity Reds and Huskies, however, achieved opposite results this past weekend against Top-10 competition.

UNB extended its impressive winning streak to 12 consecutive league games – including a perfect 11-0 record in 2016 – thanks to a 6-2 defeat of Saint Mary's and a 7-4 decision over Acadia.

Meanwhile in Saskatoon, the Huskies saw their own nine-game winning streak come to an end as they were swept on home ice by archrival Alberta, 3-0 and 5-2.

For its part, UQTR has now won seven straight after crushing RMC 13-0 and Nipissing 8-1. Thanks to four goals and five assists over the two-game set, third-year forward Guillaume Asselin is now the CIS leader in goals (27) and points (46) with two contests remaining on the Patriotes' schedule.

No less than five Top-10 battles highlight the final week of conference play, including (all times LOCAL):

Wednesday, 7 p.m.: No. 4 Acadia at No. 8 StFX (AUStv.ca)
Friday, 7 p.m.: No. 10 Saint Mary's at No. 4 Acadia (AUStv.ca)
Friday, 7 p.m.: No. 2 UQTR at No. 9 Carleton (OUA.tv)
Friday, 7 p.m.: No. 5 Alberta at No. 7 Mount Royal (CanadaWest.tv)
Saturday, 6 p.m.: No. 7 Mount Royal at No. 5 Alberta (CanadaWest.tv)

CIS MEN'S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#14)

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 ranking)

1. UNB (21-3-2) / 149 points (14) / (2)
2. UQTR (22-3-1) / 132 (1) / (3)
3. Saskatchewan (21-5-0) / 118 / (1)
4. Acadia (18-6-2) / 87 / (4)
5. Alberta (17-7-2) / 83 / (7)
6. McGill (21-5-1) / 80 / (5)
7. Mount Royal (17-6-3) / 74 / (6)
8. StFX (17-6-3) / 39 / (9)
9. Carleton (19-7-0) / 27 / (8)
10. Saint Mary's (16-8-2) / 23 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: Western (8), York (4), Manitoba (1).

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