CIS Men’s Hockey Top 10 (#16): No. 1 UNB, defending champ Alberta begin playoff run

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds top the CIS men's hockey rankings for the third straight week.

The V-Reds (23-3-2), who are set to begin their post-season run after enjoying a bye in the first round of the AUS conference playoffs, received all but one first-place vote this week from the 16-member media panel and easily hold on to the pole position with 157 points.

The remaining first-place nod went to the UQTR Patriotes (24-3-1 / 2-0 playoffs), who remain comfortably at No. 2 thanks to their 139-point tally.

Rounding out the 16th poll of the campaign are the third-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies (22-6-0 / 129 points / no change), No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears (19-7-2 / 112 / no change), No. 5 St. Francis Xavier X-Men (18-6-4 / 90 / up one position), No. 6 McGill Redmen (21-6-1 / 2-0 playoffs / 83 / up one), No. 7 Mount Royal Cougars (17-8-3 / 2-0 playoffs / 49 / up two) No. 8 Carleton Ravens (20-7-1 / 2-0 playoffs / 44 / no change), No. 10 Saint Mary's Huskies (17-8-3 / 2-0 playoffs / 34 / up one) and No. 10 Acadia Axemen (19-7-2 / 0-2 playoffs / 13 / down five).

In addition to UNB, Saskatchewan, Alberta and StFX also enjoyed a well-deserved rest this past week.

Five of the six Top-10 teams in action in the opening round of playoffs swept their best-of-three series, including UQTR (vs. Laurentian), McGill (vs. Concordia), Mount Royal (vs. UBC), Carleton (vs. Nipissing) and Saint Mary's (vs. Moncton).

Meanwhile, Acadia saw its season come to an abrupt end after back-to-back losses to unranked UPEI (11-14-3), which finished 15 points back of the Axemen in the AUS standings.

The top-ranked V-Reds join the post-season dance on Thursday when they host UPEI in Fredericton for the opening game of a best-of-five AUS semifinal series. StFX and Saint Mary's battle for the other spot in the Atlantic final.

In the ultra-competitive OUA East, the best-of-three divisional semis will see UQTR take on UOIT and McGill square off against Carleton.

In the best-of three Canada West semis, top-seeded Saskatchewan faces Calgary, while Alberta opens the defence of its back-to-back University Cup national titles against Mount Royal.

Finally, in OUA West best-of-three series featuring four unranked teams, Western is up against Toronto and Guelph tackles Ryerson.

A complete second-round playoff schedule is included below.

CIS MEN'S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#16)

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 / playoff records) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous ranking)

1. UNB (23-3-2) / 157 points (15) / (1)
2. UQTR (24-3-1 / 2-0) / 139 (1) / (2)
3. Saskatchewan (22-6-0) / 129 / (3)
4. Alberta (19-7-2) / 112 / (4)
5. StFX (18-6-4) / 90 / (6)
6. McGill (21-6-1 / 2-0) / 83 / (7)
7. Mount Royal (17-8-3 / 2-0) / 49 / (9)
8. Carleton (20-7-1 / 2-0) / 44 / (8)
9. Saint Mary's (17-8-3 / 2-0) / 34 / (10)
10. Acadia (19-7-2 / 0-2) / 13 / (5)

Other teams receiving votes: Western (12), Calgary (7), UPEI (6), UOIT (3), Ryerson (2).

SEMIFINAL SERIES (ALL TIMES LOCAL)

AUS: Best-of-5 (AUStv.ca)

Game 1: Thursday, Feb. 25 - UPEI at UNB (19:00)
Game 2: Friday, Feb. 26 – UPEI at UNB (19:00)
Game 3: Monday, Feb. 29 – UNB at UPEI (19:00)
Game 4: Tuesday, March 1 – UNB at UPEI (19:00 - if necessary)
Game 5: Friday, March 4 - UPEI at UNB (19:00 - if necessary)

Game 1: Thursday, Feb. 25 - Saint Mary's at StFX (19:00)
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 27 - Saint Mary's at StFX (19:00)
Game 3: Monday, Feb. 29 – StFX at Saint Mary's (19:00)
Game 4: Wednesday, March 2 – StFX at Saint Mary's (19:00 - if necessary)
Game 5: Friday, March 4 – Saint Mary's at StFX (19:00 - if necessary)

OUA WEST: Best-of-3 (OUA.tv)

Game 1: Wednesday, Feb. 24 - Toronto at Western (19:00)
Game 2: Friday, Feb. 26 - Western at Toronto (19:30)
Game 3: Sunday, Feb. 28 - Toronto at Western (19:30 - if necessary)

Game 1: Thursday, Feb. 25 – Ryerson at Guelph (19:30)
Game 2: Friday, Feb. 26 – Guelph at Ryerson (19:30)
Game 3: Sunday, Feb. 28 – Ryerson at Guelph (19:30 - if necessary)

OUA EAST: Best-of-3 (OUA.tv)

Game 1: Wednesday, Feb. 24 - Carleton at McGill (19:00)
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 27 - McGill at Carleton (19:00)
Game 3: Sunday, Feb. 28 - Carleton at McGill (20:00 - if necessary)

Game 1: Wednesday, Feb. 24 - UQTR at UOIT (19:30)
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 27 - UOIT at UQTR (16:00)
Game 3: Sunday, Feb. 28 - UOIT at UQTR (16:00 - if necessary)

CANADA WEST: Best-of-3 (CanadaWest.tv)

Game 1: Friday, Feb. 26 - Calgary at Saskatchewan (19:00)
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 27 - Calgary at Saskatchewan (19:00)
Game 3: Sunday, Feb. 28 - Calgary at Saskatchewan (19:00 - if necessary)

Game 1: Friday, Feb. 26 – Mount Royal at Alberta (19:00)
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 27 - Mount Royal at Alberta (18:00)
Game 3: Sunday, Feb. 28 - Mount Royal at Alberta (18:00 - if necessary)

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