Photo credit David Moll
OTTAWA (CIS) – For the first time in 17 years, the University of Calgary Dinos are the team to beat in CIS men’s hockey.
After spending the last two weeks at No. 2, the Dinos (15-0-1) received 16 of 17 first-place votes and 169 points this week from the national media panel to move past their archrivals, the Alberta Golden Bears (14-2), who had led the first eight polls of the campaign and who drop to second place this week after tallying the remaining first-place nod and 149 points.
The Dinos had last reached the top of the CIS charts in the fall of 1996, when they held the pole position for first straight weeks (Oct. 20 to Nov. 25 polls).
There is also movement right behind the two leaders in the new Top 10 as the Acadia Axemen (11-1-2) gain one position to reach a season-high No. 3, while the defending University Cup champion UNB Varsity Reds (11-2-1) slide to the fourth spot, their lowest ranking this fall.
Rounding out the final poll of the fall semester are the No. 5 McGill Redmen (11-3-1 / no change), No. 6 UQTR Patriotes (11-4 / no change), No. 7 Lakehead Thunderwolves (11-3 / no change), No. 8 Queen’s Gaels (10-0-5 / no change), as well as the No. 9 Windsor Lancers (11-4) and No. 10 Ryerson Rams (10-5), both unranked last Tuesday.
Top-ranked Calgary resumed its domination of Canada West opponents last weekend with a convincing two-game sweep against Regina, 8-2 and 9-0. The only blemish on the Dinos’ conference record so far this season is a 3-2 shootout loss to Alberta on Nov. 23.
Alberta couldn’t quite keep pace with its provincial rivals over the weekend, dropping a 5-4 decision to Manitoba on Saturday after dominating the Bisons 8-1 in Friday’s series opener. The Bears trail the Dinos by three points in the Canada West standings heading into the December break.
The race for first place is even tighter in the other CIS divisions at the end of the first semester.
In the AUS, Acadia defeated UNB 5-1 on home ice on Saturday to build a slim one-point lead over last year’s national champs going into the break.
In the OUA East, Queen’s leads the way with 25 points, followed by McGill (23), UQTR (22) and Ottawa (21).
In the OUA West, Lakehead and Windsor are tied for first with 22 points, two more than Ryerson and Toronto.
The next CIS men’s hockey rankings will be release on January 7.
CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#9)
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)
1. Calgary (15-0-1) / 169 points (16) / (2)
2. Alberta (14-2-0) / 149 (1) / (1)
3. Acadia (11-1-2) / 140 / (4)
4. UNB (11-2-1) / 118 / (3)
5. McGill (11-3-1) / 97 / (5)
6. UQTR (11-4-0) / 67 / (6)
7. Lakehead (11-3-0) / 64 / (7)
8. Queen’s (10-0-5) / 57 / (8)
9. Windsor (11-4-0) / 43 / (NR)
10. Ryerson (10-5-0) / 9 / (NR)
Other teams receiving votes: Moncton (6), Western (6), Saskatchewan (4), Ottawa (3), UPEI (2), StFX (1).
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