Coming out of the Canada-West Conference the Mount Royal Cougars are currently on the brink of making the 2014 postseason and with that let’s look at some marquee wins that could get them that spot as they top my rankings as one of the storied teams of the season. The Cougars have had 11 wins on the season and 4 of those have came against top 10 teams in Canada, 3 of them being against top 4 teams. Yes this Cougars team has had their share of bad performances and although I don’t expect them to make a huge playoff run, I expect them to compete at their highest level that they have showed they are capable of against some of the best teams in Canada.
In perhaps 1 of the biggest upsets of the year the RMC Paladins being one of the worst teams in CIS Men’s Hockey defeated the 17-5-5 Queen’s Golden Gaels team who has been in and out of the top 10 for the majority of the season in their best game of the season back on February 6th by a score of 2-1. Why is this important at all? For the Paladins, it was nice to see a team who has had so many struggles defeat a solid team so late in the season without giving up but meanwhile for the Gaels, it was a huge loss in the standings that could be the difference from 1st place to as low as 4th and in the playoffs, that difference could be huge in the grand scheme of things.
Just 1 season ago the Queen’s Golden Gaels were near the bottom of the standings in the OUA at season’s end at 10-11-7. With 1 weekend remaining this season, the Golden Gaels have changed the script dramatically as they currently sit just 4 points back of 1st place at 17-5-5, which is tied for 4th in the huge 20-team conference. Why the dramatic change on the Gaels Campus? This season they have given up an impressive 54 goals, 1 year ago 87 goals went by Gaels goaltenders over their 28 game period. Offensively they have scored 5 more goals than a season ago so if you add up both of those major categories, the records sort out themselves. The Gaels are a prime example of what hard work and good recruits can do to a team in the span of 1 season.
The Carleton Ravens are currently ranked 6th in Canada but are arguably one of the hottest teams in the entire country. They are on the midst of an 11-game win streak and have been almost unbeatable on home ice going 12-1 and being 20-5-1 overall on the season. In their current 11-game win streak the Ravens have outscored their opponents 51-16 and if that isn’t impressive enough, they are 4th in Canada in goals against only allowing 62. The Ravens are 1 point ahead of 2nd place in the division; with 2 games coming up this weekend that you would look at as most likely wins you could see the Ravens enter the playoffs as the #1 Seed. How long will this streak last? Stay tuned to Ravens hockey as it could last for quite a well longer if they keep up with this pace they’re on.
The Alberta Golden Bears once again top the rankings at #1. Out of 15 weeks they have been ranked #1 11 times while being bumped down only 1 spot to #2 for the remaining 4 weeks. Is this really the best team in Canada? Well how could you not think so, they have allowed the fewest goals by far letting in 47 while scoring the most at 135. The next closest team is the McGill Redmen who have potted 120 goals this season. In the last 10 games, they’re 9-1 including a 5-game win streak, all adding up to a 23-2-1 record in one of the better conferences. If these performances keep up, these Bears could improve on the 1-1 record they had last year at the University Cup. Stay tuned.
The regular season has been a thrill in Canada thus far and with one weekend to play, many things have yet to be determined but above I have talked about some upsets and storied teams as we inch closer to the season ending University Cup.
MRU: Sergei Belski
Feature: Amber Bracken