The UPEI Panthers will be battling the top-ranked team in Canada when they open their Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey semifinal series Thursday in Fredericton, N.B.
The UNB Varsity Reds are ranked as the top men's hockey squad in the country once again this week.
The latest CIS top-10 poll released Tuesday has the Varsity Reds on top of the national ranking for the fourth consecutive week, while the team prepares to face the Panthers.
The Varsity Reds received 12 of the 17-member panel’s first-place votes. The other five top votes went to the Alberta Golden Bears.
Despite the Varsity Reds ranking, UPEI assistant captain Chris DeSousa told the Guardian earlier this week the team is confident.
“We definitely believe in ourselves and this dressing room.”
The Panthers swept the St. F.X. X-Men in the first playoff round with a pair of one-goal games, including a 5-4 double overtime win to end the series.
UPEI received six votes from the CIS panel after the playoff sweep but not enough to crack the top-10 rankings.
UNB ended conference play with eight consecutive wins, sealing a first round playoff bye.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series will also be played in Fredericton on Friday night, while Game 3 is Monday night in Charlottetown.
If necessary, Game 4 will also be played in Charlottetown on Tuesday. All game times are 7 p.m.
The other quarter-final series begins tonight as the Saint Mary's Huskies host the Acadia Axemen in Halifax.
The UPEI athletics and recreation department has released ticket information for the games at MacLauchlan Arena.
Season seat holders can pick up their holding seats at the CARI Complex box office Friday and Saturday, from 12 to 5 p.m. on both days.
General tickets go on sale at the box office Sunday and Monday, from 12 to 5 p.m. on both days.
For those purchasing tickets for both games, should Game 4 not be required, the ticket value can either be reimbursed or credited towards a season seat for next season.
All tickets are $15 each.