The UPEI Panthers are the seventh-ranked men’s hockey team in the country.
The Panthers were one of three Atlantic University Sport (AUS) teams to make the first Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s hockey rankings.
The Panthers, who open the regular season Oct. 18 at Dalhousie, received 60 points.
“We’re obviously a long way from the finish line,” said coach Forbes MacPherson, “but it’s rewarding to have that early acknowledgement that we’ve had some success here in our non-conference play.”
The Panthers have a 5-1 pre-season record, including wins over St. Thomas, Trois-Rivieres, Dalhousie and two last week against Lakehead in Thunder Bay, Ont. UPEI’s lone loss was against Ottawa.
While the pre-season wins don’t count for anything, the early victories are important.
“It’s nice for momentum and confidence and building blocks for the regular season,” MacPherson said.
The team will have practices for the next week or so in preparation for Dalhousie.
The Alberta Golden Bears hold the top spot ahead of reigning University Cup champion UNB Varsity Reds. Saint Mary’s were ranked eighth.
Alberta received nine out of a possible 17 first-place votes and 162 points from the selection committee, compared to eight first-place nods and 160 points for UNB, which captured its fourth CIS title in seven years last winter.
It’s rewarding to have that early acknowledgement that we’ve had some success here in our non-conference play. Forbes MacPherson, UPEI Panthers men's hockey head coach
The regular season got under way this past weekend with six games in Canada West and two in the OUA.
CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10
Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a first-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. Alberta (2-0-0) / 162 points (9)
2. UNB (0-0-0) / 160 (8)
3. Western (0-0-0) / 86
4. Calgary (2-0-0) / 80
5. Waterloo (0-0-0) / 70
6. Saskatchewan (1-1-0) / 68
7. UPEI (0-0-0) / 60
8. Saint Mary’s (0-0-0) / 56
9. Carleton (0-0-0) / 54
10. UQTR (0-0-0) / 46
Other teams receiving votes: St. F.X. (32), McGill (19), Brock (15), Windsor (8), Ottawa (7), Manitoba (4), Queen’s (4), York (2), Acadia (1), Dalhousie (1).