AUS Predictions 2017-2018

Discussion in 'NCAA, U Sports, and other college' started by ProjectAUS, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. ProjectAUS

    ProjectAUS Registered User

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    Hey everyone,

    Back for my annual post. Would love to see everyone's predictions regarding what they believe the standings are going to look like in the AUS this year. Which will be different, due to the fact that we don't have the powerhouse of UNB like the last few years, I'll give it a go here.

    1. StFX: I really argued with myself on this one, as I predicted big things for them in the regular season last year and they were disappointing, however; they were stellar in the playoffs.....upon until the U Cup. It is just too hard to not pick this team, they graduated one player, and brought in some stellar recruits, especially in Centorame. Hard not to take this team.

    2. SMU: I think with the pieces that Acadia and UNB both lost this is going to allow for Steiny's boys to jump into the bye with X. Garlent is going to be stellar and improve on his year last year, and they brought in some very nice additions. This team will give the X-Men a run.

    3. UNB: People who think this team is going to slip as dramatically as some are saying, don't know what MacDougall has going on in Fredericton. Do I think they are a powerhouse again? No. Will they be in "rebuild mode?" No. I think this team remains a top three team in the AUS, and will beat SMU and X at points during the season. They will not slip as far as some people may think.

    4. Acadia: Burnsie has had a good thing going over the last few years.....during the regular season. They may be bragging about their bronze medal last year at Nationals, but lets not forget two consecutive early outings in the playoffs. This team has big and slow defence and are playing on Olympic ice, someone explain the sense of that to me? Also, they try to play rough and tough, with a team that isn't rough and tough, which leads to bad penalties, and power play opportunities, with the loss of key pieces, they slip this year.

    5. UPEI: This team just can't decide if they want to be a bottom feeder, or if they want to be a contender. They show flashes of both at times during the regular season, but cannot hold on to either distinction, Forbes will say this team is going to win the National Championship this year, but I'll believe that one when I see it.

    6. DAL: This is the year. It would have happened last year had Boes not gotten injured, but the Tigers will make the playoffs this year. Honestly, they may even finish in fifth, I think it is going to come down to the head-to-head series with UPEI.

    7. UdeM: I don't think this needs much explanation. This team is headed in the right direction, but it's going to be a tough year for the Aigles.

    These are my pre-pre season predictions, and as well know this league can be wild, and these could go very quickly out the window, for fun I will include my playoff tree prediction below.

    Round One:
    X/SMU: Bye

    UNB 2 - DAL 0
    ACA 2 - UPEI 1

    Round Two:

    X 3 - ACA 1
    SMU 3 - UNB 2

    Round Three

    X 2 - SMU 1

    X wins again and goes on to the U Cup with SMU and UNB.

    Can't wait to see how wrong I am in March.
     
  2. FreddtFoyle

    FreddtFoyle Registered User

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    That Varsity Reds team from last season was the most complete team I have seen since the 1997-98 team, and it is hard to compare because the game and the level of players has changed so much.

    UNB has graduated a ton of talent and leadership, including 4/5 of the best power play unit in the country. They will be a lot younger this season, so there will be a lot of questions. I think the defence is still solid, but will account for far fewer goals this season. Up front, you can't replace Phil Maillet, but I think a healthy Chris Clapperton will give Hunter Garlent a run for the AUS scoring title. In discussion with Drummer, I think this UNB team will take until Christmas to sort themselves out, and depending on which of Gardiner's yet-unnamed AHL-camp recruits come in at Christmas, they could become another powerhouse. But I would not be surprised to see them in 2nd or 3rd at the Christmas break.

    I see StFX and Acadia battling the first half for first place, with SMU and UNB nipping at their heels. The Axemen normally swoon in the second half, and I see them then being overtaken by UNB.

    Not sure where SMU will finish, but they will be in the hunt. I don't believe UPEI has the talent yet to crack the top four, and Moncton is a work in progress. If Boes stays healthy, I could see Dal passing UdeM for the final playoff spot.
     
  3. UNB Bruins Fan

    UNB Bruins Fan Registered User

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    I'm going to wait until just before the regular season begins to give my full predictions, but in the meantime I want to put on my homer glasses and give my take on UNB for the upcoming season.

    I think every one of us on here agrees that they lost a ton of talent and almost certainly aren't going to go 25-2-3 again, but I have always said that in terms of the regular season they are the team to beat until proven otherwise and I don't see that changing this year, even in a "rebuilding" year.

    A couple random points:

    - They outscored the opposition by 87 goals last year (148-61 or 4.9-2.0 per game). The next best team was Acadia at +25. Even if UNB scored 1 fewer goal per game and allowed 1 more goal per game this season they would still have a better goal differential than anyone else had last year (and the chances of that happening may be a stretch given the last time they either averaged less than 4 goals/game or gave up more than 3 goals/game was in 2006/07, when they did both). Even averaging 1 fewer goal per game (for 118 total) would have still led the league last year and giving up 1 more goal per game (for 91 total) would have put them 2nd.

    Ultimately, their starting point is so much higher than anyone else that even a sharp decline would still put them as the best, or one of the best, teams in the league in terms of goal differential, which usually corresponds to to your place in the standings. So instead of blowing teams out every night the games will be a bit tighter, which means 4-2 or 4-3 wins instead of 5-2. Remember, they finished 5 wins and 11 points clear of the 2nd place Axemen and 9 wins and 19 points ahead of 3rd place X so there is definitely some wiggle room to slip and still at least finish in the top two.

    - On the other hand, St. FX and SMU were both negative goal differential teams last year (and barely over .500 record-wise). I'm not so sure that they are all of a sudden going to go from that to the +30 or more that would be needed to finish in 1st place. Yes, X only lost one player, but he was also their best player who's contributions I would confidently assume went well beyond his on-ice play. Having said that, I think if any team is to finally overtake UNB for the regular season pennant, it will be the X-Men. SMU will probably be better just based on having better health alone, but still not sure they are going to jump from 15 wins to the 20 or so that it will take to get a 1st round bye.

    - Increasing your goal differential by 30 or more goals from one season to the next is fairly uncommon. Since 2006/07 the biggest year-to-year increases belong to UNB in 2007/08 (+61 increase from previous year), 2011/12 Moncton (+41), 2008/09 Acadia (+37), 2007/08 SMU (+36), 2010/11, St. FX (+34), and 2013/14 Moncton (+34). Teams usually gradually increase or decrease from year to year rather than seeing huge spikes.

    - Good assessment from ProjectAUS on Acadia and how they have built their team the last few years. I had never really thought about it, but their strategy and style of play does seem a bit misguided given their rink. Also, they have faltered enough times down the stretch recently that they need to prove to me that they can get it done before I pick them to finish on top.

    - As 'Foyle said, don't underestimate the fact that UNB might be able to add two players at Christmas, and these are almost always big-time, impact players. By then they will know what weakness will need to be addressed and can act accordingly. They have tended to really turn it up after the break and pull away from the pack in the 2nd half and we could see something similar this year.

    - While I don't foresee UNB averaging almost 5 goals/game again, I think you may see a bit more balanced scoring attack. Last year at times they seemed to rely on the top line a little too much. They have plenty of guys who could very easily step up their game and have a break out season, not to mention hopefully having Clapperton for a full season after he missed the first half last year. With regards to the defense, I don't see them contributing as much offense as last year but they may actually be better defensively and in their own end without having Murray/Petgrave, as crazy as that sounds. Their penchant for joining the rush definitely led to lots of goals for, but also odd-man rushes coming back the other way.

    - As I mentioned in my predictions for last year, if anything the longer schedule makes it more likely UNB is going to finish first IMO. They have taken care of business with very few blemishes against the lesser lights (Moncton/Dalhousie/UPEI) the last decade while X/Acadia/SMU tend to drop some of those very winnable games a bit more frequently.

    Anyways, that's my take. As you can probably guess, my prediction is that UNB will once again finish first in the regular season.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  4. Big Bad Jon

    Big Bad Jon Registered User

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    1. UNB
    2. Stfx
    3. SMU
    4. Acadia
    5. DAL
    6. UPEI
    7. Moncton

    Coach Mac is too good not to have UNB in first
     
  5. Drummer

    Drummer Better Red than Dead

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    Great analysis Bruins Fan - very insightful. Pretty amazing that UNB could give back 30 goals and give up 30 goals and still be in first.

    I'm waiting to see what happens in the preseason. I thought 2014/15 was going to be a 'rebuild' for UNB and they went to the finals. So I agree that their 1st until someone else steps up.

    I gave SFX the nod last season and they stunk up the Regular Season (but did win the AUS title).

    UNB has been the best defensive team in the country the past two seasons and in the top 5 for many more. In today's hockey - defense win's titles and I can't see UNB changing that approach. With no changes in the coaches ranks, a winning culture, the drive to remain 1st - it's really a question of chemistry.
     
  6. Rob

    Rob Registered User

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    1. STFX
    2. UNB
    3. Acadia
    4. SMU
    5. UPEI
    6. Dalhousie
    7. Moncton

    Definitely the toughest prediction year so far. X should be the best team. If they had kept Eric Locke for one more year they would have been a sure thing. Great recruiting on paper for UNB but it is so hard to say how they are going to gel. Goaltending is a question mark. I could see them finishing first or fourth.
    Moncton in for a tough year.
     
  7. AUS

    AUS Registered User

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    Funny how you guys puts Moncton last as they just beat Concordia ( who had a big summer recruiting QMJHL stars ) and played well against STFX who's probably the best team in the AUS this year...
     
  8. RG3hockey

    RG3hockey Flyers fan

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    I'll go with...

    1. Stfx
    2. Acadia
    3. UNB
    4. UPEI
    5. SMU
    6. Moncton
    7. DAL
     
  9. Drummer

    Drummer Better Red than Dead

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    With the completion of the pre-season, here are my picks.

    1. UNB (ten pennants in a row despite 3 previous rebuilds, 2010, 12 & 15 all worked out - 1st until they're not)
    2. SMU (a strong pre-season and good recruits)
    3. SFX (a mature team, but the loss of Locke hurts)
    4. ACD (3rd at UCup last year, but I'm still not convinced)
    5. UPEI (a good showing in the US, but didn't win a pre-season game vs a contender)
    6. UdeM (giving them the benefit of the doubt - at least they've scored in the pre-season)
    --
    7. DAL (0-3 in the pre-season, 3 shutouts for 15-0 GA vs GF, at least UdeM has scored some goals)
    8. STU (kind of obvious)
     
  10. UNB Bruins Fan

    UNB Bruins Fan Registered User

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    UNB
    St. FX
    SMU
    ACA
    PEI
    DAL

    UdeM
     
  11. cishockeyfan

    cishockeyfan Registered User

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    my predictions, UNB shouldnt finish first cause of the Turnover but I believe they reloaded in a big way enough to still finish first.

    1. UNB
    2. St FX
    3. St Mary's
    4. Acadia
    5. Moncton
    6. Dalhousie
    7. UPEI (Will Miss the Playoffs)

    The 3 Ghost Division will be

    1. St Thomas
    2. Mount Allison
    3. UCCB
     
  12. Drummer

    Drummer Better Red than Dead

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    The Flying Dutchman Division
    1. St Thomas
    2. Mount Allison
    3. UCCB
    4. Kings
    5. TUNS
     
  13. FreddtFoyle

    FreddtFoyle Registered User

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    You forgot Memorial University in Newfoundland.

    :)
     
  14. Drummer

    Drummer Better Red than Dead

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    Ah yes - can't forget the rock.

    The Flying Dutchman Division
    1. St Thomas
    2. Mount Allison
    3. UCCB
    4. Kings
    5. TUNS
    6. MUN
     
  15. UNB Bruins Fan

    UNB Bruins Fan Registered User

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    Reading the Bruce Hallihan’s AUS Preview and he notes that Max Iafrate isn’t back this year for St. FX. Is anyone surprised by this??
     
  16. Rob

    Rob Registered User

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    Not in the least. Goons don't last in University hockey. He should try his luck at Quebec senior.
     
  17. VRedsRule

    VRedsRule Registered User

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    X
    SMU
    UNB
    Acadia
    UPEI
    Dal
    UdeM
     

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