By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the University of Manitoba Bisons
Every year the coaches of the eight Canada West women's hockey teams submit their votes for the annual preseason league rankings. On Monday it was announced that the University of Manitoba appears to be a heavy favourite heading into the 2018-19 hockey season.
Of the eight voting members, five selected the Bisons as the frontrunner, with one of the three votes not going to Manitoba being interim Head Coach Sean Fisher, as teams were unable to vote for themselves. Manitoba led the way in the points department, collecting 43 total points through the vote, (first place vote worth seven points, second place vote worth six points, third place vote worth five points, etc.).
The Bisons came out on top of Alberta (41 points, two first place votes), UBC (38 points, one first place vote), Saskatchewan (37 points), Mount Royal (23 points), Regina (22 points), Calgary (13 points) and Lethbridge (seven points).
This first place ranking is nothing new for the University of Manitoba women's hockey program, as at multiple points throughout the 2017-18 season, the Bisons were ranked number one in Canada West, as well as two stints atop the leaderboard in all of U-Sports in Canada. The Herd went on to capture the Canada West title, before taking the national championship as the best team in the nation.
The University of Manitoba will defend its crown and open the 2018-19 season at home on Friday, October 5th against the visiting Calgary Dinos. Puckdrop is set for 7:15 P.M. at the Wayne Fleming Arena following a pregame banner raising, indicative of the 2018 Canada West and National Championships earned the past season. Tickets are available for purchase from GoBisons.ca.