CUFLA Top 5 Power Rankings: Week 1

CUFLA Top 5 Week 1 Power Rankings (September 14-16


Each week ILWT’s Pat Gregoire ranks his Top 5 teams in CUFLA. The following is the first installment of Pat Gregoire’s CUFLA Top 5 Power Rankings.
1.Brock University (2-0-0)
The Badgers have come out to a hot start in their 2012 campaign picking up two big victories against conference rivals Guelph and Western Conference newcomers University of Toronto. The Badgers senior goaltender Ian Duffy has stepped up to the plate as their new starter and has been stellar between the pipes. Duffy has posted a solid 6.00 GAA and has moved the ball up the field helping the transition game immensely. Helping the Badgers on the offensive side has been Canisus College alumni attackmen Travis Gibbons. The Owen Sound, ON native has posted 8 goals, 2 assists for 10 points in two games in his first CUFLA season. Senior attackmen Jordan Weedmark hit a milestone this weekend hitting the century point mark in a Brock Lacrosse uniform against Toronto. The Badgers also have a solid defensive core with Buffalo Bandits d-man Steve Priolo, sophomore Brad Baker, sophomore Quinn Stuart and junior LSM Bryan Campbell. The Badgers have hit the field in 2012 hungrier than ever and they do not plan on slowing down anytime soon. The Badgers have set the standards high as this season it is Baggataway or bust. 
Notes: Brock tied McGill 7-7 in an crossover exhibition game at Kiwanis Field in St.Catharines Saturday afternoon.

2.McGill University (3-0-0)
The Redmen enter the 2012 season looking to be crowned Baggataway cup champions for the first time in program history. McGill lost in the 2009 National championships and has made numerous trips to the semi finals but they have never been able to go all the way. The team has a very American influenced roster as 21 players are from south of the border. The team plays a more American style of game which works in their favor as many Canadian teams have to adjust to the foreign system. This year, the team has showed that they are ready to take the next step and get back to the finals but end the season as champions. Leading the Redmen in points is sophomore attackmen Alex Rohrbach with 5 goals, 4 helpers for 9 points in 3 games. Also rounding out the Redmen offense is two time All Canadian Midfielder senior Ryan Besse. The Aurora, ON native has found the back of the net four times and has added 4 assists for 8 points. Freshmen Richie Klares has made an impact early in his CUFLA career. The attackmen from Virginia leads the team in goals with 6 and has also added an assist. The Redmen have no stand out defensive studs but they play a very solid defensive system and work well together as a team. McGill has improved greatly in recent seasons and hopes the American revolution can help them finally covet their first National championships.

3.Bishop’s University (3-0-0)
The Bishop’s Gaiters are off to a great start in the road to repeating as Baggaway Cup champions. The Gaiters have not lost since September 22, 2011 against conference rivals McGill. Gaiters’ sophomore Midfielder Gareth Gibson is well on his way to building a breakout season as he has already surpassed his season point total last year of 16. The Toronto, ON native has netted 10 goals and 7 assists for 17 points in three games. Sophomore Alex Henderson leads the Gaiters in goals with 11 and has also added three assists. Goaltender David Bigley has come up huge for Bishop’s as he’s posted an impressive 4.13 GAA in his first three games. The New Westminster netminder has shut the door on attackmen in prime scoring areas through out the earl stages of the season. Although Bishop’s are currently undefeated, they have yet to be tested by any of the top dogs in the East. The Gaiters have played two winless teams in Queen’s and Carleton. Trent has been their toughest test thus far yet they still handled the 2-2 squad fairly easy. Another question mark to the Gaiters is the fact that they have lost their top four scorers from their championship season last year. Mike Dube, Josh Crone and Jesse Gattellaro all graduated while James Malloy has moved to to the NCAA DI level with High Point University. If players like Gibson and Henderson can step up while they gain secondary scoring support from seniors Joseph Lalune, Rick Sainthill and Alex Dube, the Bishop’s Gaiters will be one of the favorites for the National title.

4. Western University (2-0-0)
The Western Mustangs enter the 2012 season looking to end a 11 year Baggataway Cup drought and capture their third National title in program history. The Mustangs are unbeaten in two games with wins over Toronto and McMaster. Theres always been the saying “build from the back end and out” and that is exactly what manager Mike Firth has done for the Mustangs. Western has given up only 9 goals in two games en route to their pair of wins. Western’s solid goaltending and outstanding defensive core will be the key the success in the 2012 season. Sophomore Zach Grade is posting a league best 4.50 GAA and has consistently moved the ball upfield pushing the transition for odd man opportunities. The Mustang defense features three returning defenders who nabbed All-Canadian honors in the 2012 season with Ryan Cavanagh, Brendan Farrer and Eric Pitre. Pitre, the leader of the Mustangs defense has been a dominant force since he step foot on a CUFLA field in his freshmen season. The Mustangs are shaping up to be a deep offensive team as eight players are averaging a point a game in the early stages of the season. Sophomore Midfielder Dylan Ham has started the 2012 campaign with a bang netting 7 goals and 2 assists for a tremendous 9 points. Helping out Ham with the offense are freshmen Ryan McCory and Sam Neeb. McCory, an attackmen from Clarington,ON has a pair of goals and 3 helpers in two games while Oakville,ON native midfielder Neeb has 2 goals and a lone assist. Neeb has also helped out his team as he is one of the drawmen for the Mustangs. Neeb is also joined on the faceoff X by senior Chris Paolini and sophomore Ryan Nolan. With arguably the best defense in CUFLA and a deep offense, the Mustangs could be the dark horse of the 2012 season.

5. University of Guelph (3-1-0)
The Guelph Gryphons have had no problem filling the net this year as they lead the league with 56 goals for. Mike Burke has been on an absolute tear in the early stages of the 2012 season. The Caledon,ON native leads the entire league in goals(17) and points(24). Jordan Daradick has had a solid start to his sophomore campaign burying 9 goals and adding 7 helpers for 16 points. Sophomore Curtis Knight has returned to the Gryphons line up and will play a vital role in Guelph’s success. The Whitby Warriors’ captain has scored 4 goals and tallied 5 assists in 3 games. Senior Ben Van Galen has lead the Gryphons defense to a solid 32 goals against in four games. Guelph has suffered one loss in their first 4 games of the 2012 season, falling to Brock in a tight 10-8 battle in which the Gryphs let a 7-2 lead at halftime slip from their hands. The high powered offense of the Gryphons is their clear strong point but their lack of depth may come to haunt them in the later stages of the season.