MINNEAPOLIS — After being voted first in the nation last week, Boston College made a statement that it deserved the ranking, remaining undefeated with a convincing 6-1 victory over No. 14 Providence last Tuesday, and a taut 3-2 win over cross-town rival Boston University on Friday. The Eagles captured 37 of 40 first-place votes and 596 points total to finish in first in this week’s USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll.
Things don’t get easier for BC, however, as the nation’s No. 2 team and the only other team to get first-place votes, New Hampshire, invades Conte Forum for a Tuesday evening game. It is the first time this season that there has been a Number 1 vs. Number 2 meeting. New Hampshire is coming off a 3-0 win over Providence. After visiting the No. 1 Eagles on Tuesday, the Wildcats hit the road again, traveling to Orono to visit No. 7 Maine.
Maine had a big weekend, trouncing pesky Northeastern 8-2 on Friday before thumping No. 11 Boston University 7-3 the next night. Freshman phenom Jimmy Howard, in goal for the Black Bears, improved to 6-1-0 overall, with an impressive 1.39 goals against average and a 0.943 save percentage.
Outside of Hockey East, the big news was the weekend match-up between defending national-title winner and current No. 9 Minnesota and head coach Don Lucia’s former team, No. 6 Colorado College. The Tigers took a commanding win, 7-3, on Friday before settling for a 2-2 tie on Saturday for the three-point weekend. CC improved to 9-1-2 on the season and climbed two spots from last week.
Two teams reappear in this week’s ranking.
At No. 13 is Ohio State, now at 8-2-1 with a two-game sweep of CCHA powerhouse Michigan State. The Buckeyes were last in the poll at No. 15 on October 7th, before a 7-2 loss to Minnesota in the Hall of Fame Game knocked them into the “receiving votes” category.
Harvard also shows up in the poll again this week at No. 15. Harvard won two ECAC road games in the North Country, winning big with a 6-1 decision over St. Lawrence and squeaking past a troubled Clarkson squad 2-1. On October 28th the Crimson were also No. 15, before they had played any games on the season.
Key games coming up, besides the 1-2 BC-New Hampshire and 2-7 New Hampshire-Maine games already mentioned, include a CCHA battle between No. 13 Ohio State and No. 12 Ferris State and ECAC showdown between No. 8 Cornell and No. 15 Harvard.
The USCHO.com Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 40 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 12 beat writers from across the country. The poll is published weekly by the Associated Press.