MINNEAPOLIS — With a limited slate of games for top-rated teams, Harvard maintained its grip on No. 1 in this week’s USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll despite not having played a game for two weeks. Harvard gets underway again this Tuesday, playing cross-town foe Boston College. Harvard will face the top teams from the CHA this weekend, Niagara on Friday and No. 9 Mercyhurst on Saturday. The Crimson are also first in the PairWise Rankings (PWR) which mimics the NCAA selection process for postseason play.
Minnesota-Duluth finished at No. 2, and was the only team in the top three to see action this weekend. The Bulldogs downed MSU-Mankato in convincing fashion, 6-1 and 8-1, and sit alone at the top of the WCHA.
In all, eight of the ten teams in the poll finished in the same spot as last week. The only difference was a swapping between No. 6 St. Lawrence and No. 7 Wisconsin. The Saints beat up on conference opponent Cornell to a 8-1 tune twice, while the Badgers only managed a tie in a pair of games with No. 5 New Hampshire.
All ten teams see action next week. The top teams in Hockey East, No. 5 New Hampshire and No. 10 Providence, play a decisive two game set on Saturday and Sunday. No. 9 Mercyhurst and No. 1 Harvard mix it up on Sunday, while UMD hosts dangerous Ohio State for two games. When No. 3 Minnesota travels to Bemidji State for two games, watch for an extra session, as four of the last six games between these two teams have gone to overtime. No. 4 Dartmouth plays host to Yale and No. 8 Princeton this weekend.
The PWR and the poll feature the same ten teams, although in slightly different order. While six teams hold the same place in each, the differences are New Hampshire (No. 5 in the poll, No. 4 in the PWR), Dartmouth (4, 5), Wisconsin (7, 6) and St. Lawrence (6, 7).
The USCHO.com Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 15 voters, including 11 coaches of Division I programs and four women’s hockey writers.
The Pairwise Ranking attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I women’s hockey tournament. The PWR compares only those at or above .500, judging them by five criteria: record against common opponents, record in last 16 games, head to head competition, record against other teams at or above .500, and the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
The PWR can be reformatted and redistributed by any media outlet or person, provided USCHO’s URL (http://www.uscho.com/) accompanies the results.