Led by No. 1 Maine, the top six stayed in the same place as last week’s USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll. The bottom five also remained in place, leaving only minor jostling between spots six through ten the only difference from last week to this week.
The Black Bears held on to the top spot, earning 23 of the 40 first-place votes, with a one goal victory over Mass.-Lowell on Friday before a 4-4 tie on Saturday. Maine also stayed No. 1 in the PairWise Rankings (PWR), the model of the NCAA selection criteria for the postseason tournament.
No. 2 North Dakota was idle, but remain in a stretch of games that includes 12 out of 16 road contests. The Sioux are 3-1 so far, with the next two games coming in Colorado Springs against No. 3 Colorado College. The Tigers and the Sioux split the remaining 17 first place votes, and are tied for second in the PWR.
Also tied for No. 2 in the PWR is Cornell, which stayed at No. 4 in the poll with a pair of home wins over Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Big Red improved to a perfect 8-0 at Lynah Rink. Next up is a two game series with travel partner Colgate.
No. 5 New Hampshire split a series with No. 14 Boston University, with the Terriers grabbing a 5-2 decision Thursday before the Wildcats countered with a 3-0 win on Saturday, backstopped by a 38 save performance by UNH goalie Mike Ayers in the shutout. As a result, both schools stayed motionless in the poll, although Boston University climbed into a tie for No. 9 in the PWR. New Hampshire will next play a highly anticipated series with No. 1 Maine on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s contest will be played in Manchester, N.H.
No. 7 Minnesota and No. 15 MSU-Mankato played to two ties in Minneapolis this weekend, 2-2 and 4-4. The two schools have a whopping 16 ties this season. Mankato alone has nine ties, which equals the NCAA mark for most ties in a single season. With one more tie, the Mavericks will be the lone record-holder.
This Thursday through Sunday, all games are conference match-ups. No. 9 Ferris State, led by Sophomore Mike Brown, who just set a school record for most wins in a season (18), and No. 7 Michigan play a pair.
Also on the horizon is the Beanpot, the annual tournament between the four Boston-area schools. The games will take place on the next two Mondays, and will include No. 6 Boston College, No. 13 Harvard, No. 15 Boston University, and Northeastern. Boston University takes on Harvard in the early game, at 5:00 ET at the FleetCenter.
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.
The PairWise Ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament. The PWR compares teams with a Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) at or above .500, judging them by four criteria: record against common opponents, head to head competition, record against other teams with RPIs at or above .500, and the 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.