MINNEAPOLIS — Harvard continued its winning ways with a pair of conference victories over No. 9 Princeton and Yale. The Crimson improved to 23-1-1 and hold first place in the USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll, the USCHO.com Pairwise Rankings (PWR) and the ECAC standings.
The top teams all held the status quo, as No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth won two games over Bemidji State in its final games of the regular season. The Bulldogs won the WCHA regular season title for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. No. 3 Minnesota, which won the title the last two years, has wrapped up second place already. The Gophers currently hold the No. 3 spot in the PWR. Dartmouth earned No. 4 in both rankings after two close wins against No. 10 Mercyhurst.
The major movement of the poll came as No. 5 St. Lawrence and No. 6 Wisconsin both climbed one spot as New Hampshire fell two spots to No. 7 after losing the Hockey East title to No. 8 Providence in Saturday’s 7-4 Friar victory.
Next week sees the final regular season games for most teams, as No. 1 Harvard takes on Brown, Cornell and Colgate, No. 4 Dartmouth travels to No. 9 Princeton and Yale, No. 5 St. Lawrence and No. 8 Providence each play Niagara once, No. 7 New Hampshire tackles Boston College in two games, and No. 9 Princeton hosts Vermont in addition to No. 4 Dartmouth.
In the final weekend of conference play in the WCHA, No. 6 Wisconsin plays host to No. 3 Minnesota for two games, and while both teams are fixed in conference finish, both are playing to improve PWR position in hopes of NCAA selection in March.
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.