MINNEAPOLIS — Notre Dame’s ascendancy reached its highest point of the season as the Fighting Irish took over the top spot in Monday’s cluttered USCHO.com/CSTV Division I men’s poll.
Just four poll points separated the top three teams as voters assimilated the results of last weekend’s play. New Hampshire’s weekend could hardly be described as a disappointment, as the Wildcats split with top-10 Maine, but after Notre Dame’s sweep of Bowling Green and Minnesota’s pair of wins over Alaska-Anchorage, the Irish picked up just enough support to finish at No. 1 this week.
The Irish tallied 17 first-place votes and 756 total points to edge Minnesota, which finished second after totaling 12 first-place votes and 753 points, while last week’s No. 1, UNH, claimed the remaining 11 first-place nods and 752 points, a single point behind the Golden Gophers.
The next three teams in the rankings were unchanged from last week, as idle St. Cloud State was again fourth, Denver fifth despite a split with Minnesota-Duluth, and Michigan State holding steady at No. 6 after taking three points from Nebraska-Omaha. The results had the WCHA again placing three teams in the poll’s top five.
Maine moved up two slots to No. 7, followed by Boston University, which slipped to eighth after a scoreless draw with Massachusetts-Lowell. Michigan climbed back into the top 10 at No. 9 by sweeping Western Michigan, and Clarkson completed the top half of the poll, losing to Cornell before rebounding to beat Colgate.
North Dakota opened the next 10 teams at No. 11; the Fighting Sioux were off last weekend. At No. 12 was Miami, which lost and tied against Alaska Friday and Saturday. Colorado College was No. 13, up two notches after sweeping Wisconsin.
Vermont came in at No. 14 this week, splitting with Providence, and Boston College slipped to 15th after losing to Massachusetts in its only game of the weekend.
St. Lawrence finished at No. 16 after losing to Colgate and topping Cornell, while Massachusetts’ win over BC and subsequent loss to UML still saw the Minutemen climb to No. 17 this time around.
Niagara stayed in the poll at No. 18 despite a sweep at the hands of Robert Morris, while Quinnipiac — which beat Yale but lost to Brown — was No. 19, and Cornell hung in at No. 20 with its split against its North Country foes.