MINNEAPOLIS — With all six conferences now in postseason action, last weekend’s results produced changes up and down the line in the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Division I men’s poll.
That started at the top, where Notre Dame broke Boston University’s six-week headlock on the pole position. The Fighting Irish, who had been ranked second for each of those six weeks, returned to No. 1 after sweeping Nebraska-Omaha in the CCHA quarterfinals while BU ousted Maine from the Hockey East playoffs in three games.
In Monday’s rankings, ND edged out BU by the narrowest of margins: 27 first-place votes to 23, and 977 total poll points to 969 for the Terriers. BU’s Saturday loss to Maine ended its nation-best unbeaten streak at 17 games, while ND ran its win streak to eight.
BU and ND have ranked one-two in one order or the other for 11 straight weeks, with the Terriers in the top spot six times and the Fighting Irish five.
Michigan remained at No. 3 this week after sweeping Western Michigan, while Denver nosed up to fourth with a pair of WCHA playoff wins over Alaska-Anchorage. The Pioneers swapped places with Northeastern, which dispatched Massachusetts in three games last weekend.
In sixth once again was North Dakota, which swept Michigan Tech. Yale climbed back to No. 7 with two straight wins over Brown, followed by two more ECAC Hockey schools in Princeton and Cornell.
The Tigers moved up three spots to eighth after a three-game playoff series win over Union, while the Big Red also rose three places, to No. 9 with a two-of-three series victory against Rensselaer. Completing the top 10 was Vermont, which fell three positions after losing in two straight to Massachusetts-Lowell.
Like the Catamounts, New Hampshire was knocked out of the Hockey East playoffs in two games against Boston College; the Wildcats dropped two places to No. 11, followed by another upset loser — Miami, which fell in three games to Northern Michigan and lost four places to finish at No. 12 this week.
Minnesota rebounded three places to No. 13 after sweeping St. Cloud State out of the WCHA postseason, while St. Lawrence, which advanced in two straight over Quinnipiac, edged up to 14th. At No. 15 this week was BC, up three spots en route to the TD Banknorth Garden for the Hockey East semifinals.
Wisconsin advanced to the WCHA Final Five with a sweep of Minnesota State and inched up to No. 16, with Minnesota Duluth next. The Bulldogs upset Colorado College to move on in the playoffs and move up two places in the poll.
Ohio State fell four places to No. 18 after losing a three-game set to Alaska, while UML entered the poll at No. 19 with Hockey East title hopes alive. Completing the poll was CC, which suffered the week’s biggest freefall, seven places to No. 20.
Dropping out since last week was St. Cloud.