MINNEAPOLIS — Boston University overtook Notre Dame for the No. 1 position in the final USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Division I men’s poll, released Monday.
The margin was razor-thin as the Terriers earned 27 first-place votes to the Fighting Irish’s 23; none of the 50 poll voters ranked either BU or ND lower than No. 2 this week.
Both teams won their respective league championships last weekend. BU, the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament, defeated Boston College and Massachusetts-Lowell en route to the Hockey East title, while ND topped Northern Michigan and then Michigan to claim the CCHA crown.
Those two teams ranked one-two in one order or the other in the season’s final 12 polls, with the Terriers in the top spot seven times and the Fighting Irish five.
Michigan was again No. 3, beating Alaska in the CCHA semifinals before falling in the title game. Like Michigan, Denver lost its league title tilt, dropping the WCHA championship to Minnesota Duluth after beating Wisconsin in the semis, and like the Wolverines the fourth-ranked Pioneers held their position from last week.
Those four teams earned the top seeds at the four NCAA regionals this weekend, and the next four teams in the poll were similarly the next four in the national seeding.
ECAC champion Yale climbed two places to No. 5 with wins over St. Lawrence and Cornell, while Northeastern slipped one spot to sixth after its semifinal loss to UML. North Dakota came in at No. 7, down a place after losing to UMD and then Wisconsin. The WCHA champion Bulldogs took the biggest jump of the week, rocketing nine places to eighth after defeating UND and DU.
Continuing the pattern of the poll lining up with the NCAA tournament, the tourney’s third seeds were the next four in the rankings. Cornell beat Princeton in a double-overtime thriller before losing the ECAC title game and held at No. 9.
The Big Red were followed by their semifinal opponents, the Tigers, who were down two positions in 10th, and two Hockey East teams who sat out championship weekend were next. Vermont slipped a notch to No. 11 while New Hampshire fell one place to 12th.
The last two at-large bids to the NCAAs were next in the poll as well, with Miami and Ohio State at No. 13 and No. 14, respectively. Both teams were idle last weekend, but their poll positions aligned with the selection committee’s findings: the RedHawks dropped a place while the Buckeyes sped upwards four spots.
St. Lawrence, which tied Princeton in the ECAC third-place game, was down one to No. 15, with UML up three to 16th. Wisconsin, the third-place WCHA playoff finisher, came in down a spot to No. 17.
Atlantic Hockey champion Air Force beat Bentley and then Mercyhurst and returned to the rankings at No. 18, while Minnesota suffered the week’s biggest freefall. The Gophers lost to UMD in the WCHA play-in game and fell six places to 19th. Completing the poll was Boston College, down five places to No. 20.
Dropping out of the rankings was Colorado College.