College Hockey:
Top team in men’s poll still Yale

Yale is still the top team in the nation and has again earned the No. 1 ranking in this week’s USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll.

The other 19 spots have changed somewhat since last week.

New Hampshire takes over the second spot from Minnesota-Duluth, now sitting at No. 4.

North Dakota jumps to No. 3 from No. 5, while Boston College falls to No. 5 from the fourth spot a week ago.

Miami remains No. 6, Denver moves to No. 7 from No. 9, Nebraska-Omaha climbs back to No. 8 from No. 10, Maine falls to No. 9 from No. 8 and Boston University fills out the top 10.

Michigan is up one spot to No. 11, replacing No. 12 Notre Dame, tied with Union for the No. 12 spot, Rensselaer is up a notch to No. 14 and Wisconsin is down one rank to No. 15.

The rest of the top 20 has Alaska at No. 16, Merrimack still at No. 17, Ferris State still at No. 18 and Minnesota (No. 19) and Colorado College (No. 20), two unranked teams a week ago, rounding out this week’s poll.

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  • Anonymous

    Yale #1 ….what a joke

    • Aturner

      Let Yale play some nationally ranked teams then see where they stand. Their schedule is weak all year. I guess we have to wait until the tournament.

      • Wildman

        When you say nationally ranked teams, do you mean teams that are in this very same ranking? Because if so, Yale is undefeated against No. 12 Union, No. 14 RPI, and No. 20 CC. And if you look at the others receiving votes, they have also defeated No. 22 Dartmouth and No. 23 Princeton. No matter what your biases against the ECAC (or Yale) are. This is in many ways as good a team as the one that beat NoDak last year in Worcester. And the fatal flaw (goaltending and weak backchecking) that crippled Yale against National Champ BC has been greatly improved. This bulldog team is the real deal. Who knows what will happen in a single elimination tournament come March (and hopefully April). But for the time being, they are playing the best hockey in the land. Deal with it…

        • Timkellner

          So what would happen if Yale came to the Ralph in Grand Forks this weekend? Cuz the Sioux had to travel to the east coast for that regional, they might put up a good fight. CC is not the same team it has been in years past, so that comparision is weak. Oh well, we’ll just see come the first round of the tourney…

          • What else do you do in ND?

            What they would have found at the Ralph is the following. 22 outstanding student athletes who were recruited on the basis of academics without the prospect of a scholarship and who have Ivy League-imposed restrictions on length of schedule would have skated as well if not better than 30 jocks who would not have made the Gophehrs team taking them for granted and they would have beaten them there based on outstanding team speed and a great work ethic. The bloated self-satisfied ND fans are so warped that there is no acceptance of Yale as a Cinderella team, albeit this Cinderella leads the nation in scoring and has three lethal forward lilnes

          • guest

            They are leading the nation in scoring because they are putting up big numbers against garbage teams. Big deal. Since Yale is required to play fewer games, why don’t they make them count and schedule some decent nonconference games against bigger named and more talented opponents. Yales nonconference schedule includes the following powerhouse teams:

            Brown – RPI Rank 28
            Dartmouth – RPI Rank 19
            Colorado College – RPI Rank 15
            Air Force – RPI Rank 35
            Sacred Heart – RPI Rank 57
            Vermont – RPI Rank 40
            Holy Cross RPI Rank 41


          • Wildman

            My guess is Yale would very much like to schedule a stronger non-conference schedule. However my understanding is that these are set years in advance, and given Yale’s only very recent resurgence (ok…can’t say that since they are surging from consistent mediocrity other than the late 90′s) they have been unable to draw key home and homes with top schools. I can only imagine that another few years of success in New Haven, and you will start to see top WCHA, CCHA or Hockey East squads more than willing to set up multi-year home and home agreements. Given that at large tournament bids are entirely formulaic through the Pairwise, it is actually only to the detriment of a team to play a bunch of cream puffs. It is for this very reason that no strong programs (yes even North Dakota!) had any interest in putting the Bulldogs on their non-conference schedule. A few bad non-conference losses and you can struggle all year in conference to just barely make it high enough in the RPI to qualify for the NCAAs. However if you get some big names up there, you just need to play .500 hockey (or maybe even below) to solidify your standing. So again, all this talk about Yale wanting a weak schedule is backwards. It is all of your traditionally strong schools that have chosen not to play Yale. Hopefully soon enough that will no longer be the case.

          • Anonymous

            This post is totally based on unknown facts…. Most teams schedules are done the year prior. Teams change conference, new stadiums are built, rivalries are renewed and you cant say that Yale will sooner or later get big team matchups because they have been around forever and could easily get tougher teams to play. As for teams not wanting to schedule against tougher non-conference teams in fear of losing rankings? Total BS… and you know it. Look at anyone’s schedules outside the EZAC and see that the top teams often play each other in non conference. Chances are no one plays Yale because they are a bunch of Ivy League pricks that only want it there way and wont settle for anything less…. but there is my opinion not fact.

          • Wildman

            Sorry…maybe you have trouble with reading comprehension. My whole point is that people WANT to schedule difficult non-conference games. It is to their advantage to have a harder schedule. The perception that Yale will not provide them with a “quality win” in the RPI is my guess as to why they cannot land a more challenging non-conference schedule.

        • collegehockeyfan

          3 games against non top ten teams isn’t proving yourself. Some teams in HE, CCHA and WCHA have played some 10-14 games against ranked teams, some teams those games have been mostly against top ten teams! Don’t sit here and try and tell us that Yale has proved themselves they are #1, because quit frankly they haven’t like about 7 other teams i can ramble off that are more deserving than Yale.

        • NoDak

          Agreed, Yale at #1 is a joke. Not even close to a top tier team.

        • Foulkeblows

          Any time they want to play a consistent menu of top TEN teams, let me know. Until then, they are just a flash in the pan and media creation.

      • CS

        It is just like college football….when you only play a few ranked teams all year, it is NOT the same as playing ranked teams week in and week out like they do in the WCHA, Hockey East or the CCHA….Do you really think TCU has played the same schedule as Auburn…they have not…it is the same here….Yale doens’t play week in and week out the difficult schedules that those other leagues play…it is a fact

        • Ptj2012

          It may be a fact that Yale doesn’t play the best teams every week, but they’re currently at the top of the KRACH rankings, of which USCHO states:

          “A key feature of KRACH is that strength of schedule is calculated directly from the ratings themselves, meaning that KRACH, unlike many ratings (including RPI) cannot easily be distorted by teams with strong records against weak opposition.”

          • Foulkeblows

            Yeah right. Let’s see how long it lasts. The voters love to throw a bone to the Ivies when they can. Harvard is used to be ranked highly year in and year out only to fold like a wet napkin come the slightest bit of a challenge.

          • Anonymous

            The only problem you have is that Yale only suffers one loss and it is tough to compare that one loss to the losses of the rest of college hockey. As soon as their record begins to level out, and it will, you will see Yale take a loss to a horrid team and drop out of the top ten because of it.

    • Lefty

      CMASS –

      Take a gander at Lefty’s post below and get a clue.

  • DogDaddy

    With 45 out of a possible 50 votes? Sounds pretty resounding to me.

    cmass, perhaps you are the joke…

    • Foulkeblows

      It’s all based on a bloated record. They’ve been feasting on the blind little sisters of the poor. If they get around to playing top flight teams like UND, Miami, BC, UNH, call me. If not, wake me when it’s March.

  • Smudge

    What is Yale’s record going to be after this season is over against Hockey East teams?

    • guest

      What percentage of Yale’s games will actually count towards their RPI by the end of the year. Right now they are sitting at 8 out of 12 for a solid 66.7%. Outstanding competition they are playing.

  • cat scratched

    The ECAC can not hang with Hockey East night in and night out like UNH is…and lets not forget splitting with Miami, BU, a tie against Michigan and a win AT Maine…come on

    • DogDaddy

      And BU just lost to RPI, who Yale throttled.

      • Jctroyny

        Type your comment here.When did Yale “throttle” RPI? 4-2 with an empty net goal does not a throttle make. Did you mean the Union 5-0 rout?

  • dave

    cmass, your the joke!

  • Jon

    What is the point in arguing about it? Unless a poll in December crowns a national champion, this means nothing. For all I care, they can vote Michigan Tech or Alabama-Huntsville number one right now.

  • Lefty

    Yale should have won the NCAA’s last year. That they didn’t was the big surprise. They would have beaten BC in the quarters if they had Backman (#1 scorer) in the game.

    What is surprising is that they are as good as they are this year, despite graduating their top two goal scorers and top two D last year. There isn’t a college team in the country that can match Yale’s speed. They have four balanced lines that put relentless pressure on the puck.

    The ECAC has always been a tough conference. Great hockey with an emphasis on student athletes. No better place to play college hockey than Yale: one of the best schools, great program, awesome rink, sell-out every game, and Keith Allain coaching.

    That said, there should be more ECAC / Hockey East match-ups. Just in the last two weeks, Brown tied UNH and BU. Yale spanked Brown. A few days ago, RPI spanked BU. Few days earlier, Yale spanked RPI.

    Let’s keep this line going right up until Minneapolis in April.

    • collegehockeyfan

      Yale does not play “Great Hockey”, the only thing they know how to do is play basement dwellers and ride the pony express to the national tournament where they will then ride the bus back to Yale after round 1.

    • Foulkeblows

      The ECAC has not been a tough conference since the split. They never would’ve beaten BC. Never. And about “no better place to play college hockey…” I see you conveniently left out New Haven. Yeah, that’s the Paris of America alright.

    • jrod790

      No offense, but BC was a better team last year. And guess what? They still are. I’m not even an eagle’s fan and I still figure in BC as the favorite. Yale does not play the same teams as HE and WCHA teams do. You didn’t mention that Vermont beat Dartmouth this past weekend. Isn’t Dartmouth one of the top teams in the ECAC? Vermont, on the other hand, is in the cellar right now in Hockey East. So you cannot use ECAC/Hockey East match-ups as an argument. There is a lot of skill in every conference in college hockey. On any given night, any team can beat the other. But this much is certain, until Yale beats the likes of BC (the favorite to repeat), UNH ( a very veteran and skilled team) UMD, North Dakota (a sleeping giant with a ton of skill), Miami, or Maine, you’re argument is useless.

      • Lefty

        Dartmouth just had a 20 day break to let their student athletes take final exams. The UVM game was their first game back. UVM may have a poor record, but they have beaten some good teams (BC) and tied others (Denver) and lost many games by one goal. Dartmouth is a mid-pack team in the ECAC when you factor in number of games played.

        • Foulkeblows

          Dartmouth is lousy. Yale is lousy. Harvard, Union, etc. All lousy. The only two teams in the ECAC I have any respect for is RPI and Cornell. That’s it. The others will be nowhere to be found come March.

    • Foulkeblows

      The big surprise was the Yale was even close. Really, the mere fact they were in the NCAAs was a surprise. Get serious. No one is afraid of Yale.

  • getoffyourknees

    It was a tough week for the number 1 team. A huge victory over the highly regarded team from vermont. Such a huge victory they decided to schedule the rest of the year off to recover and prepare for another tough team in Holy Cross. It would be nice to even compare there schedule to any of the teams in the top 5.

    • Wildman

      Do WCHA players not have finals? Do Hockey East players not have to write final papers? I assume all teams take a break here or there to allow their student athletes to finish up their academic work. Why should Yale be any different?

  • dave

    your all dust, backman and arcobello arent the leader goal scorers either you muffmuncher, yale is diiiiiiiirty

  • Poll Voter

    Hey shouldn’t we be talking about how North Dakota leads hockey in hooliganism and bad behavior? Hakstol suspended, Malone suspended, Lamoureux, Jones, etc. Don’t they have something called the North Dakota rule for referees about players instigating fights?

    Saying North Dakota is overlooked in the polls is like saying the Charlestown Chiefs were the best team in the Federal League because they won the trophy at the end of Slap Shot.

    Have watched a bunch of UND games on cable and losses to Maine, Denver, UMD, Nebraska, and then the upcoming power series against Robert Morris don’t say a lot about the team.

    • Lefty

      Couldn’t agree more. Did you mention that the average age of their players is pressing 30.

      Happened to be at their NCAA quarterfinal drubbing last year to Yale. UND fans decked out in bright green UND jerseys chanting “Sioux….Sioux, Sioux.”

      Should have been more like “Sue…Sue, Sue” as they had it handed to them the ECAC powerhouse.

    • getoffyourknees

      Robert Morris would be the best team on Yales schedule. They are the top ranked team in the AHA and have a better record than all teams in the ECAC with the exception of yale. Lets not forget they beat Air Force who beat the mighty Yale.
      Those losses you talk about are to 4 of the top 9 teams in the country. I wonder what it would be like if other teams had a first half schedule like that. Pretty sure they wouldn’t be 11-1-0. I wouldn’t talk about losses when your schedule’s highest ranked opponent doesn’t crack the top ten.

      • Sooo-eeee not Sioux

        Seems like you’re spending too much time on your knees to think straight. RPI and Union are both ranked in the top 20 and Yale beat them handily. That is their recent track record. After you spit even though you probably swallow, you should try watching hockey out of your conference. Seems like you’re really defensive about UND’s miserably weak in conference schedule. At least 7 MN high school teams could beat 60% of the WCHA. It won’t be long before Minnesota regains its lead as the premiere team in the conference and Nebraska and UMD overtake Fargo as the place to go. Then you’ll always be on your knees

        • getoffyourknees

          That a great arguement when 60% of the WCHA is in the top 20. 75% of the WCHA are in the top 25 in the KRACH and 60% are in the top 20 of the Pairwise. So by your comment that MN High school teams can beat 60% of the WCHA is like saying they could be 80% of the ECHA. Ohh FYI, UND is in Grand Forks. Do some homework before you run your mouth next time. Might help the credibility.

          • UND? HAH! Minny rules

            Who cares where UND is? Notice that of the kids who left college early for the NHL this summer, none came from UND? The number of kids from MN schools was substantial.

            Listen Slurpy, howzabout this? If UND doesn’t win the national tourney, then you admit that you write a thesis paper about building a college champion team? I mean you guys better win or you’ve got nothing in a decade? Minnesota is a TWO-time champ, then there are teams like BC, BU and Denver. Where have you been? Other than watching your supposed great players go nowhere in the NCAAs? Why are you wasting time on UND? Why not be a Chicago Cubs fan? How about rooting for the Pittsburgh Pirates? Man you have a lot of anger in you because your team has underperformed for a decade! Hockey East has skated 10 teams better than UND, Minnesota is always better and CCHA teams would score 8 or 9 in Grand Forks or wherever the craphole is

          • Anonymous

            Underperformed in the decade? Thats a great one… 2 things… we won the WCHA Final Five last year and actually went to the NCAA tournament… and Holy Cross…. :D

          • guest

            Typical Gopher fan, always living in the past. Why don’t you come back to this board when Minnesota is relevant again. What’s it been 3 years now. It would sure be sad if the Goofs missed another NCAA tourney opportunity when they get it in their own back yard. How many other schools get that chance?

          • Eli Proud

            Your logic is backwards. Yale, which is ranked by coaches as number one hasn’t played WCHA teams therefore doesn’t deserve the ranking. One major weakness, none of those programs has played Yale. How can you be so dogmatic in your criticism of Yale when you have no basis for comparison save one game against Air Force. The actual only head to head we have to go off is the plain and simple loss of ND to Yale last year. The tone you take is as if the Rangers should claim they are the team that deserves to be ranked number 1 going into the upcoming baseball seasoon because they faced tougher teams in the AL than do the Giants. Ridiculous amateurish logic. Yale has generally done well when playing in tournaments, e.g, the tie at Wisconsin on the road last year after a demolition of Ferris State. Yale beat Air Force the previous year on the road although they did lose to Nebraska Omaha. In general be careful with your facts.

            Actually since you’re so insightful, can you tell us about the practice time afforded North Dakota players and their scholarships, which amount to subsidies for playing minor league hockey before attempting to turn pro in some league? For those of us who went through the academic experience at Yale, it’s amazing to have time for extracurriculars let alone be able to assemble an excellent team.

            If you want to illustrate the difference between the two programs, look at coaches. Keith Allain is coaching the World Junior team. And North Dakota is coaching? It’s my understanding that many of the Sioux players have had alcohol problems, suspensions, and are prone to on ice violence.

            I think you misunderstand what it is to enjoy college sports. I believe the analogy is that North Dakota is to hockey what the University of Miami is to football

            Go Yale. Be proud. Enjoy the number one ranking. It’s rarely been seen for an Ivy team. And if you do meet up with North Dakota if they make the tournament (BIG IF), my three words of advice are: GO FIVE HOLE. Yale will score at least 6, but I’m sure by then the ND players will, as usual, go after the opponent

          • Anonymous

            BIG IF? Everyone that reads this is going to agree you know about next to nothing….. Top of the WCHA in the first half of the season and we are just getting started. Look at UND’s record in the second half of the season since the mid 90′s and you will see why. Last time UND had this good of a start we won the title in 2000. Yes UND players aren’t going to an Ivy League school for education, but guess what they love the game and would do anything to play it. They got into one of the top college hockey programs in the country. IMO thats the equivalent of getting accepted at Yale for education. And lets be real… you are telling me that not one kid on Yale’s hockey team didnt get their from boosters/alumni? That would be a pretty big lie.

        • Anonymous

          Read this 3 times through and still have to say not 1 bit of it makes sense…. but good luck with it.

    • Anonymous

      Really? Being that Denver, UMD, and UNO are all in the top 8 and that anyone watching the UMD or UNO game would agree that the Sioux should have won them. Watch the UMD Sioux overtime and tell me that UMD outskated the Sioux. Denver was a legit loss, and Maine was a tough sweep to swallow but anyone that has paid attention to college hockey knows that the Sioux are a 2nd half season powerhouse. Last time the sioux had this good of a start they won the NCAA title in 2000. Better look before you leap or you might find yourself neck deep.

  • Grant T Corbett

    Let’s face it. No matter how many facts and statistics we throw at the Yale backers, they just refuse to accept the truth. Kudos to them for holding their ground and denying the fact that no one cares about Yale hockey. They should not be #1 and if you don’t agree with that you are living in a bubble. Get off your ivy league high horse, schedule games against real teams and realize the fact that you probably won’t be relevant at the end of the season. One or two losses to the basement teams of the league and you’ll fall of out the top 10 in a quick hurry.

  • Orono

    Mighty plunge for North Dakota. No surprise. Coaches recognized several teams are better. Seems like the program has really gone off the rails over the past 10 years. I hope Maine gets them early to get a quick win the tourney under their belts before having to face BC in the Frozen Four

  • Jack Alan

    As all thoughtful college hockey followers know, these polls are fun but they shouldn’t bring out much boasting- at least legitimate boasting anyway. The clubs still have to play the games. Those are what count. And really its all exhibition and development until you work into the tourney.
    Then you have to win four in a row. Thats all. And what will polls matter? The club wins it, or just doesn’t.
    So polls are fun. But also so what?

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