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College Hockey:
Merrimack tops men’s poll for first time

For the first time in its history, Merrimack is the top-ranked team in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll.

The Warriors received 27 first-place votes to jump over last week’s No. 1 team, Minnesota, now at No. 3 with 11 first-place votes.

Notre Dame garnered 10 first-place votes and rises to No. 2 this week.

Colorado College and Boston College each earned a first-place vote and sit No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in this week’s poll.

Minnesota-Duluth jumps to No. 6, Ferris State falls to No. 7, Yale drops to the eighth spot, Ohio State makes a big jump from No. 14 to No. 9 and Denver rises one to No. 10.

Michigan falls four to No. 11, Western Michigan drops two places to No. 12, Lake Superior State is down one to No. 13, tied with Union this week. Boston University is No. 15 this week.

At No. 16, Colgate is up one, as is No. 17 Cornell. Michigan Tech falls three to No. 18, Nebraska-Omaha holds steady at No. 19 and Michigan State enters the rankings this week at No. 20.

In a side note, North Dakota did not receive any votes this week, ending a streak of 223 straight USCHO.com Division I Men’s Polls in which the Sioux received votes.


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  • Joe C

    Congratulations Merrimack Warriors! While I am sure some will grouse about your ranking, most of us will be happy for you!

    Just stop beating BU!

    • Scott Reed

      yeah have fun and be happy… enjoy it while it lasts!   after week one in the NFL the jets were undefeated… a .500 team now

  • Philipvanschepen

    Minnesota keeps losing on friday to lousy teams, then kicking butt on Saturday.. They need to tighten up the defense.

    • Scott Reed

      MN is 11-3-0, they have lost to Wis, st cloud, and vermont,  not exactly lousy teams.  When the season is over, st cloud and Wis will be better than Merrimack. 

      • Naminsk

        Are you serious? Of all games played,  Wisconsin is 5-8-1, St. Cloud is 6-6-2, and Vermont is 1-8-1 (Vermont would be 0-8-1 without the win over MN). I would say they’ve lost to lousy teams.

        • Mr Hockey

          merrimacks opponents winning pct is .280 let’s not get to high here

        • Terry

          To win on the road in the WCHA is the toughest thing to do, consistently, in all of college hockey. Minnesota has done that. And not at easy places to doso.  If you know anything about the WCHA, you know that for Minnesota to go into Wisconsin or St. Cloud, or UMD and win is very tough to do. They did that with exception last friday at St. Cloud…however, they dominated the game statistically.  No…anyone who doesn’t believe Minnesota is for real isn’t paying attention.  A long season to go it is….but stellar defense, 3 scoring lines, physical play and the best goalie in the WCHA is what Minnesota has…

        • Scott Reed

          they have lost to one lousey team.  Wis. lost 2 OT games to the number 18 team in the country, lost another OT, and tied an OT game as well.  They lost 2 more to the number 4 team in the country…. you want me to keep going or do you still think Wis is lousy? have you actually watched them this year?

          • Sioux99

            Love the logic here Scott!  Unfortunately Merrimack will not play any of your #1 teams for a while.  Following your logic, Merrimack beat Vermont twice which beat Minnesota.  Merrimack also beat a ranked BU team which beat a ranked Denver team.  I understand your pride has been hurt but you got to give credit where credit is due and Merrimack was a good team last year and they are a better team this year despite losing a couple really good players (DaCosta is playing for the NHL Senators).  I don’t see them falling out of the top ten and the fact is they can compete with any team in the nation.

          • HEhockey31

            Given the information you just gave me, I am more confident than ever that Wisconsin is LOUSY. Losing OT games so consistently means that they can’t rise to the occasion. A good team would have won more OT games than it lost. Sorry Wisconsin is bad as are all the teams MN has lost to.

        • Scott Reed

          Whoever liked your last statement is stupid too… St. Cloud is just outside the top 20 and getting votes.  You need to educate your self on the topics before you open your mouth and show how little you know. 

      • PDS

        Vermont is extremely lousy!

  • Bartoli

    Congrats Merrimack! What an accomplishment. A true “David” vs “Goliaths” story in college hockey. Hope you can keep building the program.

  • Andrewsharpe72

    Congratulations Merrimack, I have always been a BU hockey fan, but glad to see a Division II program, that has one Division I team make the grade as the best in the country of 59 Division I programs.  The Warriors deserve and get my respect at the “Best of the Best,” for making a dent in the polls were the usual powerhouses of starting to feel the threat from lesser known programs like Merrimack.

    • Scott Reed

      Not exactly threatened, let merrimack skate a season in the WCHA and see how they do, they are a class below all the teams in the WCHA. 

      • Soundvision909

        UMD only has D1 in Hockey, They were last years national champs so it is certainly not the first team to do so. 

        Also Eastern hockey, like the NHL, has a much easier travel schedule than those playing out west. They can take a bus, as well as their fans, to many games. It takes a lot of time and effort to travel, not an easy thing to do. I give a lot more credit to teams in the WCHA for their travel schedules than the eastern conferences, I know it is a distance to go from Maine to Mass. Makes for some rough bus rides, and long nights away from home.

  • bamditman

    I’m sorry but Merrimac is not a 1st place team. I don’t care how much of a feel good story it is, they are not # 1. Play a real schedule against good teams and then tell me how good you are. This is a joke!!!  Don’t be fooled, Merrimac is a bad hockey team.

    • RvrHwks

      I love it. Didn’t take long at all for someone to crawl out from under their rock to demonstrate an inability to accept reality. Merrimack is a 1st place team. They are #1. If the poll is a joke, then why are you posting about it? And, what gives you the expertise and knowledge that the voters don’t? And, don’t let yourself and your favorite team be fooled. As an avid hockey east fan, I’ve watched them grow over the past couple seasons. It was only a matter of time before they crashed the gate.

    • Anonymous

      Troll troll trolltrolltroll

    • Mr Hockey

      badditman, I’m with you. Don Lucia had been saying for 2 weeks that his Minnesota team wasn’t the best team in the country. He said the Gophers got put there because of other teams losing. I think this is the case here as well. Merrimack has another tough game Wednesday vs Ala-Huntsville, let’s see if they can hold on to #1….lol..tough schedule. Minnesota was getting guff for playing Vermont who was in the Frozen 4 a few years back. Will see if Merrimack is for real, in time. I’ve watched a lot of College Hockey over my life and Notre Dame gets my vote for #1 right now.

    • Annoyn

      Yea you are right, playing in the hockey east calls for a terrible schedule. You sir know nothing about college hockey. 

      • Mr Hockey

        Lol… Merrimacks schedule so far isn’t that tough, opponents winning pct is .280!! Hang on to the dream while it lasts.

        • Sioux99

          At least they beat those teams, Minnesota lost to teams with that percentage

    • Ryan D.

      Their schedule was pretty much set in stone over the past year, so even if they wanted to schedule some tougher opponents, they were tied into return matchups against the likes of Army and Uconn. I love this guy….”Merrimac is a bad team” – you’re right, why would a team want to be undefeated? Merrimack should drop games to Vermont and St. Cloud instead like Minnesota did. At what point does the fact you haven’t lost a game mean something?

      • Mr Hockey

        Everyone knows schedules are made 3 yrs in advance, that was covered last week. Undefeated does mean something but if you want to say that Merrimack is the best team, fine it’s your opinion. I’ll add the voters had no choice this week but to put them there at #1. Let’s, let the season play out and see how they do. I’ll say Minnesota takes back #1 by Christmas. The real poll is the USAToday poll and Minnesota is #2 in that one. We’ll see in time. The next big game of the year is Notre Dame @ Minnesota, January 7th. The winner of that game will be #1. 

      • Joe C

        Also, this is a team that was in the NCAA tournament last year as a #2 seed in Manchester if I remember correctly. Late last year, it was a very possible #1 until the end of Hockey East playoffs. Was their schedule last year a joke, too?

        I agree with you, Ryan. Merrimack can only play the teams on the schedule. Zero ties and zero losses to date. Yes, they are playing Huntsville early in the season. Good for them to try to help that program.

        Part of what goes into the rankings is how you did last year and how many of your key players you have back. That is why a team like BC or North Dakota get a little extra credit/perception compared to BU or Minnesota. Can Merrimack keep it going this season? In my opinion, they are a top ten team that right now has a far better record than any other teams in the top ten. Number one is currently theirs to lose, as everyone as that has been number one this season has done.

        • Scott Reed

          only the preseason rankings take into account anything from last year. Yes Merr can only play the teams on their schedule, but use your heads, of course they look good playing garbage teams.  like the NFC west in the NFL… nobody gets credit for beating bad teams…

          • Ryan D.

            I love this guy, can’t get enough. You really think their choice of scheduling is solely based on what they want? It could be that the prestigous western programs have no incentive to play a team like Merrimack, since they won’t draw any extra attention because of Merrimack’s lack of notoriety. It’s a no win situation (at least it has been while MC has struggled) for these big Non conference programs to bring in MC. Losing to MC outweighs the gains from beating MC, from those school’s perspective.

          • Scott Reed

            What from my comment made you think I don’t understand the scheduling issues that you so elequently explained? your making my pont for me… none of the good schools are playing them because they have never been good.  Good school + good school = higher ticket sales = more money.  We all argue all season and the tournament gets the final word….of who is playing the best at the end of the season. 

            “Merr can only play the teams on their schedule.”

    • Save UMaine Hockey

      You obviously haven’t seen Merrimack play this year if you don’t think they’re the #1 team (by the way, learn how to spell).  Their players are big, they are fast, their puck movement is amazing, their defensive play is suffocating, and their physicality is intimidating. 

      Granted, they’ve ended up in overtime a few games, but if you look at their statistics, they haven’t allowed more than 2 goals in any game.  Their non-conference schedule maybe easy, but they still have to play all of the Hockey East teams, all of which can play tough games on any given night.

      Don’t underestimate a team you haven’t seen.  Merrimack is the real deal this year (and are way better than last year in my opinion).

  • HEhockey31

    Hahahahahah the Minnesota fanboys think Vermont is a good team this year. You all are clueless. I hate to break it to you but vermont’s ONLY win was against Minnesota. You lost to an otherwise winless team.

    • Mr Hockey

      Who of the Minnesota fans is saying Vermont is good? Yes, Minnesota lost to Vermont. They also have shutout 6 teams this year! Swept UMD in Duluth, swept North Dakota, which is a rivalry game and the Sioux played their best that night and still lost. Merrimack is everybodies media darling right now, and beating Army and Northeastern in people eyes out east probably means something. The WCHA is still the premeir conference in the country. Teams usually are happy to split on the road. That being said Minnesota has played almost all conference  road games going 5-2 so far. Overall conference record is 7-2 and overall record in all games is 11-3. Minnesota has nothing to explain to anyone. They have a tough road series this weekend vs Michigan State. I believe one of the games is on the Big 10 network. Watch the Gophers play and if you can honestly tell me, after you watch them play, that they are not that good, well I’ll reconsider my position.

      • PDS

        The Sioux are not playing very good this year and by no means did they play there best against the Gophs. Nice one though.  The gophs are overranked.  Besides the Sioux and Duluth, they’re splitting every week (against worth-mentioning teams).

        • Mr Hockey

          Um Hello Duluth isn’t splitting every weekend they’re unbeaten since the Gophers beat them. I’ve watched all of the Sioux games this year and the 2 vs the Gophers were their best games.

          • Scott Reed

            wow, you need to let us know what your doing, how do you watch untelevised games? or do you just happen to be traveling to the local areas they are playing when they are playing?

          • Mr Hockey

            Well if you’re lucky like me, you get a lot of channels and can watch a lot of college hockey. I get all of Mn, StC, Mankato, Bemidji St, UMD, and UND games. Plus if you get the Big 10 channel you can pick up a game their like Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan St, and Wisconsin. I also get Fox college sports which rebroadcasts games and CBS college sports. So yes I can get a lot of college hockey games. I’ve seen a lot of the ranked teams play this year. The one I haven’t seen play is Merrimack. I suggest moving to Minnesota and getting Charter Cable. I’m also a Goopher season ticket holder & I do also travel and watch as much hockey as I can. I was going to go out to Michigan St for the weekend series but I need to stay back and run my sporting goods store. Not all games are live but if you tivo the late night rebroadcasts you can get a lot of hockey in. I can’t wait for Versus/ NBCSN to cover games after the 1st of the year. Yes and I apologize for the miss read of the earlier post. I’ll stick to my guns and say Minnesota and Notre Dame are the 2 best teams this year.

          • Scott Reed

            and if you learn to comprehend what you read you will realize PDS said the gophers are splitting.

    • Mr Hockey

      Just checked the Mich St vs MN series is only on Fox Sports North this weekend. The Gophers do play 3 more times nationaly this season. Jan 7th vs Notre Dame- Big10 Net, Jan 27th vs St.Cloud- Big10Net and Feb 10th vs Denver- NBCSN(versus). So check them out. 

  • Eagle68

    Stop, take a breath and realize it is only NOV. Who cares who is ranked #1 now? How many teams have already been ranked there. Woory about it after the Ides of March.

  • Hockey West

    The Gophers are young and inconsistent. They have the best long term NHL prospect in college hockey right now with Bujgstad and more depth than they have had in 8 years. They have shown their youth on Fridays and their potential on Saturdays. The best team in the country right now though is UMD. The WCHA is very young top to bottom and will only get better as the season progresses. Come March I fully expect at least 2 WCHA teams in the Frozen 4 and one hoisting the trophy.

    • Pgrel4

      I’m a Merrimack grad..’75′….This team has earned this. I know it’s early..but for a team who doesn’t get the top recruits in the NEast, they have shown that hard work pays off….should have beat ND in the tournament last year..fluke OT goal..ND was totally dominated..Were lucky to win….MC?…they are for real….Are they a legit #1? Up to now yes…but long way to go….

  • Lardya3

    My top 4 right now are Notre Dame, MN, BC and UMD.  Long ways to go boys and girls, let’s not get all riled up over Mary Mack being #1.  They won’t stay there long.

  • Sully

    Diversity of top teams is good for college hockey.  Good recruiting talking points for the schools, great for the fans and has to be a healthy thing for college hockey.  My hat is off to every D-2 college (with a D-1 hockey program) that can beat the BIG BOYS on any given night.  It’s good to have the top tier programs looking over their shoulders all the time.  A walkover gamer is good for no one.  Parity is good — and at the end of the day the NCAA Champ is decided between the glass in the Frozen Four.  Six on six.

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