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College Hockey:
Quinnipiac still top-ranked team in D-I men’s poll

The top 12 spots in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll remain the same as last week, including Quinnipiac as the top-ranked team for the third week in a row.

Quinnipiac, which beat Yale and tied Brown, garnered 37 first-place votes this week.

Minnesota earned 10 first-place votes to stay No. 2 after beating and tying Minnesota-Duluth. Third-ranked Miami swept Lake Superior State and took home two first-place nods, Boston College, which earned the other first-place vote, sits fourth after upending Merrimack in overtime on Sunday.

New Hampshire is again fifth after a win and tie against Vermont, No. 6 North Dakota split with Denver, No. 7 St. Cloud State split with Colorado College, eighth-ranked Western Michigan played to a pair of ties with Notre Dame, Minnesota State stays ninth after being off last weekend and Denver is again slotted tenth.

Notre Dame is again No. 11, Massachusetts-Lowell stays 12th after sweeping Boston University, Nebraska-Omaha lost an exhibition game to the U.S. Under-18 Team and jumps one to No. 13, Niagara rises two to No. 14 with a sweep over Mercyhurst and Yale drops two to No. 15 after losing to QU, but then beating Princeton.

At No. 16, Wisconsin is up two places after a win over Penn State Sunday, Merrimack is again 17th, Dartmouth is up one notch to No. 18 after losing to Clarkson and topping St. Lawrence and Boston University tumbles from No. 15 to No. 19 in this week’s rankings.

Previously-unranked Providence enters the poll this week at No. 20 after sweeping Northeastern.

The USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country.


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  • Dan

    Yale loses to Quinnipiac and drops 2. UNO loses to Under 18 team and moves up? Would Under 18 be ranked #1 in your poll if eligible?

    • http://twitter.com/mflaone mfla

      Dan was that directed to me? If so, first, dont under estimate the talent on the U-18 team as UNO probably did, some exceptional young players there. Keep in mind for years teams like Minnesota played kids right out of high school at 17 or 18 and they did rather well. Still do. Second, it was an exhibition game which, I believe is not taken into consideration when polling.

      • Mike

        I believe you are right about the Under 18 team, if I’m not mistaken these games don’t count towards PWR, polls, RPI, etc etc..

        Dan, as far as UNO moving up in the poll my best guess would be to do with common opponents or something to that extent. Perhaps a TUC team they may have defeated has recently defeated a team up high in the PWR and some voters took that into account. At least that would be my best guess. But we need to continually remember polls are meaningless! They’re for bragging rights and taunting!

        • http://twitter.com/mflaone mfla

          Mike I agree but I believe rankings do effect PairWise overall and PairWise determines who makes it in to the Tournament and where they are seeded. In that regard, polls do matter.

          • Mike

            I guess I thought the PWR just used RPI, record against common opponents, record against TUC’s, and head to head competition….and the polls were simply sports writers and coaches voting on these stats and such. I always thought it was math that decided the PWR and the teams for the tourney. But….I’ve been known to be wrong before and welcome any corrections.

          • Bob_McNotmyrealname

            Polls have no influence on Pairwise.

  • http://twitter.com/mflaone mfla

    There has been much back and forth on this debate regarding QU being ranking #1 and after watching them take on the juggernaut that is Yale Hockey, I decided to go to the QU/Brown game and form an opinion based on my years of being around hockey, at all levels, for 30 years as a Minnesotan (now ex-Minnesotan). I will say this, its apparent that QU is much better than their conference mates – due mainly to their goalie. Who is good. Not Great. They have some size. They have very little speed to speak of. I was not impressed with their puck handling nor did it appear they have anyone with a big shot. They have a solid first line defense though and their goalie acts like a third defensemen and they do a good job of closing ranks and clogging up the middle – at least against a lessor team whom they can inpose their will on.

    Some good points were made last week: the ECAC is a bad conference top to bottom, QU really hasnt played a top team all year, doesnt have a single great win and if you weigh them beating ranked teams from their own conference – well that only matters if you believe those teams should be ranked at all or at that level. Such as Yale at #13. Someone mentioned last week that QU cant be blamed for their schedule, well, actually they can. They play a non-Conference schedule like all D-1 teams and while teams like Minnesota test their mettle against Boston College and Notre Dame, QU plays and loses to Robert Morris and American International.
    Quinnipiac DOES know how to win and they have made a habit of it, which will matter come Tournament time. Minnesota on the other hand, while stacked with 3 very good lines and the best top line in the country, slightly underachieves. This will hurt them in the tournament.

    • GoGophs

      Sounds like a fair assessment. I have to say that watching some of the QU/Yale game on NBC’s national broadcast, I was quite impressed with their speed and size. (Or was I deceived by the smaller rink and high-def picture? Ha) I’d watch that game then flip over to the Gophers game (Olympic ice, cameras 2 miles away…brutal Big Ten commentators.. But I digress). I have played and followed MN hockey my whole 32 years, and am a biased Gophers fan with no credibility. But I do understand the game a little bit, and I really thought QU looked pretty impressive? Again, maybe hard to tell, but puck movement, one-timers, some fast/skilled play around the net.. was fun to watch on tv. Equally, how in the world could I vote MN #1 after tying Duluth and looking so sloppy so often the past few months? I couldn’t do it. I think QU more than deserves this, and am still happy to support their #1 vote. (Kinda makes BC’s undefeated run last year that much more impressive to me). Either way, like every intelligent post points out, none of this really holds any water for anyone until playoffs.

      • http://twitter.com/mflaone mfla

        I have to say it was a nice, if sterile, place to watch a game. It was maybe the cleanest college hockey arena I have ever been to. The absence of advertising along the boards was quite refreshing too. Stadium holds 3000 and seemed like a very small ice sheet but my guess is that was an optical illusion brought on by the size of the arena. Still laughing about your non-HD, two mile away camera, comment. Thank god for Big10 taking over those games. Who broadcasts ANYTHING in analog or digital only anymore for sporting events?

        • BB

          It is NHL sized ice. I played on it when I was there working as a student athletic trainer.

    • GeauxSioux

      This is literally the most logical comment I’ve read in months. My comments included.

    • Anti-NCAA

      Plus, look at the entire poll. One-half of the top ten teams are from one conference! If QU had that fact would they still be located at the top spot? Probably not, since the other four teams in the top 10 (if their conference could even possess five of the top ten teams, that is) would be highly competitive.

      When you look at the top 18 teams the WCHA has seven of the top 18 teams. I don’t think QU realizes what it’s like to play, not only a foe of their conference, but that week in and week out top 20 teams.

      You are correct, QU cannot be blamed for their schedule nor their conference affiliation. I think that is why vote-getters usually come from HE, CCHA, or WCHA when it’s a top-5 position.

  • Goofus

    Look at those Goof fans worrying about QU again. Bottom line, Quinnipiac shouldn’t be taken lightly because they can steal a game in the first round of the NCAAs just as the Goofs can lose and be out pretty quick. I remember when Don Lucia was about going for national championships. Then I guess it is about finishing first in the poll. That makes sense. Seven game series doubt the Goofs get past North Dakota. Miami probably wins in six

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew5168 Matt Forget

      Taking any opponent lightly is how you lose matchups, period. In terms of the Gopher fans going off about Qpac, I hope they DO take them lightly if they get matched up against each other and the Gophers lose; maybe it will get some to realize that your conference or SoS might not be everything?

      • ExiledGopher

        Fair point, but it cuts both ways. QU could just as easily play the 5th or 6th place team from the WCHA and get housed. Maybe then it will get some to realize that conference and SoS do count for something.

        • http://www.facebook.com/matthew5168 Matt Forget

          Also a fair point, but at the same time, if they truly did all the time, QU would not have dropped a competition to Robert Morris or AIC, and would not have swept Nebraska-Omaha at home.

          That’s why this sport is so exciting.

    • http://twitter.com/mflaone mfla

      Which Gophs fan is worried about QU? I thought this was a discussion about rankings? I am a hockey fan first and Gophers fan second but as a Gophers fan I would welcome QU at anytime in the Tournament. I dont want NDSU or BC but QU all day. The Gophs may lose the game, wouldnt be the first time they have lost early or to teams they should beat, but its the first time in a long time they have kept a team together for a few years in a row without the NHL coming in and decimating the top 2 lines – so I like their chances.

      • nogofer

        NDSU disbanded their only hockey team, a club team, years ago. Although I do believe NDSU football did defeat mn recently…

  • GopherBulldogHockey

    Nice to see QU on tv this weekend. Was surprised with their energy and how good they looked. Maybe their not as over-rated as some of thought? Guess well see in a couple of weeks.

  • Kyle

    I watched the QU/Yale game through the second and I had seen enough. I went into the game with as much as an open mind as possible. The positives for QU are that they hustle and use their size, decent goaltending (he’s big, but slow). They also work together as a team (which is not true of most Gopher teams that are full of players that are more concerned with going to play in the NHL) Beyond that, they there’s not much to say. They lack skill- passing, stickhandling, puck control. They dominated the game and scored garbage goals, mostly because Yale was REALLY slow (especially in their defensive zone).

    Bottom line is that I’m not going to pass judgement after one game, but this game did nothing to disprove my previous points that QU lacks quality competition in the ECAC. This Yale team that is supposedly the best competition in the ECAC would definitely be in the bottom half of the WCHA. The worst part about this whole debate is we have no way to judge how good QU is because they haven’t played anyone. Hopefully they fix this in the future by playing a better non-conference schedule, but they will always have this problem in the business end of the season in their conference schedule (when rankings really matter).

    One last thing…I like the enthusiasm of QU fans, but really, thundersticks???

  • atlsioux

    In general I don’t have a problem with the Pairwise. However, this is one of those seasons where the weaknesses in the Pairwise are glaring. I don’t know how good QU is, but I am positive they are not the best D1 hockey team in the country. Take ANY college sport at any level. Would any serious person give ANY serious consideration to ranking a team No. 1 in the country when they play the 39th most difficult schedule? The simple answer is NO. And that’s magnified in hockey because there are so few teams. The same SOS rank in football or basketball is a whole lot better than in hockey simply due to the total number of teams. Now this wouldn’t matter one bit if we were only talking about a poll. But we’re not. The Pairwise, and only the Pairwise, determines the NCAA tournament seeding. AND the No. 1 seed is always ‘protected’ by playing the No. 16 seed, regardless of all the other seeding considerations. So yeah, this year the Pairwise system is not looking so good. But most years it does seem to work pretty well so I can live with it. Besides the real benefit might just be that No. 16 seed that gets the chance to knock off No. 1 QU in the first game!

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