College Hockey:
Quinnipiac gets 36 first-place votes in D-I men’s poll, still sits atop rankings

Despite losing to Harvard in overtime and then beating Dartmouth last weekend, Quinnipiac is once again the top-ranked team in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll, garnering 36 of 50 first-place votes.

Minnesota stays No. 2 after splitting with Denver and earned 12 first-place votes this week.

Final CCHA regular-season champion Miami stays third with a split against Ohio State, New Hampshire moves up one to No. 4 after tying and topping Massachusetts and North Dakota is up one to sit fifth after beating and tying Bemidji State.

Boston College falls two spots to No. 6 after splitting with Providence, while at No. 7, Massachusetts-Lowell is up five spots and took the other two first-place votes after sweeping Merrimack.

St. Cloud State drops one to No. 8 splitting with Michigan Tech, Western Michigan split with Michigan State and falls one spot to No. 9 and Minnesota State is also down one to No. 10 after a split with Colorado College.

Notre Dame remains 11th after sweeping Bowling Green, Denver falls two places to No. 12, Yale rises a pair to No. 13 after beating both Colgate and Cornell, Wisconsin swept Nebraska-Omaha and is up two to No. 14 and Atlantic Hockey regular-season champ Niagara is down one to sit 15th after getting swept by Air Force.

Nebraska-Omaha tumbles three spots to No. 16, previously-unranked Rensselaer enters the rankings at No. 17 after beating Clarkson and St. Lawrence, Providence is up two to No. 18, Boston University stays 19th after splitting with Vermont and Union re-enters the poll at No. 20 after wins over St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

Dartmouth and Merrimack fall out of the poll this week.

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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  • GeauxSioux

    Dear lord. Losing to Harvard? Get real.

  • dcSIOUXfan

    Can someone please explain to me how the river hawks received 2 votes?

    • Bob Neal

      Because they are on a roll in the best league with a red hot goalie. Any questions??

      • dcSIOUXfan

        Best league? We’ll leave that aside for a moment. How are the “on a roll” when you beat two teams that are barely above 500 and one team that is garbage? Oh wait, they beat BC once. Do you really think that necessitates a #1 vote?

        • Afterfurtherreview

          17-2-1 in the last 20 isn’t so bad, no matter who you are playing, just ask QU or Niagara.

        • Bob Neal

          I believe that league has won 4 of the last 5 NCAA tournaments, correct? Probably doesn’t mean they deserve a #1 vote. They don’t have the luxury of playing ‘home’ games in their league tourney like Minnesota always does. Only time will tell.

          • Hey Now

            What does the WCHA Final Five being in St. Paul have anything to do with any of this conversation? This is about the current polls, and PWR.

          • Mike

            Just an FYI…since the final five was permanently placed in St. Paul in ’98 Minnesota holds a 10-14 record on “home” ice. There are as many fans from other teams at the tourney as there are Gopher fans so there really is no “home ice advantage”. If they play scsu or und the fan base can be 50/50. Definitely not a luxury.

          • Bob Neal

            Some of those team weren’t very good when UND and Wisconsin were better. I see your point, but I am saying that playing in Minneapolis is a big advantage. UNH gets to play in Manchester a lot, but they don’t ever advance because they are usually overrated. Minnesota is very good now so I see them in the Frozen Four. I am still hoping for Lowell to play in Manchester or Providence with Quinnipiac

          • holmesaaaa

            Well if fans would show up to the games when they have the regionals in your states maybe they would put them there. There is no regional in Minnesota this year.

    • bronxbomberz41

      I don’t think you get to see many UMass-Lowell games in DC do you? Did you watch them on TV on Sunday? They dominated a good Merrimack team that was 2-1 against #4 UNH. They only thing hurting UML is that they got swept by UNH back in November in 3 games.

      • Bob Neal

        I have been a big Lowell fan for over 30 years so I am hopeful, BUT I still see a need for more scoring. They are skating hard with 4 lines and have a superb freshman goalie. Hope to see Minnesota in Pittsburgh.

  • GophersNYC

    Clearly, 36 of the 50 people in your poll know nothing about college hockey. How does one lose to the worst team in their conference and retain the #1 ranking? Nothing against the ‘cats, but they are far from the best team in the country.

    • steve

      You realize that since this poll is 28 coaches and 22 beat writers, at least 14 of QU’s first place votes had to come from D1 college hockey coaches. Of course we don’t know which coaches those are, but I think it’s safe to say that they know a thing or two about college hockey. Definitely a thing or two more than a jealous Minnesota fan.

      • Kyle

        I think it’s safe to say that many of the voters blindly vote with the PWR. This season has definitely shown the deficiency in the rating. No way do QU’s TUC wins against Robert Morris, OSU, St. lawrence, Providence, Union, Rensellaer, UNO, Dartmouth, Brown and Yale beat out Minnesota’s wins against Minnesota State, Wisc, UNO, BC, Notre Dame, North Dakota, SCSU and Denver.

        Also, QU losing to a team like Harvard, who isn’t even a TUC and doesn’t factor into the PWR is just dumb. But MN losing to Denver makes their PWR rating go down? Explain to me how that’s an accurate system?

        Not that it matters for a team like MN, but it certainly matters for the bubble teams…

        • steve

          Valid points. The flaws in the PWR system are tough to overlook. But it’s also unfair to say that someone who would vote for a team that didn’t lose over a 20 game stretch “knows nothing about college hockey.” Debate QU’s ranking all you want, but don’t try and make it sound like they are somehow objectively not as good as MN.

          I’m not a QU fan, don’t like them at all actually. But I’ve seen them play, I’ve seen BC, and I’ve been to a few of the NCAA regionals over the past few years and QU is legitimate.

          • GophersNYC

            Steve, what I am is frustrated, not jealous. As Kyle points out this is a hugely flawed system–QU had a subpar weekend, yet that isn’t reflected in the rankings. My goal isn’t to suggest that QU isn’t having a terrific season (they are), but it’s simply absurd to believe that they are the best team in the country.

          • steve

            Should the loss to Harvard this weekend have made a bigger dent in their ranking? Yes. But there is really no perfect system that could determine who is objectively the best team in the country.

            I understand your frustration, but I take issue with your belief that it is absurd to believe that QU is the best team in the country. There is really no way to differentiate between the top 5 teams in the country (maybe even the top 10) and QU is definitely in that conversation.

          • holmesaaaa

            How about the league Quinnipiac is in? How about the teams that they have beat? How about The league the Gophers play in? That is the difference, Quinnipiac has beat nobody! The best team they have beaten was Nebraska Omaha and they are 6th in the WCHA and a record of 18-14-2. The point is Quinnipiac is not even a top 5 team yet they have held on to the top spot now for 4 weeks with losses to Harvard, St. Lawrence, and tieing Brown? It makes no sense, and stop lying to us, you are completely a Quinnipiac fan!

          • GophersNYC

            …and obviously, the “knows nothing…” comment was nothing but a touch of hyperbole to get the conversation going; I would’ve left it out had I known you intended to make a federal case over it.

        • GophersNYC

          …not to mention seeding. As for the TUC business, the formula doesn’t weight TUC teams; so a win over a team in the bottom ten has the same value as a win over one in the top ten.

    • Bob Neal

      I agree as the ECAC is always weak. Your Minnesota team ALWAYS gets to play semi-final and ( if they make it ) final games at home. nice deal. As a Lowell fan, I would love to be in Quinnipiac’s region.

  • Guest

    Steve, what I am is frustrated, not jealous. As Kyle points out this is a
    hugely flawed system–QU had a subpar weekend, yet that isn’t reflected in the rankings. My goal isn’t to suggest that QU isn’t having a terrific season (they are), but it’s simply absurd to believe that they are the best team in the country.

  • EliBlue

    I’m an ECAC fan and think Quinnipiac is exciting and often unfairly criticized — but no way they shouldn’t have dropped after this weekend. Harvard is no Denver. I think most of the hockey world spends too much time trashing the poll rankings of ECAC teams when what matters most is the tournament anyway. But this kind of thing is kind of like voters got on the bandwagon too late and are not getting off objectively. It’s fun when the typical big guys are not ranked number one, but come on

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

    It’s amazing how everyone claims the polls mean nothing, yet those same people are the ones to yell first and loudest when they think a “crappy” team is atop the rankings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.desmarais.7 Andrew Desmarais

    Harvard is 4-2-2 in their last 8, for a total of one regulation loss. They have wins during that time over BU, and Quin and tied Dartmouth.

    Miami on the other hand is 5-3 in their last 8, including a loss to a bad Ohio State team.

    You could make the case that Harvard is playing better hockey than Miami right now.

    • holter19

      You made yourself stupider with that comment…

  • Nd

    As always the ECAC is always having to defend their conference. Yes, we don’t give scholarships (A huge disadvantage) but our conference has improved drastically over the last several seasons. We have five ranked teams as of this week, the number one ranked team in the country and incase you forgot but Union was in the Frozen Four last year. Also, Hockey East is the best conference in the country at the moment. Hands down.

    • GopherBulldogHockey

      No WCHA is hands down, hockey east has a good top few teams but not the depth of the WCHA.

      • bronxbomberz41

        I would say 1-8 in HEA would stack up very well against WCHA. Also, UNH wen’t 3-0-1 against WCHA in non-con play this year.

        • Afterfurtherreview

          Actually 4-0-1… beat BSU at the Dartmouth tourney too.

      • Afterfurtherreview

        I don’t think either is much better, hands down. They are both very good conferences. I am not going to go back to look at the games the bottom teams have played against each other, but I do remember UMass beat BSU and Maine beat UMD, both in tournaments. I am sure the WCHA has done the same to HE opponents, but I think top to bottom they are both strong.

      • Bob Neal

        WCHA has more teams so the bottom 3 or 4 can give the top 5 or 6 some easy wins. Wait until Notre Dame and UConn join HE. A minimum of 5 HE teams to the NCAA every year from 2015 on.

        • Rtn2GoldCountry

          With one less at-large big starting next year? I doubt it.

  • Bob Neal

    I would say that WCHA and HE are about equal. A little more depth in the WCHA, but that is due to more teams. HE will be the dominant league when they have 12 teams in 2 years.

  • Terrier Hockey

    I think it goes without saying that If i’m a #4 seed I would want to be placed in Quinnipiac’s region.

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