North Dakota Takes First in Poll

Capitalizing on a wild weekend among the top teams, North Dakota used a 6-6 tie and a 5-4 win over Minnesota State to improve to 12-1-1 and capture first place in this week’s Division I Men’s Poll. North Dakota moved up when last week’s No. 1 team, Boston College, lost to unranked Dartmouth on Tuesday and fell to No. 4. The next three teams all climbed one spot.

No. 2 is New Hampshire, which won its only game of the week, outlasting Connecticut 3-1. UConn led 1-0 midway through the contest, before the Wildcats scored three goals in the latter part of the second period.

The Maine Black Bears finish at No. 3, winning a close 2-1 game against a MAAC opponent, Quinnipiac. Three of Maine’s 10 wins this season have come against teams from the MAAC.

No. 5 Colorado College held steady in the fifth spot with two lopsided wins, 7-0 over Air Force and 10-2 over Mercyhurst. The first five teams in this week’s poll all received at least one first-place vote.

Making waves this week is No. 7 Cornell. While the Big Red didn’t move from the No. 7 spot from last week, the point differential with No. 6 Denver went from over a hundred points (444 to 343 last week) to fourteen (399 to 385 this week). Cornell was impressive with two home wins over No. 13 Boston University. The Terriers look forward to a breather in their difficult schedule, as they have seen teams ranked in the top 15 in six of their last eight games.

A big Hockey East match-up is on tap for this weekend, as No. 3 Maine battles No. 4 Boston College in a two game set at BC’s Kelley Rink. Also, the ranked teams from Ohio face off when No. 11 Miami and No. 14 Ohio State play a pair of games. In the WCHA, arch rivals No. 5 Colorado College and No. 6 Denver will be trading blows in what promises to be a spirited two games.

The Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 40 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 12 beat writers from across the country. The poll is published weekly by the Associated Press.