Black Bears Stay No. 1 For Second Week

With a three point weekend over conference foe Merrimack, Maine retained first place in the Division I Men’s Poll for the second consecutive week. The Black Bears also hold the first place position in the PairWise Ranking (PWR), winning comparisons with all other teams under consideration.

The PairWise Ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament. The PWR compares teams with a Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) at or above .500, judging them by four criteria: record against common opponents, head to head competition, record against other teams with RPIs at or above .500, and the RPI.

Running a close second in this week’s poll, and tied for second in the PWR, is North Dakota, which actually received more first place votes in the poll (20) than Maine (19). North Dakota outscored its weekend opponent, host Alaska-Anchorage, 14 to 2 over a two game series.

Moving up in the poll this week is No. 6 Boston College, which rose two spots following a weekend sweep of crosstown rival Boston University, which finished this week’s voting at No. 14, two spots lower than the previous poll. BC is eighth in the PWR this week.

No. 12 St. Cloud State also climbed two spots from last week after sweeping a two game set with traveling Providence College. The Huskies sport an impressive 11-8-3 record against a difficult schedule, and sit comfortably tied with Minnesota for No. 6 in the PWR.

Making its debut in the poll this week after earning a win and a tie against No. 11 Denver, MSU-Mankato sits alone at third in the WCHA standings. The Mavericks will attempt to maintain their new-found status with two games against No. 7 Minnesota on Friday and Saturday night.

The other games featuring two ranked teams include a home-and-home series between No. 5 New Hampshire and Boston University. The Wildcats, which knocked last week’s No. 15 team, Massachusetts, out of the poll with a weekend sweep, with two wins might do the same for the No. 14 Terriers. Boston University, meanwhile, will attempt to halt a three game losing streak on Thursday, playing hosts to the Wildcats in a televised game.

And in the ECAC, No. 4 Cornell will try to extend its perfect 6-0 home winning streak as it plays host to Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend. It is the first time the Big Red have played home conference games since late November.

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.

The PWR can be reformatted and redistributed by any media outlet or person, provided USCHO’s URL ( accompanies the results.