Tigers Defeat UND, Capture First

Colorado College was the only team in the top five of the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll not to lose a game, and ascended to the number one position in this week’s poll. After winning two games against No. 3 North Dakota, the Tigers captured 35 of the 40 first-place votes for a commanding lead over No. 2 Maine. Colorado College also moved up to No. 2 in the Pairwise Rankings (PWR), a computer model of NCAA Tournament selection.

After losing Saturday’s contest to No. 5 New Hampshire, Maine fell from the top spot in the PWR briefly, before an overtime win over UNH on Sunday catapulted the Black Bears into first once again. Maine received the remaining five first-place votes in the poll, and finished 36 points behind Colorado College for the lead.

No. 5 Cornell dropped one spot from last week following a split with travel partner Colgate. After losing 2-1 on Thursday, the Big Red rebounded for a 3-1 win Saturday that improved their record to 17-4. Cornell is also No. 5 in the PWR.

The poll was made up of the same 15 teams as last week, and there was a sizable gap between St. Cloud State at No. 15 (99 points) and Michigan State (10), the top team receiving votes but not ranked.

Next week sees a return to conference action for most teams, highlighted by No. 7 Minnesota’s trip to No. 1 Colorado College. Earlier in the season, the Golden Gophers took just one point at home against CC.

The lone exception to the conference play is next week’s Beanpot tournament, where No. 6 Boston College and No. 12 Boston University will meet in the championship game on Monday night. The Terriers rose to No. 7 in the PWR after defeating Harvard 2-1 in the first semifinal, while Boston College, No. 6 in the PWR, advanced to the championship game following a 5-2 win over Northeastern.

The USCHO.com 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 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.