Colorado College took a 5-2 exhibition victory over the U.S. Under 18 Team, and that was enough to preserve the No. 1 ranking in this week’s USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll. While the win doesn’t count in CC’s overall record of 23-4-5 and will not be considered by the NCAA for tournament selection, the Tigers held the top spot in the USCHO.com Pairwise Rankings (PWR), which mimics the selection criteria.
No. 2 Cornell won a pair of home games to finish the regular season at Lynah Rink with a perfect 13-0 record. The Big Red need just one point in the two final road games to clinch first place in the ECAC. Cornell was steady at No. 3 in the PWR.
A trio of Hockey teams finished in the next three poll spots. The Boston College Eagles captured No. 3 in the poll and tied for No. 4 in the PWR after a sweep of conference opponent and Beanpot rival Northeastern. No. 4 New Hampshire downed Merrimack 6-1 and then tied Mass.-Lowell 4-4. After losing to unranked Massachusetts 4-2 on Friday, Maine rebounded for a 4-0 win Saturday but fell two spots to No. 5 in the poll.
Idle Ferris State was the beneficiary of some losses in the middle of the poll. With North Dakota losing twice to MSU-Mankato and dropping two places to No. 10, combined with No. 7 Minnesota losing an overtime games against in-state rival Minnesota-Duluth and consequently falling in the poll, Ferris State climbed to No. 6 in both the poll and the PWR.
Providence enters the poll at No. 15 this week, earning a win and a tie in a pair of overtime games against No. 11 Boston University. The Friars are on a hot streak, going 7-2-2 in its last 11 games, including a 4-1-2 record against ranked teams. All three regular season meetings between Boston University and Providence went to overtime, and the two teams will meet in the Hockey East quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five years.
Hockey East finishes conference play this weekend, with two games between the top two teams in the conference and two teams tied for No. 4 in the PWR, No. 3 Boston College and No. 4 New Hampshire. Also squaring off for a pair of games are the No. 11 Terriers and No. 5 Black Bears, which meet for two games in Orono.
It is the penultimate weekend in the other leagues, and No. 8 Michigan faces Michigan State in one of the greatest rivalries in college athletics. The Spartans received six votes in the poll, and stand tied at No. 16 in the PWR to Michigan’s No. 10.
The WCHA will also see the top two teams in conference play, as the current second-place team in the league, No. 10 MSU-Mankato, travels to top team No. 1 Colorado College. Also, No. 12 Denver makes its push for conference positioning, taking on host Minnesota, currently No. 7 in the poll and No. 8 in the PWR.
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.
The PWR can be reformatted and redistributed by any media outlet or person, provided USCHO’s URL (http://www.uscho.com/) accompanies the results.