As the regular season wrapped up, Harvard received a unanimous No. 1 ranking in this week’s USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll. Harvard had a three win week, surviving a 4-3 scare at the hands of unranked Brown before road wins over Cornell and Colgate. Harvard is also No. 1 in the Pairwise Rankings (PWR), a computer model of NCAA tournament selection criteria.
Minnesota-Duluth, ranked No. 2 in both the poll and the PWR, was idle. No. 3 Minnesota split a pair of games with No. 5 Wisconsin, falling 2-1 before triumphing 2-0 on Saturday. Wisconsin climbed one spot following the split.
No. 4 Dartmouth finished second in the ECAC despite a weekend split which included a 3-2 loss to No. 9 Princeton as well as a 5-1 win over Yale. Unranked Niagara played host to two of the nation’s top 10, losing in overtime to No. 8 Providence 3-2, before dropping a 4-3 decision to No. 6 St. Lawrence.
Playoffs get underway next weekend in all leagues except Hockey East, which starts one week later. The ECAC’s best-of-three quarterfinal games begin when No. 1 Harvard hosts Cornell, No. 4 Dartmouth plays Colgate, No. 6 St. Lawrence meets Brown, and No. 9 Princeton faces off against Yale. In the WCHA, No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth plays the winner of the Bemidji State vs. Ohio State play-in game while No. 3 Minnesota faces No. 5 Wisconsin for the third time in eight days. No. 10 Mercyhurst plays Wayne State in a CHA semifinal Friday.
The USCHO.com Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 15 voters, including 11 coaches of Division I programs and four women’s hockey writers.
The Pairwise Ranking attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I women’s hockey tournament. The PWR compares only those at or above .500, judging them by five criteria: record against common opponents, record in last 16 games, head to head competition, record against other teams at or above .500, and the Ratings Percentage Index (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.