Idle Minnesota-Duluth jumped into the top spot in the USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll after a shocking Harvard loss. Harvard had held the No. 1 position for 13 consecutive weeks, until a stunning 7-2 loss to No. 4 Dartmouth in the ECAC Championship game bumped the Crimson into second place.
It was just the second loss of the year for Harvard, the first coming at the hands of No. 3 Minnesota back on November 17, 4-3 in Minneapolis. It cost the Crimson the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, as selections were announced Sunday evening and Harvard received the No. 2 seed and will play No. 3 seed Minnesota.
In the other bracket, top seed Minnesota-Duluth will host No. 4 Dartmouth. The Frozen Four, which takes place next weekend, will be held in Duluth, Minn. this year. This marks the first time the host school has participated in the event.
Who will win the tournament is anyone’s guess, as all schools have wins over other participating teams. No. 4 Dartmouth has downed Minnesota 6-3 and Harvard 7-2, No. 3 Minnesota handled Harvard 4-3 and Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, No. 2 Harvard toppled UMD 2-1 and Dartmouth twice 9-2 and 2-1, and No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth did in Dartmouth twice, 5-3 and 6-3, and Minnesota thrice, 4-3, 6-5 and 7-1.
Elsewhere, Hockey East wrapped up its first successful season in a classic 1-0 game between No. 6 Providence and No. 7 New Hampshire. The Friars out-shot UNH 32-13 for the game and earned the conference postseason championship to go with the regular season title already collected.
This is the final poll of the 2002-2003 season. The next poll will be released in October 2003.
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.