One Loss, No Problem: Maine Edges Minnesota To Stay No. 1 In Poll

Despite suffering its first loss of the season, Maine hung onto the top spot in Monday’s Division I men’s poll. The Black Bears, who beat Massachusetts-Lowell Friday before falling before an offensive explosion from New Hampshire Sunday, earned 22 first-place votes and 772 overall points this week, edging out Minnesota for No. 1.

The Golden Gophers, whose unbeaten streak reached 10 with a pair of ties against St. Cloud State, totaled 17 first-place votes and 764 poll points to finish second, outdistancing No. 3 North Dakota, which climbed two spots during an off week.

Michigan State rose two positions to No. 4 after tying Ferris State Tuesday and rebounding to beat the Bulldogs Friday. Rounding out the top five was Notre Dame, which surged up four spots after sweeping Bowling Green to run its own unbeaten streak to eight.

Miami slipped to No. 6 in the wake of a split with Lake Superior State, followed by seventh-ranked Boston College. The Eagles lost to Harvard Tuesday but bounced back to beat Merrimack Friday, but still fell four spots from last week’s rankings.

No. 8 this week was Michigan, edging up two spots after sweeping Nebraska-Omaha. Tailing the Wolverines was Boston University, which recorded its fourth tie of the season Friday against New Hampshire; the Wildcats, meanwhile, moved into the top 10, up three places after their three-point weekend against two of the nation’s top teams.

Leading off the second half of the poll was No. 11 Denver, which swept Wisconsin in Madison last weekend. Cornell was No. 12, beating Harvard before suffering its first loss of the season to Dartmouth. That win for the Big Green, coupled with a victory over Colgate, was sufficient for Dartmouth to rebound to No. 13 this week, up six spots.

Wisconsin suffered the biggest drop in Monday’s poll, freefalling seven places to No. 14. The Badgers, the preseason co-No. 1 team, have lost five of their last six games.

Northern Michigan came in at No. 15, followed by Rensselaer, St. Cloud State, Clarkson — down six places this week after losing to Quinnipiac and Princeton — and then Alaska and newcomer Massachusetts to complete the top 20. Dropping out was Colorado College.