Being No. 1 in December…

It’s a common line when teams become No. 1 in December — it’s being No. 1 in March that matters. But is being No. 1 in December a good predictor of being No. 1 in March? We’ll take a look at the history.ÂÂ

Here are the No. 1 teams in the last November poll, since the USCHO poll started in 1998.

11/30/98 UNH — lost national final

11/29/99 Harvard — lost in ECAC semifinals (not selected for nationals)

11/27/00 Dartmouth — lost NCAA semifinal

11/26/01 UMD — won NCAA title

11/25/02 Minnesota — lost NCAA semifinal

11/24/03 Minnesota — won NCAA title

11/29/04 Minnesota — won NCAA title

11/28/05 St. Lawrence — lost NCAA semifinal

And here are the No. 1 teams in the last poll of December — which in some ways is a closer analogy to the current poll since this season started earlier than in the past.ÂÂ

12/14/98 Harvard — won national title

12/13/99 Northeastern — lost in ECAC quarterfinals (not selected for nationals)

12/18/00 Dartmouth — lost in NCAA semifinals

12/17/01 UMD — won NCAA title

12/16/02 Harvard — lost NCAA final

12/15/03 Minnesota — won NCAA title

12/13/04 Minnesota — won NCAA title

12/12/05 St. Lawrence — lost NCAA semifinal

And one last list — the dates for which the national champions were actually No. 1 in the polls. Minnesota (2004, 2005) is the only program to win the NCAA title without having a 4-week period ranked below No. 1.

1999 Harvard (12/3-end of season)

2000 Minnesota (never)

2001 UMD (never)

2002 UMD (preseason-1/7)

2003 UMD (presason-11/4, and 3/17)

2004 Minnesota (10/13-1/19, 2/16-end of season)

2005 Minnesota (all season)

2006 Wisconsin (11/21 and 1/16-1/30)