For at least one more week, the University of Minnesota is the top team in the polls.
Despite splitting a two-game home-and-home series with Minnesota State, the Golden Gophers maintained their #1 ranking over Quinnipiac in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey polls for the fifth straight week. The Bobcats defeated Connecticut in overtime on Tuesday to extend their unbeaten streak to 17 games.
The two teams split all 50 first-place votes in the USCHO poll 28-22 in favor of Minnesota. That's down from 48 last week for the Gophers, who earned just 7 more points than Quinnipiac.
Last week's #3 team, Boston College, fell two spots to fifth following a pair of losses to Maine. The Eagles have struggled recently, losing 4 of 5 games, and being swept by the last place team in Hockey East a week before the Beanpot is not the direction the defending national champs want to go.
In BC's place in third is fellow Hockey East school New Hampshire. The Wildcats split a two-game series with Merrimack; losing Friday before coming back to win 6-2 Saturday.
Miami, meanwhile, moves up to fourth following a sweep of Bowling Green. Western Michigan joins their CCHA brethren in moving up as well with the Broncos going from ninth to #6 after sweeping Michigan.
North Dakota, Yale, Notre Dame and Denver make up the rest of the USCHO top-ten.
The bottom half of the poll features a tough situation for the 2 WCHA "Mavericks." Minnesota State fell one spot from #14 to #15 despite ending Minnesota's ten-game unbeaten streak Friday night. At the same time, that isn't as bad as Nebraska-Omaha. The red Mavericks swept Bemidji State on the road yet also fell a spot in the polls from 13th to 14th. Both of them (and possibly WCHA-leading/#12 St. Cloud State) probably have a bone to pick.
Alaska is the lone team to enter the USCHO top-20 this week as the Nanooks replace the Big Red of Cornell.
And now the usual disclaimers: Polls are for entertainment and have no bearing on NCAA Tournament positions. Those would be the PairWise rankings, which our own Chris Dilks breaks down here.
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