OXFORD, Ohio – With the 2012-13 college hockey season complete, the final national polls were released Monday and Miami Hockey finished fifth in the USCHO.com Poll and sixth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. The final rankings are Miami’s best since the 2009-10 season when the RedHawks made the Frozen Four and finished No. 3. Miami, which was No. 8 and No. 10 in last year’s final polls, has now been ranked in the top 10 in the final polls each of the last six years (since 2007-08).
The RedHawks, who finished the season with a 25-12-5 record and made the NCAA Midwest Regional Final, totaled 757 points in the USCHO Poll and 336 points in the USA Today Poll. Miami entered the NCAA Tournament No. 5 in both polls, receiving 811 points in the USCHO Poll and 376 points in the USA Today Poll. In the USCHO Poll, St. Cloud State, which beat Miami in the regional final, is just ahead of the ‘Hawks with 837 points (80 more), while Minnesota is right behind Miami with 752 points (five fewer). In the USA Today Poll, Minnesota is one spot ahead of the RedHawks with 16 more points (352) while North Dakota is right behind Miami with 270 points (66 fewer).
National champion Yale, which entered the NCAA Tournament No. 15 in both polls, claimed the top spot in both rankings, earning all 34 first-place votes in the USA Today poll and 47 of 50 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. National runner-up Quinnipiac is second in the polls as the Bobcats collected the other three first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. UMass Lowell finished No. 3 in the polls while St. Cloud State was fourth as both teams made the Frozen Four. Miami was fifth in the USCHO Poll while Minnesota, which lost in the NCAA first round and was No. 2 for much of the season, was No. 5 in the USA Today Poll.
The Golden Gophers were sixth in the USCHO Poll while the RedHawks were No. 6 in the USA Today Poll. North Dakota, which made the West Regional Final, finished seventh in both polls. Notre Dame, which was the only other CCHA team to make the NCAA Tournament, and Boston College claimed spots 8 and 9, but in differing orders in the polls. Union then rounded out both top-10s despite beating Boston College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
New Hampshire is 11th in both final polls while Minnesota State, which Miami beat in its NCAA first-round game, is No. 12 in the USA Today Poll and No. 13 in the USCHO Poll. Wisconsin landed 12th and 13th in the opposite poll. Denver and Niagara then completed the USA Today Poll at No. 14 and 15, respectively, while they also hold the same spots in the USCHO Poll.
The highest-ranked team that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament is CCHA foe Western Michigan at No. 16 in the USCHO Poll, followed by Boston University and Providence at No. 17 and 18, respectively. Canisius, which was the lowest seed in the NCAA Tournament, ended 19th, while CCHA rival Michigan completed the USCHO Poll at No. 20.
Miami was ranked No. 9 in both preseason polls and was ranked in both polls all season, one of just five teams to be ranked in all 27 polls in the USA Today Poll. The RedHawks were never ranked lower than ninth in either poll and rose as high as No. 3 several times in both polls, including much of the second half of the season.
In the USA Today Poll, the WCHA led all conferences with six teams ranked in the final poll while Hockey East and the ECAC each placed three teams in the poll. The CCHA had two teams listed in the final ranking while Niagara represented Atlantic Hockey. In the final USCHO Poll, the WCHA again led all leagues with six ranked teams while Hockey East placed five in the poll. The CCHA finished with four ranked teams while the ECAC had three and Atlantic Hockey had two.
The 18th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the five NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey.
The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.
Miami will hold its annual Night of Celebration year-end banquet Saturday, April 20.