OXFORD, Ohio - Riding a five-game winning streak and coming off its second straight sweep, the Miami hockey team is ranked No. 3 in both national polls this week, which were released Monday. The RedHawks climbed one spot in the USCHO.com Poll, up from No. 4 last week, while remaining at No. 3 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. The No. 3 ranking matches Miami's best of the season, the fourth time the 'Hawks have been ranked that high this year.
Miami (17-6-5, 12-4-4-4 CCHA) racked up 427 points in the USA Today Poll, seven more than the 420 it earned last week, while in the USCHO Poll, Miami totaled 876 points, 41 more points than the 835 it had last week. One spot ahead of the RedHawks in both polls is Quinnipiac, which picked up 488 points in the USA Today Poll, 61 more than Miami, while the Bobcats tallied 967 points in the USCHO Poll, putting them 91 points ahead of the 'Hawks. Boston College is just behind Miami in the USA Today Poll with 27 less points (400) while New Hampshire, which was No. 3 last week, trails the RedHawks in the USCHO Poll with 804 points, 72 fewer than Miami.
For the sixth straight week, Minnesota is the No. 1 team in the country in both polls as the Golden Gophers received 21 of 34 first-place votes in the USA Today Poll and 30 of 50 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. Quinnipiac is second in both rankings, collecting the remaining 13 first-place votes in the USA Today Poll and the other 20 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. Behind the third-ranked RedHawks is Boston College in the USA Today Poll, while New Hampshire is one spot back in fourth in the USCHO Poll. UNH is then fifth in the USA Today Poll while the Eagles are fifth in the USCHO Poll.
CCHA foe Western Michigan, which Miami faces this weekend, remained at No. 6 in the polls after a win and tie at Ferris State while North Dakota is seventh in the rankings. In the USA Today Poll, Denver moved up two spots to No. 8 after a weekend sweep, followed by Yale at No. 9 and St. Cloud State, which gained three spots, at No. 10. In the USCHO Poll, St. Cloud State jumped four spots to eighth after a sweep of Bemidji State while Denver is ninth and Yale fell two spots to No. 10.
Boston University and Notre Dame each dropped two places in the USA Today Poll to 11th and 12th, respectively, after both suffered losses over the weekend, while Minnesota State moved up to No. 13. In the USCHO Poll, Minnesota State and Notre Dame are tied at No. 11 while BU is 13th. Rounding out the USA Today Poll is Niagara, which entered the ranking for the first time this year, at No. 14, followed by Nebraska-Omaha in 15th. The USCHO Poll has the teams flipped with UNO remaining at No. 14 and Niagara gaining two spots to No. 15.
UMass-Lowell fell three places to No. 16 in the USCHO Poll after a loss to Merrimack while Dartmouth slipped one spot to No. 17. Union and Wisconsin, which Miami split with in January, remained at No. 18 and 19, respectively, while Merrimack, after wins over UMass-Lowell and New Hampshire, entered the USCHO Poll at No. 20. Alaska, which Miami swept this past weekend, is receiving votes in both polls.
In the 15-team USA Today Poll, the WCHA leads all conferences with six ranked teams while the CCHA and Hockey East each placed three teams in the poll. The ECAC has two teams represented while Niagara is the lone team from Atlantic Hockey. In the 20-team USCHO Poll, the WCHA again leads all leagues with seven ranked teams while Hockey East has five teams in the poll. The ECAC placed four squads in the ranking, the CCHA had three teams represented and Niagara again carries the torch for Atlantic Hockey.
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.
In the latest PairWise Ratings, which determine NCAA Tournament seeding, the RedHawks are third behind Quinnipiac and Minnesota, and just ahead of Boston College and New Hampshire. Western Michigan is sixth in the PairWise.
No. 3/3 Miami, which is in first place in the CCHA, looks to extend its five-game winning streak this weekend when the RedHawks travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. for a CCHA showdown with the No. 6/6 Broncos, who are one point back in second place. The battle between the top two teams in the league standings is set for Friday and Saturday with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m. both nights.