OXFORD, Ohio - A runner-up finish at the inaugural Three Rivers Classic last weekend moved the Miami hockey team down one spot in the national polls, as the RedHawks begin the new year ranked No. 6 in both the USCHO.com Poll, which was released Monday, and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, which was revealed Tuesday. Miami was No. 5 in both rankings two weeks ago (there were no polls last week) and has now been in the top 10 in the polls every week this season.
The RedHawks (12-4-4, 8-3-3-3 CCHA) earned 730 points in the USCHO Poll, 38 fewer than the last poll, while totaling 337 points in the USA Today Poll, down 29 points from the 366 they received two weeks ago. Quinnipiac moved ahead of Miami to No. 5, as the Bobcats have 769 points in the USCHO Poll, 39 more than the 'Hawks, and picked up 359 points in the USA Today Poll, 22 more than Miami. North Dakota sits behind the RedHawks in each poll with 10 less points in the USCHO Poll (720) and 34 less points in the USA Today Poll (303).
A new team sits atop both polls, as Minnesota recaptured the No. 1 spot after an 8-1 win over then-No. 1 Boston College last Sunday. The Golden Gophers earned 35 of 50 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll and 25 of 34 first-place votes in the USA Today Poll. The Eagles fell to No. 2 in the USCHO Poll, still earning five first-place votes, while slipping to third in the USA Today Poll. CCHA rival Notre Dame moved up to No. 2 in the USA Today Poll, picking up the remaining nine first-place votes, while the Fighting Irish are third in the USCHO Poll also with nine first-place votes. New Hampshire dropped two spots to No. 4 in both polls after splitting last weekend while Quinnipiac rose four spots to No. 5 in each of the rankings.
Behind the sixth-ranked RedHawks is North Dakota at No. 7 in each poll followed by Dartmouth, which jumped two places after beating New Hampshire, at No. 8. Dartmouth earned the final first-place vote in the USCHO Poll, as well. Boston University slid three spots to ninth in the polls after losing to then-No. 14/15 Denver while CCHA foe Western Michigan rounds out the top 10 in each poll after placing second at the Great Lakes Invitational.
Denver, coming off its win over BU, climbed to No. 11 in both polls while Cornell fell one spot to 12th in the rankings. Union stayed put at 13th in both polls while Minnesota State is No. 14, entering the rankings in the USA Today Poll while moving up four spots in the USCHO Poll. Nebraska-Omaha, which was swept by Quinnipiac over the weekend, fell to No. 15 to close out the USA Today Poll while St. Cloud State is 15th in the USCHO Poll.
The Mavericks dropped to 16th in the USCHO Poll while Yale also slipped two spots to 17th. Niagara comes in at No. 18 while two more Atlantic Hockey teams cracked the USCHO rankings this week as Robert Morris, which beat Miami in the Three Rivers Classic championship, 1-0, enters at No. 19 followed by Holy Cross in 20th to complete the poll.
In the 15-team USA Today Poll, the WCHA leads all conferences with five ranked teams while the ECAC has four teams ranked and the CCHA and Hockey East each placed three teams in the poll. In the 20-team USCHO Poll, the WCHA also leads with six teams in the poll followed by the ECAC with five teams. The CCHA, Hockey East and Atlantic Hockey all have three teams ranked with all three CCHA and Hockey East schools in the top 10.
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.
No. 6 Miami is off this weekend but returns to CCHA action Jan. 11-12 at Northern Michigan, which is receiving votes in the USCHO Poll. The RedHawks beat and tied NMU in Oxford earlier this season.