OXFORD, Ohio - Following a sweep of Lake Superior State in its final road trip of the regular season, the Miami University hockey team held steady at No. 3 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and the USCHO.com Poll, as both polls were released Monday. The RedHawks have now been ranked third five straight weeks in the USA Today Poll and four consecutive weeks in the USCHO Poll.

For the first time since the week three polls (Oct. 22), Miami (21-8-5, 16-6-4-4 CCHA) received first-place votes, picking up two in the USCHO Poll and one in the USA Today Poll. Overall, the 'Hawks collected 907 points in the USCHO Poll, 18 more than last week (889), while gaining 17 more points in the USA Today Poll with 447, compared to 430 last week. Minnesota is ahead of Miami in both rankings, as the Golden Gophers have 41 more points than Miami in the USCHO Poll (948) and 24 more in the USA Today Poll (471). Just behind the RedHawks is Boston College, which trails Miami by 72 points in the USCHO Poll (835) and 41 points in the USA Today Poll (406).

For the third straight week, Quinnipiac is the No. 1 team in the country, as the Bobcats received 37 of 50 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll and 30 of 34 first-place votes in the USA Today Poll. Minnesota stayed at No. 2, picking up 10 first-place votes in the USCHO poll and the other three first-place votes in the USA Today Poll. Both teams had a win and a tie last week. Behind No. 3 Miami is Boston College, which gathered the final first-place vote in the USCHO Poll, while New Hampshire rounds out the top five in both polls.

North Dakota is No. 6 in the polls after splitting with Denver while Minnesota State moved up two spots to No. 7 in the USA Today Poll while St. Cloud State remained in seventh in the USCHO Poll. CCHA rival Western Michigan, which Miami split with earlier this month, is No. 8 in the rankings after splitting a pair of shootouts with Notre Dame while Minnesota State is ninth in the USCHO Poll and St. Cloud State is No. 9 in the USA Today Poll. Denver completes the top 10 in the USCHO Poll while UMass-Lowell climbed two spots to take No. 10 in the USA Today Poll.

The Pioneers slid to 11th in the USA Today Poll after their spilt with North Dakota while CCHA foe Notre Dame, which the RedHawks also split with, is No. 11 in the USCHO Poll. UMass-Lowell remained in 12th in the USCHO Poll while the Fighting Irish dropped one spot to No. 12 in the USA Today Poll. Completing the USA Today Poll is Niagara at No. 13 after moving up two spots, Yale at No. 14 and Nebraska-Omaha, which enters the ranking at No. 15. In the USCHO Poll, UNO is 13th, followed by Niagara at No. 14 and Yale in 15th.

Wisconsin, which Miami split a non-conference road series with in January, is No. 16 in the USCHO Poll while Merrimack and Dartmouth are 17th and 18th, respectively. Boston University spiraled down four spots to No. 19 after being swept by UMass-Lowell while Providence, which Miami beat and tied earlier this season, cracked the rankings at No. 20 to complete the USCHO Poll.

In the 15-team USA Today Poll, the WCHA leads all conferences with six ranked teams while Hockey East and the CCHA both placed three teams in the poll. The ECAC is represented by two teams while Niagara is the lone Atlantic Hockey team ranked. In the 20-team USCHO Poll, the WCHA also leads the way with seven ranked teams while Hockey East placed six squads in the poll. The CCHA and ECAC each are represented by three teams while Niagara is again the lone Atlantic Hockey team ranked.

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 lastest PairWise Ratings, which determine NCAA Tournament seeding, the RedHawks remained in third behind Quinnipiac and Minnesota. Boston College and New Hampshire are right behind Miami in fourth and fifth, respectively. Western Michigan is ninth while Notre Dame is 14th among other CCHA schools.

No. 3/3 Miami, which sits in first place in the CCHA, closes out the regular season this weekend hosting in-state rival Ohio State Friday and Saturday at Steve Cady Arena. The RedHawks need just one shootout or regulation win against the Buckeyes to clinch the CCHA regular-season title outright. Friday's game starts at 7:35 p.m. while Saturday's contest, which is Senior Night, begins at 7:05 p.m. Saturday is also Miami's last CCHA regular-season contest ever.

--MURedHawks.com--