OXFORD, Ohio - Coming off a bye week, the Miami hockey team appropriately stayed put at No. 3 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and the USCHO.com Poll, each of which was released Monday. The RedHawks have now been ranked third in the USA Today Poll for seven straight weeks and nine times overall while the 'Hawks have been No. 3 six straight weeks and eight weeks this season in the USCHO Poll.
Miami (22-9-5, 17-7-4-4 CCHA), which captured the final CCHA regular-season title two weekends ago, compiled 447 points in the USA Today Poll, two more points than last week, while in the USCHO Poll, the RedHawks totaled 903 points, up five from last week's 898 points. Minnesota remains just ahead of Miami in the polls with 31 more points in the USA Today Poll (478) and 53 more points in the USCHO Poll (956). North Dakota is directly behind the RedHawks in the polls with 81 less points in the USA Today Poll (366) and 119 fewer points in the USCHO Poll (784).
For the fifth consecutive week, Quinnipiac is No. 1 in the country in both polls, collecting 31 first-place votes in the USA Today Poll while racking up 39 of 50 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. Minnesota remained at No. 2 in the rankings, earning the final three first-place votes in the USA Today Poll and the other 11 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. Behind No. 3 Miami is North Dakota, which moved up one spot in both polls to No. 4 despite a weekend split. Boston College climbed one spot to complete the top five in each poll.
UMass-Lowell, which captured the Hockey East regular-season title after splitting with Providence, also moved up to No. 6, while New Hampshire slid three spots to seventh in the rankings after a tie and loss to Maine. St. Cloud State stayed put at No. 8, as did CCHA foe and No. 9 Western Michigan, which Miami split with earlier this year. Denver jumped one place to 10th in the USA Today Poll while Minnesota State remained at No. 10 in the USCHO Poll.
The Pioneers are 11th in the USCHO Poll while Minnesota State traded with Denver to No. 11 in the USA Today Poll. CCHA rival Notre Dame, which Miami also split with in February, is No. 12 in both polls. Yale remained in 13th in the polls while Niagara returned to the rankings in the USA Today Poll at No. 14 with Wisconsin completing the poll at No. 15. In the USCHO Poll, the Badgers, who the RedHawks split with on the road in January, is 14th while Niagara is 15th.
In the remainder of the USCHO Poll, RPI rose one spot to No. 16 while Providence, which Miami beat and tied earlier this season, also moved up to No. 17. Boston University is 18th in the poll while Union climbed to 19th. Nebraska-Omaha rounds out the poll at No. 20, falling four places after being swept by Minnesota-Duluth.
In the 15-team USA Today Poll, the WCHA leads all conferences with six ranked teams while the CCHA and Hockey East each have three teams ranked. The ECAC has two teams in the poll while Niagara is the lone member of Atlantic Hockey in the ranking. In the 20-team USCHO Poll, the WCHA again leads all leagues with seven ranked teams, followed by Hockey East with five. The ECAC placed four teams in the poll, the CCHA had three and Niagara again was the lone team from Atlantic Hockey 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. UMass-Lowell and North Dakota are right behind Miami in fourth and fifth, respectively. Western Michigan is 10th while Notre Dame is 15th among other CCHA schools.
The No. 3/3 RedHawks, who are the top seed for the CCHA Tournament, begin postseason play this weekend by hosting a best-of-three second-round series against 11th-seeded Michigan State on Friday, March 15 at Steve Cady Arena. Game two of the series will be played on Saturday, March 16 and game three (if necessary) is on Sunday, March 17. Friday's game will be at 7:35 p.m. while games two and three are at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the second round of the CCHA Playoffs can be purchased here.