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OXFORD, Ohio - Coming off a split at No. 6 Western Michigan, the Miami hockey team held steady at No. 3 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and the USCHO.com Poll, which were released Monday. The RedHawks hold the No. 3 spot for the third straight week in the USA Today Poll, matching Miami's best ranking of the season and marking the fifth time this year the 'Hawks have been ranked that high.

Miami (18-7-5, 13-5-4-4 CCHA) totaled 424 points in the USA Today Poll, just three less points than the 427 it had last week, while in the USCHO Poll, the RedHawks accumulated 874 points, two fewer than a week ago. Just ahead of Miami is Minnesota, which earned 470 points in the USA Today Poll, 46 more than the RedHawks, while in the USCHO Poll, the Golden Gophers had 75 more points than Miami with 949. One spot behind Miami in the USA Today Poll is Boston College with 22 less points (402) while the Eagles have 55 less points in the USCHO Poll (819).

A new No. 1 team emerged this week as Quinnipiac is the top team in the land in both polls for the first time all season. The Bobcats earned 28 of 34 first-place votes in the USA Today Poll and 41 of 50 first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. Minnesota, who had been No. 1 for six straight weeks, fell to No. 2 after splitting at St. Cloud State, as the Golden Gophers picked up the remaining six first-place votes in the USA Today Poll and the remaining nine in the USCHO Poll. Behind the third-ranked RedHawks is No. 4 Boston College followed by New Hampshire at No. 5 in both polls.

The Broncos, who Miami split with last weekend, held steady at No. 6, as did North Dakota at No. 7. St. Cloud State is eighth in the polls, gaining two spots in the USA Today Poll after its win over Minnesota. Yale is No. 9 in the USA Today Poll and 10th in the USCHO Poll while Minnesota State gained ground in both rankings, moving up to ninth in the USCHO Poll and 10th in the USA Today Poll after a road sweep of Minnesota-Duluth.

Denver dropped to No. 11 in both polls after falling to Colorado College while CCHA rival Notre Dame, which the RedHawks face this weekend, comes in at 12th in the polls after sweeping Michigan. Boston University is No. 13 in the polls while Niagara and UMass-Lowell occupy the final two spots in the top 15 but in different order. Niagara is 14th in the USA Today Poll and 15th in the USCHO Poll while UMass-Lowell moved up to No. 14 in the USCHO Poll and entered the USA Today rankings at No. 15, completing that poll.

Nebraska-Omaha dropped to No. 16 in the USCHO Poll after being swept by North Dakota while Dartmouth remained at No. 17. Wisconsin, which Miami split with earlier this year, is 18th, followed by Merrimack at No. 19. CCHA foe Alaska, which the 'Hawks beat four times this year, rounds out the USCHO Poll in 20th after being unranked last week.

In the 15-team USA Today Poll, the WCHA leads all conferences with five ranked teams while Hockey East placed four in the poll. The CCHA has three teams ranked while the ECAC is represented by two teams and Niagara is the lone team from Atlantic Hockey. In the 20-team USCHO Poll, the WCHA also leads the way with seven ranked teams followed by Hockey East with five squads in the poll. The CCHA placed four teams in the ranking while the ECAC has three teams represented and Niagara again carries the flag 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, just behind Quinnipiac and Minnesota, as was the case last week. Boston College and New Hampshire are right behind Miami in fourth and fifth, respectively. Other CCHA teams in contention are WMU at No. 7 in the PairWise, Notre Dame at 13th and Alaska in 14th.

The No. 3/3 RedHawks are back on the ice this weekend, hosting No. 12/12 Notre Dame on Friday at 7:35 p.m. at Steve Cady Arena. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. The two teams then head to Chicago for the OfficeMax® Hockey City Classic on Sunday when the sides will play outdoors at Soldier Field with puck drop set for 1 p.m. ET/noon CT. The outdoor game will air on Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Ohio and several other Fox Sports affiliates. 

--MURedHawks.com--


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