Week 8’s poll publishes its first ever tie — one at the No. 3 spot between the ever rising St. Lawrence and consistent WCHA power Minnesota-Duluth. After a week that mostly went according to the books, we now can look forward to a weekend slate of games that include five different matchups of teams that have been featured here in the polls. The results of these clashes will be critical in figuring out what the national landscape will look like as the dust of the regular season settles.
1. Wisconsin (11-0-1), (16) 160 — Last Week: 1
• Last Week: No Games
• Coming Week: @ Minnesota-Duluth (11/18, 11/19)
After a bye and a few weeks of playing weaker opponents, the Badgers will face a Bulldogs team that they could run into in the NCAA semifinals. They will know not to take them lightly and a sweep here would lock Wisconsin in first until their next matchup against Minnesota.
2. Minnesota (11-1-0), 144 — Last Week: 2
• Last Week: No Games
• Coming Week: @ North Dakota (11/18, 11/19)
Just like the Badgers, Minnesota had a weekend off and now have to travel out to North Dakota to take on a very unstable team that has had some great games but struggled at inopportune times. They should control their destiny for second place with a sweep this weekend.
T3. Minnesota-Duluth (7-2-3), 114 — Last Week: 3
• Last Week: W 2-1 @ North Dakota (11/12), T 2-2 (SOL 0-1) @ North Dakota (11/13)
• Coming Week: v Wisconsin (11/18, 11/19)
The Bulldogs did not get the results they would have liked. While they were able to take the first game in a tight matchup, they were unable to finish North Dakota off and then dropped the shootout, costing them valuable WCHA points.
T3. St. Lawrence (11-0-1), 114 — Last week: 4
• Last Week: W 4-1 v RPI (11/11), W 4-0 v Union (11/12)
• Coming Week: @ Yale (11/18), @ Brown (11/19)
The Saints keep on marching in. Other then the slight blemish of a tie against a good Clarkson team, St. Lawrence has been perfect and does not look to change that anytime soon. They are easily taking care of business in ECAC play while playing against the lower-tier teams and have a few big top-tier wins under their belt. This weekend they draw a Yale team that has been dangerous before drawing a Brown team that is no longer the Bears teams of yore.
5. Colgate (12-0-1), 90 — Last Week: 5
• Last Week: W 4-3 v Yale (11/11), W 3-0 v Brown (11/12)
• Coming Week: @ Princeton (11/18), @ Quinnipiac (11/19)
The Raiders, a trendy pick before the season, have been overshadowed by St. Lawrence so far. That isn’t something they are complaining about, as they remain one of three unbeaten teams. This weekend will be the real test for this team as they travel to two top-10 caliber teams, which the Saints have already beaten. Both of their opponents have had struggles lately but are more than capable of winning games.
6. Clarkson (10-3-1), 82 — Last Week: 6
• Last Week: W 5-1 v Union (11/11), W 8-3 v RPI (11/12)
• Coming Week: @ Brown (11/18), @ Yale (11/18)
A preseason favorite to return to the Frozen Four, the Golden Knights struggled to start the season against top competition. They have clearly turned things around since those consecutive weekends against St. Lawrence and Wisconsin. They will have a light week this week before playing a Thanksgiving Tournament in Vermont.
7. Boston College (9-3-2), 68— Last Week: 7
• Last Week: W 5-1 @ New Hampshire (11/11), W 7-1 v New Hampshire (11/12)
• Coming Week: @ Northeastern (11/20)
No one knows what to expect from these Eagles. They are clearly a very talented team, but they have been maddeningly inconsistent this season. They were able to recover from a heartbreaking loss at archrival BU by thumping a UNH team that has been a historical boogeyman for them. This weekend will see them play against the Northeastern Huskies, the team that currently controls their Hockey East destiny. That matchup will likely determine whether BC can move back up in these rankings ... or stay in them.
8. Quinnipiac (7-4-1), 37 — Last Week: 8
• Last Week: W 2-1 @ Dartmouth (11/11), W 2-1 OT @ Harvard (11/12)
• Coming Week: v Cornell (11/18), v Colgate (11/19)
The Bobcats squeaked by with a pair of desperately needed wins. Now they are playing a solid Cornell team before drawing a dangerous Colgate team. A loss could doom them, both in these polls and in the ECAC standings.
9. North Dakota (6-4-2), 32 — Last Week: 9
• Last Week: L 1-2 v Minnesota Duluth (11/12), T 2-2 (SOW 1-0) v Minnesota Duluth (11/13)
• Coming Week: v Minnesota (11/18, 11/19)
This was a tough week for North Dakota, but they were able to hang with a very good Minnesota-Duluth team and earn some big WCHA points by taking the shootout in the second game. They will now need to take that success and run with it as they welcome the defending champions, Minnesota, to town.
10. Northeastern (10-3-1), 18 — Last Week: ARV
• Last Week: W 4-2 @ Merrimack (11/11), W 4-2 v Merrimack (11/12)
• Coming Week: v Boston College (11/20)
The Huskies redeemed their one bad loss by sweeping the weekend series against Merrimack, earning them the title of Belles of the Ball this week in their return to the land of the ranked. Their only other losses were on opening weekend to a St. Lawrence team that has done nothing but win. Northeastern has ridden their consistency to control of their Hockey East destiny. That control will be on the line as they host Boston College in what is a huge game for both teams.
Also Receiving Votes: Princeton 7, Robert Morris 7, Cornell 5, Boston University 2
Dropped out: Bemidji State, Yale