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SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division 1 Poll: Separation from the pack

While the top of the poll beat up on itself, the bottom decided to blow itself up this week.

RMU remains undefeated in CHA action, extends unbeaten streak to 10 games
rmucolonials.com

This weekend definitely separated out some tiers in the national landscape. The top six, while tiered themselves, are clearly beyond the rest of the field right now. With the CHA taking an auto bid, there will be a dogfight for that seventh position as we draw ever closer to March.

Half of the teams in the poll are done for the semester; the rest have one more weekend to improve before a break that every team will use to recover and regroup for a big NCAA push.

1. Wisconsin (15-2-1), (17) 170 — Last Week: 1

• Last Week: L 0-2 v Minnesota (12/3), W 8-2 v Minnesota (12/4)

• Coming Week: @ Ohio St (12/9, 12/10)

It was a bit of a good news, bad news weekend for the Badgers. The best news is that Ann-Renée Desbiens is back. Also good news is that they scored eight goals on the weekend. The bad news, all eight of them were scored in one game leading to a split on the weekend and no further clarity. They travel to Columbus for a pair before the break and can regain the lead in the WCHA standings with a sweep.

2. Minnesota (14-2-2), 153 — Last Week: 2

• Last Week: W 2-0 @ Wisconsin (12/3), L 2-8@ Wisconsin (12/4)

• Coming Week: @ Boston University (12/9, 12/10)

The Gophers were able to take one in Madison against Desbiens, but then the wheels fell off as they let the Badgers score eight in the second game of the weekend. They will now travel east to take on a BU team that is clearly in a down year and is coming off of a bad loss to UConn.

3. Minnesota-Duluth (12-3-3), 128— Last Week: 4

• Last Week: W 3-0 @ St. Cloud St (12/2), W 3-2 @ St. Cloud St (12/3)

• Coming Week: @ Minnesota State (12/9, 12/10)

The weekend sweep of the Huskies has put Duluth in the drivers seat for the third seed in the WCHA. This weekend they wrap up the semester while wrapping up their season series against Minnesota State, whom they swept earlier in the season.

4. Clarkson (14-3-3), 114 — Last Week: 5

• Last Week: T 3-3 OT v St. Lawrence (12/1), W 4-1 @ St. Lawrence (12/3)

• Coming Week: @ Syracuse (12/9), v Syracuse (12/10)

The Golden Knights have finally come back up in the rankings after a two week dip early in the season. They were able to get back against their rivals and took a decisive lead in the ECAC standings. They will play another out of conference home-and-home this time against Syracuse.

5. St. Lawrence (15-1-2), 105 — Last week: 3

• Last Week: T 3-3 OT @ Clarkson (12/1), L 1-4 v Clarkson (12/3)

• Coming Week: No Games

And then there were none. The Saints finally dropped a game and it could not have come at a worse time. Not only was it against their rivals but it was in-conference play. They played Clarkson before and won the weekend but that was in non-conference play. This weekend’s results have put St. Lawrence in a difficult position if they want to win the ECAC. They have not lost or tied a game this season outside of Clarkson. They head into the holiday break with that stinging loss.

6. Boston College (11-3-3), 89 — Last Week: 6

• Last Week: W 8-0 @ Providence (12/3)

• Coming Week: @ Dartmouth (12/7)

The Eagles are continuing to soar after scoring a touchdown and putting up a two point conversion at Providence. They wrap up for the semester traveling up to Dartmouth.

T-7. Quinnipiac (13-4-3), 54 — Last Week: 8

• Last Week: W 4-0 @ Union (12/2), W 6-1 @ RPI (12/3)

• Coming Week: No Games

Another pair of ECAC wins has the Bobcats up to third in the conference standings. They will now break for the holidays to regroup before taking their second swing at the ECAC.

T-7. Colgate (15-2-2), 54 — Last Week: 7

• Last Week: W 2-1 v Dartmouth (12/2), T 3-3 OT v Harvard (12/3)

• Coming Week: No Games

They seem to have recovered from those devastating losses to Princeton and Quinnipiac, but added another perplexing tie to a stumbling Harvard team in their last game before the break.

9. Robert Morris (12-1-5), 23 — Last Week: ARV

• Last Week: W 4-2 @ Penn State (12/3), W 6-5 @ Penn State

• Coming Week: No Games

The Colonials stayed undefeated in the CHA by sweeping Penn State, which combined with the rest of the chaos at the bottom of this poll jumped them all the way into ninth and earned them the title of Belles of the Ball this week. They also seem to have clear control of their conference and are likely to take the auto bid after taking seven wins in the eight games against each of their conference foes.

10. Northeastern (11-6-3), 14 — Last Week: 10

• Last Week: W 5-3 @ Providence (11/30), L 1-2 OT v Vermont (12/3), L 2-3 OT v Vermont (12/4)

• Coming Week: No Games

The holiday break came about three weeks late for a Huskies team that has been struggling to finish games as of late. They are 1-3-2 in their last six games all in Hockey East, which has cut their lead over BU to a mere two points - though they have the tie-breaker with the Terriers. This weekend they were swept by a Vermont team they have historically dominated, losing both games in OT.

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Also Receiving Votes: North Dakota 12, Cornell 8, Boston University 6, Princeton 3, Ohio State 1, Vermont 1