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SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division I Poll: Surprising Starts

The season started off with a bang.

Clarkson fell down a spot in our poll after a close contest against Northeastern.
Michelle Jay

With the first full week in the books we have even more confusion across the country than before. We have some new names popping into the poll and some tiers starting to form.

1. Wisconsin (4-0-0), 147 (13) — Last Week: 2

• Last Week: W 4-0 v Mercyhurst (9/28),W 5-1 v Mercyhurst (9/29))

• Coming Week: @ Syracuse (10/6, 10/7)

After the craziness of the weekend the fact that the Badgers swept a Mercyhurst team that many thought highly of puts them at a clear number one for most. They'll travel east to take on Syracuse next week.

2. Clarkson (1-0-1), 132 (1) — Last Week: 1

• Last Week: T 1-1 OT @ Northeastern (9/29), W 5-1 @ Northeastern (9/30)

• Coming Week: v Bemidji State (10/6, 10/7)

The Golden Knights were sluggish out of the gate and were lucky to escape with a tie in their first game. They rebounded with a three-goal spurt in a two-minute span en route to a decisive victory in their second contest.

Now they'll return home for a banner-raising against a Bemidji team that's been known to be a tough opponent against top teams.

3. Boston College (0-0-0), 116 (1) — Last Week: 4

• Last Week: No Games

• Coming Week: v Minnesota-Duluth (10/5, 10/6)

The misfortunes of other teams were good for the Eagles during their bye week. They'll look to defend home ice as they open their season with Minnesota-Duluth.

4. Minnesota (1-1-0), 93 — Last Week: 3

• Last Week: L 3-4 v Merrimack (9/29), W 4-1 v Merrimack (10/1)

• Coming Week: v Ohio State (10/6, 10/7)

Beware Merrimack. That is not something many people were saying before the season, but now the Gophers are Merrimack’s second shocking victim, and currently the biggest upset of the season so far.

The Gophers will start WCHA play with a pair against Ohio State.

5. Minnesota-Duluth (2-0-0), 92 —Last Week: 6

• Last Week: W 1-0 v Penn State (9/29), W 3-0 v Penn State (9/30)

• Coming Week: @ Boston College (10/5, 10/6)

The Bulldogs struggled a bit against the Nittany Lions but walked away with a pair of victories, which is more then most can say. They now head to the Bay State and will face off against BC.

6. St. Lawrence (0-0-0), 68 — Last week: 5

• Last Week: W 3-1 v McGill (EX) (9/30)

• Coming Week: @ Mercyhurst (10/6, 10/7)

The Saints took care of business in their exhibition and now take on a Mercyhurst team that is hungry for a noteworthy win against a top-tier program.

7. Northeastern (0-1-1), 58 — Last Week: 7

• Last Week: T 1-1 OT v Clarkson (9/29), L 1-5 v Clarkson (9/30)

• Coming Week: @ Boston University (10/6), v Boston University (10/7)

A weekend of could’ve beens. A bad defensive pinch cost the Huskies a game that they were the better team in, then a bad two-minute span cost them the next. This weekend they take on crosstown rival Boston University in a pair of must-win games.

8. Colgate (0-0-0), 30 — Last Week: T-10

• Last Week: W 2-1 OT v Queens (10/1) (EX)

• Coming Week: v St. Cloud State (10/6, 10/7)

Despite going to OT in their exhibition game, the Raiders moved up two spots. A home series against St. Cloud will give some fans more information about the team before they host Northeastern the following week.

9. Cornell (0-0-0), 29— Last Week: 8

• Last Week: No Games

• Coming Week: No Games

The Big Red remained inactive, a positive when the national picture is so chaotic.

10. Merrimack (2-1-0), 16 — Last Week: NR

• Last Week: W 4-3 @ Minnesota (9/29), L 1-4 @ Minnesota (10/1)

• Coming Week: @ New Hampshire (10/6), v New Hampshire (10/7)

Talking about Merrimack as a top-ten team is not something that most anticipated as the season started, but two upset wins have put them here and earned them the first "Belles of the Ball" title of the season. They currently sit atop the Hockey East standings and look to continue that as they play New Hampshire in a home-and-home next week.

Also Receiving Votes: Robert Morris 15, Ohio State 12, Quinnipiac 9, Providence 7, Bemidji State 1