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SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division I Poll: Playoff Push

Conference tournaments are in full swing, meaning teams are already having their seasons ended.

Gabbie Hughes celebrates her second goal of the game Friday night against Wisconsin
Dave Harwig/UMD Athletics

We finally got some movement. It took a few big upsets and a somewhat expected blowout to do it, but it came just in time for the playoffs, with teams being all but officially eliminated.

1. Northeastern (18-1-1), 86 (6) — Last poll: 2

  • Last week: W 7-0 v New Hampshire (2/28)
  • Coming Week: v Connecticut (3/3), HEA Championship (3/6)

The Huskies return back to the top of our poll after a rather convincing win over New Hampshire. While not everyone agrees with the moving up, Northeastern is clearly playing good hockey at the right time.

2. Wisconsin (12-3-1), 82 (3) — Last poll: 1

  • Last week: L 2-4 @ Minnesota-Duluth (2/26), W 4-3 OT @ Minnesota-Duluth (2/27)
  • Coming Week: @ Minnesota (3/6), WCHA Championship (3/7)

A tough weekend against Duluth almost cost the Badgers the WCHA regular season crown, but an overtime Darryl Watt’s goal let them cling to the trophy. Now Wisconsin has to shake it off as they travel to to Minneapolis and face-off against Minnesota in the semifinals.

3. Ohio State (11-5-0), 73 — Last poll: 3

  • Last Week: No Games
  • Coming Week: v Minnesota-Duluth (3/6), WCHA Championship (3/7)

The Buckeyes were idle and now get to play a Minnesota-Duluth team that might have found their groove at the right time of the year.

4. Minnesota (11-7-1), 56 — Last poll: 5

  • Last week: No Games
  • Coming Week: v Wisconsin (3/6), WCHA Championship (3/7)

Minnesota is the host of the WCHA championships and it will serve them well as they try to overcome the fourth seed en route to another trophy.

5. Colgate (13-6-1), 55 — Last poll: 4

  • Last week: W 4-2 @ Quinnipiac (2/26), L 3-5 @ Quinnipiac (2/27)
  • Coming Week: v Quinnipiac (3/5), ECAC Championship (3/7)

A lackluster weekend will see the Raiders limp into the ECAC tournament where they will face off against the same Bobcats that just mauled them.

6. Minnesota-Duluth (11-5-0), 38 — Last poll: 9

  • Last week: W 4-2 v Wisconsin (2/26), L 3-4 OT v Wisconsin (2/27)
  • Coming Week: v Ohio State (3/6), WCHA Championship (3/7)

After a whole season of struggle the Bulldogs found a signature win at the perfect time. They were a single goal on Saturday from the WCHA regular season title, earning them this weeks honors as ‘Belles of the Ball.’ Duluth will try again for some hardware likely needing the WCHA autobid to make the NCAA Tournament.

7. Penn State (16-2-2), 32— Last poll: 8

  • Last week: W 5-2 @ Mercyhurst (2/26), L 2-3 OT @ Mercyhurst (2/27)
  • Coming Week: CHA Semifinals (3/5), CHA Finals (3/6)

That wasn’t the note the Nittany Lions wanted to enter the CHA tournament on but they will be the number one seed come the weekend.

8. Boston College (14-5-0), 31 — Last poll: 6

  • Last week: L 1-5 v Connecticut (2/28)
  • Coming Week: No Games

There is not much good to be said about their quarterfinal game against UConn. It is always hard to beat a team six times in a row and the Eagles were unable to do so. Now BC must rely on the generosity of the top teams to not get upset and pave a way for Boston College to play in the NCAA Tournament.

9. Clarkson (8-8-1), 28 — Last poll: 7

  • Last week: L 3-4 OT v St. Lawrence (2/26), L 1-2 @ St. Lawrence (2/28)
  • Coming Week: @ St. Lawrence (3/1), v St. Lawrence (3/5), ECAC Championship (3/7)

Another team that had a rough weekend. While the Golden Knights are still favored to make the NCAA Tournament, barring major upsets, getting swept does not bolster their resume. Clarkson will take on St. Lawrence one more time in the regular season before playing them again in the ECAC semifinals.

10. Providence (11-6-1), 11 — Last poll: 10

  • Last week: W 4-3 v Boston University (2/28)
  • Coming Week: v Maine (3/3), HEA Championship (3/6)

Survive and advance is Providence’s motto the rest of the way. With a severely depleted bench and likely no room for error, the Friars jumped out big on BU before nearly letting it slip away. Next up is a Maine team with a hot goalie and little to lose.

Also Receiving Votes: St. Lawrence 2, Quinnipiac 1