SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division I Poll: Promising Peaks and Disappointing Dives
The Gophers dig deeper while the Eagles soar and the Buckeyes make a statement
You can't call this NCAA season boring — quite the opposite, and it's still early.
This week, only four teams appeared on every ballot and every top 10 team was voted in the top 5 by at least one voter. We also have three teams with multiple first place votes.
There are a few tiers forming as they have in the past but the tiers switch members this year which will leave us with lots of excitement as the season progresses.
1. Wisconsin (6-0-0), 143 (8) — Last Week: 1
• Last Week: W 1-0 @ Syracuse (10/6), W 5-2 @ Syracuse (10/7)
• Coming Week: @ Minnesota State (10/13, 10/14)
Wisconsin struggled a bit against a Syracuse team that no one expected much out of, but the Badgers came away with a pair of victories (which is more than some of their rivals can say). They'll open conference play on the road and attempt to stay undefeated.
2. Clarkson (3-0-1), 131 (4) — Last Week: 2
• Last Week: W 2-0 v Bemidji State (10/6), W 5-4 v Bemidji State (10/7)
• Coming Week: @ Penn State (10/13, 10/14)
The Golden Knights were another team that had a pair of games that were a bit tighter than they would have liked, but Clarkson took two wins against a team that often comes up with an upset. The team will return to the road and take on Penn State for a pair next week.
3. Boston College (2-0-0), 129 (3) — Last Week: 3
• Last Week: W 4-3 v Minnesota-Duluth (10/5), W 4-1 v Minnesota-Duluth (10/6)
• Coming Week: No Games
The Eagles are soaring high after sweeping Duluth. They have the weekend off before hosting Quinnipiac in a mid-week affair.
4. Minnesota-Duluth (2-2-0), 74 —Last Week: 5
• Last Week: L 3-4 @ Boston College (10/5), L 1-4 @ Boston College (10/6)
• Coming Week: @ Ohio State (10/13, 10/14)
Last week certainly wasn't the road trip the Bulldogs envisioned when they went to Chestnut Hill. They played well in the first game but fell victim to a freshman that has serious Patty Kaz potential down the road. They will travel again to Ohio State, who just toppled Minnesota.
5. Northeastern (2-1-1), 62 — Last Week: 7
• Last Week: W 3-2 OT @ Boston University (10/6), W 6-3 v Boston University (10/7)
• Coming Week: @ Colgate (10/14, 10/15)
The Huskies did what they needed to in order to move into first place in Hockey East and move up in our poll. They had some issues on special teams play but were able to weather that storm and sweep in-town rival BU. They'll head to upstate New York in a great test of where they stand when they take on Colgate.
6. St. Lawrence (1-0-1), 61 — Last week: 6
• Last Week: W 4-1 @ Mercyhurst (10/6), T 1-1 OT @ Mercyhurst (10/7)
• Coming Week: @ Merrimack (10/13, 10/14)
After a good win on Friday, the Saints needed overtime in their next game. They now head to a Merrimack team that seems to play to their opponent's level.
7. Ohio State (3-0-1), 55 — Last Week: ARV
• Last Week: W 3-2 @ Minnesota (10/6), T 5-5 OT (SOW 2-0) @ Minnesota (10/7)
• Coming Week: v Minnesota Duluth (10/13, 10/14)
The Ohio State Buckeyes are the second team in as many weeks to make their debut in our poll. They did so by beating Minnesota in regulation and a shootout, which earns them the title of Belles of the Ball for this week. They won't get much time to rest; they're hosting a Minnesota-Duluth team that's still smarting after a pair of losses in Chestnut Hill. Ohio State will be looking to hold onto its position atop the WCHA in these games.
8. Minnesota (1-2-1), 51 — Last Week: 4
• Last Week: L 2-3 v Ohio State (10/6), T 5-5 OT (SOL 0-2) v Ohio State (10/7)
• Coming Week: @ Bemidji State (10/13, 10/14)
This season is not going at all how the Gophers planned. A losing record after two weekends of playing teams that they were expected to blow out of the water has caused them to free fall to their lowest position in this poll, including being left off a few ballots for the first time.
It may be too early to call next week's games "must-wins," but Minnesota desperately needs a shot in the arm.
9. Colgate (2-0-0), 45 — Last Week: 8
• Last Week: W 3-0 v St. Cloud State (10/6), W 5-0 v St. Cloud State (10/7)
• Coming Week: v Northeastern (10/14, 10/15)
A pair of shutouts against a WCHA foe will do the Raiders good when it comes down to tournament time. They'll attempt to move up in our rankings when they face Northeastern next week, which will be a good test for Colgate.
10. Cornell (0-0-0), 30— Last Week: 9
• Last Week: No Games
• Coming Week: v Shenzen Vanke Rays EX (10/13)
We'll finally see the Big Red touch ice this week as they take on one of the Chinese CWHL teams in an exhibition. They then have a weekend off before they start play for real.
Also Receiving Votes: Robert Morris 21, Providence 10, Merrimack 4, Quinnipiac 4, Maine 3, Bemidji State 1, Princeton 1