Welcome back to The Ice Garden Poll, where the past results don’t make sense and the upcoming schedule doesn’t matter. Hopefully all of you were able to recharge over the holiday season and the year 2020 was, because we are back to competitive hockey and it is a s weird as ever.
1. Wisconsin (4-2-0), 79 (2) — Last poll: 1
- Last week: W 2-1 v Ohio State (1/8), L 1-2 OT v Ohio State (1/9)
- Coming Week: v Minnesota (1/15, 1/16)/
Despite the loss Wisconsin held onto their top spot because none of our voters can agree about the order of the top five. This weekend will be very telling as they play host to their arch rivals.
2. Ohio State (5-3-0), 78 (1) — Last poll: 4
- Last Week: L 1-2 @ Wisconsin (1/8), W 2-1 OT @ Wisconsin (1/9)
- Coming Week: @ Minnesota-Duluth (1/15, 1/16)/
A pare of one goal games and a split move Ohio State up to the second spot in our poll, and makes them the first ‘Belles of the Ball’ of 2021. The clash with Duluth will be important both in terms of the WCHA and their national standings.
T-3. Northeastern (4-1-1), 72 (3) — Last poll: 2
- Last week: W 1-0 v Maine (1/4), W 3-1 v New Hampshire (1/8), T 2-2 (0-1 SOL) @ New Hampshire (1/9)
- Coming Week: v Providence (1/12), v Boston University (1/15), @ Boston University (1/16)/
The Huskies are not clicking on all cylinders. They are getting everybody’s best games, especially the goalies, and they are struggling to finish consistently. A tie that ended in a shootout loss to UNH will haunt them unless they can get some revenge on Providence in a mid-week battle.
T-3. Minnesota (8-1-0), 72 (3) — Last poll: 3
- Last week: W 2-1 v St. Cloud State (1/7), W 4-1 v St. Cloud State (1/9), W 4-0 @ St. Cloud State (1/10)
- Coming Week: @ Wisconsin (1/15, 1/16)/
Sweeping lowly St. Cloud in a rare three game, two site series left Minnesota stagnant in the polls. The Gophers have the easiest path to moving up again though, they travel to the current top ranked team for a pair, if these games are played and they sweep they will shoot up easily.
5. Colgate (6-1-1), 58 — Last poll: 5
- Last week: W 4-0 v Quinnipiac (1/9), W 4-1 v Quinnipiac (1/10)
- Coming Week: No Games /
The ECAC is only four teams this year and as a result they will be playing each other, a lot of times. This weekend was a sweep of Quinnipiac which is a good look and they will get the next weekend off.
6. Minnesota-Duluth (4-2-0), 36 — Last poll: 7
- Last week: No Games
- Coming Week: v Ohio State (1/15, 1/16)/
The Bulldogs get a big test to open their 2021 slate when the Buckeyes come to visit. Duluth needs these games to stay relevant in the WCHA.
T-7. Boston College (7-3-0), 32 — Last poll: 6
- Last week: W 5-2 v Merrimack (1/8), W 3-1 @ Merrimack (1/9)
- Coming Week: v Holy Cross (1/15), @ Holy Cross (1/16)/
After a pair of easy wins over Merrimack the Eagles will really look to test themselves when they play a pair against Holy Cross.
T-7. Providence (7-1-1), 32 — Last poll: 9
- Last week: W 5-2 @ Holy Cross (1/9)
- Coming Week: @ Northeastern (1/12), v Maine (1/15, 1/16)/
A slow start couldn’t derail the Friars in Worcester, now they travel to Boston to take on Northeastern, whom they dominated last year.
9. Clarkson (1-2-1), 22 — Last poll: 8
- Last week: No Games
- Coming Week: v Long Island (1/11, 1/12)/
This weeks marks the first time Long Island is mentioned in our poll, they come in as an opponent and will likely get a rude introduction.
10. Penn State (6-1-1), 11— Last poll: ARV
- Last week:W 3-2 @ Robert Morris (1/8), W 4-1 @ Robert Morris (1/9)
- Coming Week: @ RIT (1/15, 1/16)/
Penn State gets their first top-10 ranking in our poll as they continue to take care of their weak schedule. This week takes them to Rochester for a pair.
Also Receiving Votes: Boston University 2, Quinnipiac 1