SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division I Poll: Crashing Contenders

More trophies are being handed out and teams are wilting under the pressure of trying to be contenders.

For the most part all of our pollsters are looking at the same picture, a clear top four, a pretty clear next five, and then a couple of teams that might round out the top ten.  It is a near consensus on those teams and the coming weeks could do a lot to cement those tiers going into the NCAA tournament.

1. Wisconsin (26-3-1), 104 (6) — Last poll: 1

•  Last Week: W 5-1 @ Minnesota State (2/7), L 1-3 @ Minnesota State (2/8)

•  Coming Week: v Ohio State (2/15, 2/16)

Going into this weekend the Badgers had played Mankato 93 times winning 88 and tying 3, never having lost in Mankato before.  The program first loss on Saturday did little to sway pollsters as Wisconsin still holds onto the top spot though it is clear that they have lost all their wiggle room. The coming series has lost a little sheen as their opponent is struggling once again.

2. Cornell (21-1-3), 95 (2) — Last poll: 3

•  Last week: W 4-1 @ Harvard (2/7), W 3-0 @ Dartmouth (2/8)

•  Coming Week: @ Brown (2/14), @ Yale (2/15)

The Crimson got themselves the Ivy League title with their win over Harvard and put themselves in a near lock for the ECAC crown, and made them this weeks ‘Belle’s of the Ball’.  They head to the road again for a pair of games which could net them the ECAC title.

3. Northeastern (25-3-1), 90 (3) — Last poll: 2

•  Last week: W 3-1 v Harvard (2/4), W 5-1 @ Merrimack (2/7)

•  Coming Week: @ Boston University (2/11), v Providence (2/14), @ Providence (2/15)

It was a good week for Northeastern which started with them exercising their Beanpot demons as they took care of the Crimson and ended with a solid win over poor Merrimack.  Now they look to get their fourth win over Boston University this season and then can’t overlook the Providence team that handed them their first loss of the season.

4. Minnesota (23-5-3), 84 — Last poll: 4

•  Last week: W 4-1 @ Bemidji State (2/7), W 6-3 @ Bemidji State (2/8)

•  Coming Week: No Games

The Gophers have all but locked themselves into the second seed and a bye in the WCHA with the wins, even though Saturday was a lot more interesting then they would like.  This week is an off week before closing the season against Mankato and then getting a bye into the WCHA semifinals.

5. Princeton (19-4-1), 61 — Last poll: 6

•  Last week: W 3-1 v Rensselaer (2/7), W 3-0 v Union (2/8)

•  Coming Week: @ St. Lawrence (2/14), @ Clarkson (2/15)

The Tigers  have rebounded nicely since the calendar changed to 2020 and sit primed to finish second inn the ECAC but this weekend will let us know if they can hold off Clarkson who is right on their heels.

6. Ohio State (17-8-5), 55 — Last poll: 5

•  Last week: L 4-5 OT @ Minnesota-Duluth (2/7), L 1-4 @ Minnesota-Duluth (2/8)

•  Coming Week: @ Wisconsin (2/15, 2/16)

It’s hard to imagine a few weeks ago the Buckeyes were thought of as a possible spoiler for the top four.  With their recent free fall no one who is watching would put them in the top tier.  They are still a threat come tournament time and should be safely in but they will need to get themselves settled before doing that.  This week offers no respite as they travel to Madison to take on a wounded angry Badger team.

7. Clarkson (20-4-6), 44 — Last poll: 7

•  Last week: W 3-0 v Brown (2/7), W 2-0 v Yale (2/8)

•  Coming Week: v Quinnipiac (2/14), v Princeton (2/15)

Clarkson has a tough slate to end their regular season but if they can pull off winning all of them they will set themselves up nicely for a post season run.

8. Minnesota-Duluth (15-9-4), 32 — Last poll: 9

•  Last week: W 5-4 OT v Ohio State (2/7), W 4-1 v Ohio State (2/8)

•  Coming Week: @ Minnesota State (2/14, 2/15)

The Bulldogs took advantage of a struggling Buckeyes team to get them back into play for third place in the WCHA.  This weekend will need to be a clean sweep to keep those hopes alive.

9. Boston University (20-6-3), 28 — Last poll: 8

•  Last week: W 4-0 v Boston College (2/4), W 5-2 @ Holy Cross (2/8)

•  Coming Week:  v Northeastern (2/11), @ New Hampshire (2/15), v New Hampshire 2/16)

The Terriers dispatched rival Boston College with ease and then almost looked past Holy Cross before finishing them. They might have been looking forward to defending their Beanpot crown on home ice while getting some revenge on a Northeastern team that has beaten them three times this season.  After the Beanpot they look to lock the second seed in Hockey East as they take on UNH.

10. Harvard (13-10-1), 6 — Last poll: ARV

•  Last week: L 1-3 v Northeastern (2/4), L 1-4 v Cornell (2/7), W 4-3 v Colgate (2/8)

•  Coming Week: v Boston College (2/11), @ Rensselaer (2/14), @ Union (2/15)

The fact that Harvard is back in the poll after losing twice shows how much confusion the pollsters have as to whom belongs in this spot.  Harvard does not seem to be much of a threat in the larger national picture but they still could make some noise and look to start by not finishing last in the Beanpot.

Also Receiving Votes: Quinnipiac 5, Robert Morris 1