SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division I Poll: Western whimsy

We are marching ever closer to the NCAA tournament and the contenders have separated from the field.

This week only sowed more confusion among our top four positions though the next three are all pretty consensus before we hit the bottom of the poll where no one agrees on anything.

1. Wisconsin (23-2-1), 107 (8) — Last poll: 1

•  Last Week:  W 5-4 OT v Minnesota (1/24), W 3-0 v Minnesota (1/25)

•  Coming Week: v St. Cloud State (2/1, 2/2)

The Badgers are in full control of their destiny both in the WCHA and nationally after their big weekend over Minnesota, and are also this week’s ‘Belles of the Ball’. Now they get to play the worst team in their conference with a chance to move closer to a trophy.

2. Northeastern (21-3-1), 93 (3) — Last poll: 3

•  Last week: W 4-0 @ Vermont (1/24), W 10-2 @ Vermont (1/25)

•  Coming Week: v Boston University (1/28), v Connecticut (1/31)

The shutout streak is over after 315 minutes but a 10 goal outburst coincided for the Huskies so they should still be happy with the weekend results.  They have two conference games before the Beanpot and could lock up the top seed in Hockey East with a pair of wins, or just a tie against Connecticut.

3. Minnesota (20-4-3), 88 — Last poll: 2

•  Last week: L 4-5 OT @ Wisconsin (1/24), L 0-3 @ Wisconsin (1/25)

•  Coming Week: v Minnesota Duluth (1/31, 2/1)

Tough go of it for the Gophers falling in overtime then being shut out. The losses put them at a disadvantage in the WCHA and could play a bigger role come tournament time.  The next opponent will not be an easy task as they play host to Duluth.

4. Cornell (18-1-2), 85 — Last poll: 4

•  Last week: W 2-0 v Colgate (1/24), W 5-0 @ Colgate (1/24)

•  Coming Week: v Clarkson (1/31), v St. Lawrence (2/1)

This weekend delivered two big shutouts against a team that was getting hot at the right time.  Now up is Clarkson who is one of the last remaining games on the Big Red schedule who seem like they might be a threat.

5. Ohio State (16-6-4), 64 — Last poll: 5

•  Last week: W 2-1 v Quinnipiac (1/24), W 3-2 v Quinnipiac (1/25)

•  Coming Week: v Bemidji State (1/31, 2/1)

It’s been quite a turnaround for the Buckeyes after falling to Mankato twice after 2OT, they were nearly bounced from this poll now they are a near unanimous fifth pick and are just about the only team that could move up a tier.  A reeling Bemidji State team will be visiting this weekend.

6. Princeton (14-4-1), 57 — Last poll: 6

•  Last week: No Games

•  Coming Week: @ Quinnipiac (1/28), @ Yale (1/31), @ Brown (2/1)

Hopefully the weekend off was kind to the Tigers as the will have three games in five days this week. Two of which will be Ivy contests and while Princeton cannot win the title they can still play spoiler.

7. Clarkson (18-4-4), 44 — Last poll: 7

•  Last week: W 5-1 v Dartmouth (1/24), W 4-0 v Harvard (1/25)

•  Coming Week: @ Cornell (1/31), @ Colgate (2/1)

The Golden Knights were getting desperate and got the results they needed including beating Harvard who is one of their top competitors for the second spot in the ECAC.  Two wins this weekend would mean they are back nationally a split is needed for seeding.

8. Boston University (17-5-3), 29 — Last poll: 8

•  Last week: T 1-1 OT v Merrimack (1/24), W 6-3 @ Merrimack (1/25)

•  Coming Week:  @ Northeastern (1/28), v Vermont (1/31)

It was a rough weekend for Boston University, any time you tie the worst team in your conference while in the hunt for the top seed is a disaster but the Warriors just seemed to hang around a little too much in the second game.  This week brings a trip to Matthews that has become must win if they want a regular season trophy and then an easy warmup for the Beanpot in Vermont.

9. Minnesota-Duluth (12-8-4), 22 — Last poll: 9

•  Last week: T 2-2 OT (W 3-2 2OT) @ St. Cloud State (1/24), W 5-2 @ St. Cloud State (1/25)

•  Coming Week: @ Minnesota (1/31, 2/1)

Duluth sits in ninth because every other team has found ways to make the voters not vote for them.  Getting taken to double overtime by St. Cloud is bad but lucky for them they can redeem themselves in a trip to Minneapolis.

10. Harvard (11-8-1), 5 — Last poll: 10

•  Last week: W 2-1 @ St. Lawrence (1/24), L 0-4 @ Clarkson (1/25)

•  Coming Week: v Dartmouth (1/31)

By default, the Crimson remain in the poll but any further loses would be a disaster, as it is their tournament profile needs life support.  The only team on the menu this week is lowly Dartmouth as they prepare for a meeting against Northeastern in the Beanpot.

Also Receiving Votes: Quinnipiac 4, Colgate 3, Robert Morris 2, Bemidji State 1