The Ice Garden’s NCAA Poll: Conference Chalk
It’s been a rather predictable start to tournament season but still plenty of time to shake things up.
This was probably one of the least climactic opening weekends to the conference tournament as only one lower-seeded team advanced, Merrimack in first-round HEA play who was then promptly booted from the competition. This week brings the semifinals and the title games which could be more chalk or some craziness.
1. Ohio State (30-4-2), 90 (9) — Last poll: 1
- Last week: W 4-1 v Bemidji State (2/24), W 2-1 v Bemidji State (2/25)
- Coming Week: v Minnesota-Duluth (3/3), WCHA Championship (3/4)/
As expected the Buckeyes easily moved past the Beavers. Now they take on Duluth for another chance at the WCHA title.
2. Yale (28-2-1), 78 — Last poll: 2
- Last week: W 4-2 v Harvard (2/24), W 4-0 v Harvard (2/25)
- Coming Week: v Clarkson (3/3), ECAC Championship (3/4)/
After allowing two early goals to Harvard the Bulldogs scored eight unanswered to easily move on and host the final ECAC weekend.
3. Minnesota (27-5-3), 72 — Last poll: 4
- Last week: W 7-0 v St. Thomas (2/24), W 6-2 v St. Thomas (2/25)
- Coming Week: v Wisconsin (3/3), WCHA Championship (3/4)/
Minnesota was never really challenged as woeful St. Thomas did not put up much resistance as the Gophers once again moved on to the final weekend of the WCHA tournament. Another edition of the Border Battle will be on tap.
4. Northeastern (31-2-1), 60 — Last poll: 5
- Last week: W 5-1 v Merrimack (2/25)
- Coming Week: v Boston College (3/1), HEA Championship (3/4)/
The Huskies faced the only lower seed to advance so far in conference tournament play and it went as expected. Alina Mueller scored early and often en route to tying the Northeastern scoring record. They will now host Boston College for their fifth meeting of the season with a trip to the title on the line.
5. Colgate (30-5-2), 53 — Last poll: 3
- Last week: L 2-3 v Princeton (2/24), W 4-3 v Princeton (2/25), W 2-1 v Princeton (2/26)
- Coming Week: v Quinnipiac (3/3), ECAC Championship (3/4)/
Colgate was this close to getting swept by Princeton which could have cost them home ice in the NCAA tournament but they were able to recover from deficits and win each of the final games to survive and advance. They now get the reeling Bobcats team that has been hurting of late.
6. Wisconsin (25-9-2), 49 — Last poll: 6
- Last week: W 3-0 v Minnesota State (2/24), W 4-1 v Minnesota State (2/25)
- Coming Week: @ Minnesota (3/3), WCHA Championship (3/4)/
The Badgers routed the Mavericks and earned a meeting with their rivals with hope for NCAA home ice still alive.
7. Minnesota-Duluth (25-8-3), 38 — Last poll: 7
- Last week: W 1-0 v St. Cloud State (2/24), W 5-1 v St. Cloud State (2/25)
- Coming Week: v Ohio State (3/3), WCHA Championship (3/4) /
Duluth made it interesting on game one then took care of St. Cloud en route to a date with Ohio State in a rematch of last year’s NCAA title game.
T-8. Clarkson (28-9-2), 18 — Last poll: 9
- Last week: W 5-1 v Cornell (2/24), L 1-2 OT v Cornell (2/25), W 4-1 v Cornell (2/26)
- Coming Week: @ Yale (3/3), ECAC Championship (3/4)/
Clarkson blew Cornell out twice and lost once in OT but stayed alive as they are the last remaining bubble team and this week’s ‘Belles of the Ball’. Now they get a trip to New Haven to see Yale and try to stay in the hunt for an automatic bid.
T-8. Quinnipiac (29-8-0), 18 — Last poll: 8
- Last week: W 2-1 v St. Lawrence (2/24), L 2-3 v St. Lawrence (2/25), W 2-1 OT v St. Lawrence (2/26)
- Coming Week: v Colgate (3/3), ECAC Championship (3/4)/
Three one-goal games capped by an OT game let the Bobcats move on down Whitney Ave, but they now draw a Colgate team that it’s playing for NCAA seeding.
10. Penn State (26-8-2), 13 — Last poll: 10
- Last week: W 4-1 v Lindenwood (2/24), W 7-1 v Lindenwood (2/25)
- Coming Week: v Mercyhurst (3/4)/
Penn State is moving along in the CHA tournament and after easily sweeping Lindenwood they get a winner take all game for a trip to the NCAA tournament.
Also Receiving Votes: Vermont 4, Cornell 2