The Ice Garden’s NCAA Poll: Queens of Beans

Time to start up with the permutations as the regular season is over and the conference tournaments are here for a brief stay before we reach the NCAAs.

The regular season has ended. We are now only two weeks from having our tournament field and two more weeks after that from crowning a champion.

1. Ohio State (28-4-2), 89 (8) — Last poll: 1

  • Last week: L 5-6 OT @ Wisconsin (2/18), W 3-1 @ Wisconsin (2/19)
  • Coming Week: v Bemidji State (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

The Buckeyes came in with a magic number of four and got a little help from St. Thomas but were able to get exactly the four they needed on their own. They now host Bemidji State for their quarterfinal matchup.

2. Yale (26-2-1), 80 — Last poll: 2

  • Last week: W 6-1 v Dartmouth (2/17), W 10-1 v Harvard (2/18)
  • Coming Week: v Harvard (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

Yale held on to claim their first-ever ECAC regular season title, they now get a series against the same Harvard team they just blew out for a trip to the semifinals.

3. Colgate (28-4-2), 68 (1) — Last poll: 4

  • Last week: W 6-0 @ Union (2/17), W 6-1 @ Rensselaer (2/18)
  • Coming Week: v Princeton (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

The Raiders did their job in trying to steal the ECAC crown but fell just a bit short. Their reward is hosting a Princeton team that is capable of an odd upset or two but otherwise has been rather disappointing this season.

4. Minnesota (25-5-3), 63 — Last poll: 3

  • Last week: W 2-1 OT @ St. Thomas (2/17), W 4-2 @ St. Thomas (2/18)
  • Coming Week: v St. Thomas (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

Minnesota did themselves no favors in going to overtime against the same St. Thomas team they draw for next weekend but Ohio controlled their destiny and seized it anyways.

5. Northeastern (30-2-1), 56 — Last poll: 5

  • Last week: W 2-1 @ Boston College (2/14), W 5-1 @ Boston University (2/17), W 4-0 v Boston University (2/18)
  • Coming Week: HEA Quarterfinal (2/25)/

The Huskies were the only team in our poll not playing for conference seeding this week as they had locked up their fifth straight regular season crown last month. They were, however, playing for something more important, the Beanpot and all the bragging rights that come along with it. They were able to hold off one of their rivals Boston College on the road en route to their 18th Beanpot championship and earning this week’s title of ‘Belles of the Ball’. They finished the regular season off with an uneventful but chippy sweep of their other rival Boston University and will not play host to the lowest remains HEA team once the first round completes.

6. Wisconsin (23-9-2), 44 — Last poll: 7

  • Last week: W 6-5 OT v Ohio State (2/18), L 1-3 v Ohio State (2/19)
  • Coming Week: v Minnesota State (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

The Badgers were drawing dead a few weeks ago, a loss to St. Cloud after being swept by Duluth made most people write off Wisconsin but that appears to have been a mistake. Bucky has not so quietly roared back into home ice consideration for the NCAA Tournament after taking big points off Minnesota and Ohio State, they did blow leads in both games this weekend which might be cause for concern as they play host to Mankato.

7. Minnesota-Duluth (23-8-3), 33 — Last poll: 8

  • Last week: W 6-0 @ Bemidji State (2/17), W 5-1 @ Bemidji State (2/18)
  • Coming Week: v St. Cloud State (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

Duluth has been overshadowed by Wisconsin’s resurgence but have quietly been solid outside of a visit by their rival Gophers. They now play host to a St. Cloud team that could be dangerous.

8. Quinnipiac (27-7-0), 24 — Last poll: 6

  • Last week: L 1-4 @ St. Lawrence (2/17), L 1-2 @ Clarkson (2/18)
  • Coming Week: v St. Lawrence (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

Tom Petty might not have written his song about this Bobcats team but they sure are living up to it as they have plummeted down our poll with poor play of late. They have just one win over a team that qualified for the ECAC tournament in the past five weeks, and that win was followed up by quite possibly their worst performance in a very long time as they were wiped off the ice by Princeton. They now play host to a St. Lawrence team that just beat them handily, though for their sake they hope home ice will be the difference.

9. Clarkson (26-8-2), 21 — Last poll: 10

  • Last week: W 5-4 OT v Princeton (2/17), W 2-1 v Quinnipiac (2/18)
  • Coming Week: v Cornell (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

Clarkson has quietly been a team that has won the games they should have and lost the ones they were supposed to. This has left them as the leader on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament which should be a safe bubble unless there are some very large upsets. First, though they need to take care of a Cornell team that is a roller coaster.

10. Penn State (24-8-2), 13 — Last poll: 9

  • Last week: W 8-1 @ RIT (2/17), W 3-1 @ RIT (2/18)
  • Coming Week: v Lindenwood (2/24, 2/25, 2/26)/

Penn State was already locked in as the CHA top seed but finished the season off strong as they look to finally win their tournament.

Also Receiving Votes: St. Cloud State 2, Princeton 1, Vermont 1