The Ice Garden’s NCAA Poll: Raiders on the rise

The final weekend is here. Still so much chaos to be encapsulated but we have an old familiar face back atop the poll.

We are at the end of the regular season, and we finally have an agreement among our voters. This surely means the remaining five weeks of the season will be nothing short of utter chaos.

1. Ohio State (27-3-2), 110 (11) — Last poll: 2

  • Last week: W 6-1 v St. Thomas (2/10), W 5-0 v St. Thomas (2/11)
  • Coming Week: @ Wisconsin (2/18, 2/19)/

An easy sweep of lowly St. Thomas was expected. This week sends the Buckeyes to Madison against a suddenly hot Badgers squad that will be the last game of the regular season across the country.

2. Yale (24-2-1), 96 — Last poll: 1

  • Last week: L 3-5 @ Colgate (2/10), W 3-2 OT @ Cornell (2/11)
  • Coming Week: v Dartmouth (2/17), v Harvard (2/18)/

The Bulldogs stay at the top was very brief. Their loss to Colgate likely is not enough for them to lose the ECAC regular season title but they have no wiggle room left. Their trip to Ithaca was another disaster but the OT win was enough to clinch their first-ever Ivy League trophy. This week is an easy home pair to set themselves up for the playoffs.

3. Minnesota (23-5-3), 80 — Last poll: 3

  • Last week: T 2-2 OT (SOL 0-2) v Wisconsin (2/10), L 5-7 v Wisconsin (2/11)
  • Coming Week: @ St. Thomas (2/17, 2/18)/

Disaster might be too lenient of a term for the Gophers who dropped five of six points to their arch-rival Wisconsin at home this weekend. It won't be enough to cost them second place in the WCHA, as they need only two points against the bottom-feeding Tommies but first place now is out of their control unless they sweep and Wisconsin can at least split with Ohio State.

4. Colgate (26-4-2), 77 — Last poll: 4

  • Last week: W 5-3 v Yale (2/10), W 3-1 v Brown (2/11)
  • Coming Week: @ Union (2/17), @ Rensselaer (2/18)/

The Raiders might not have moved in the poll but they opened some room from the Huskies below them both here and more importantly in the PWR where their win against Yale might have locked a home NCAA Quarterfinal for them, making them this week’s ‘Belles of the Ball.’ They close the season with a slim chance for the ECAC title but will have a pair of sure-win road games to give them the best chance.

5. Northeastern (27-2-1), 67 — Last poll: 5

  • Last week: W 4-1 v Boston University (2/7), W 3-2 OT @ Connecticut (2/10)
  • Coming Week: @ Boston College (2/14), @ Boston University (2/17), v Boston University (2/18)/

The Huskies didn’t choke away the Beanpot semifinals which is a relief for fans but the annual trap game between Beanpot games reared its ugly head as UConn took them to OT where Northeastern survived but still was damaged in the PWR. This week is a trophy game and then another pair against rival BU.

6. Quinnipiac (27-5-0), 53 — Last poll: 6

  • Last week: W 2-1 v Rensselaer (2/10), W 5-1 v Union (2/11)
  • Coming Week: @ St. Lawrence (2/17), @ Clarkson (2/18)/

The Bobcats are really kicking themselves over that disaster in New Jersey. A sweep of the weekend keeps them theoretically alive for the top seed, but had they not been blown out they would control their own destiny. They will have a pair of difficult but winnable road games to wrap up the season.

7. Wisconsin (22-8-2), 47 — Last poll: 8

  • Last week: T 2-2 OT (SOW 1-0) @ Minnesota (2/10), W 7-5 @ Minnesota (2/11)
  • Coming Week: v Ohio State (2/18, 2/19)/

Which Badgers team will show up this week? The ones that barely survived St. Cloud at home or the ones that dominated the Gophers in Minneapolis. They return home trying to salvage the season as they host the top team in the country Ohio State.

8. Minnesota-Duluth (21-8-3), 36 — Last poll: 7

  • Last week: T 1-1 OT (SOW 1-0) v St. Cloud State (2/10), W 2-0 v St. Cloud State (2/11)
  • Coming Week: @ Bemidji State (2/17, 2/18)/

Duluth will be the WCHA’s fourth-seeded team in the playoffs and are all but locked to get an at-large bid for the national tournament. A rough weekend hosting St. Cloud didn’t impress anyone but they travel to Bemidji for a pair of games that shouldn’t give them any trouble.

9. Penn State (22-8-2), 19 — Last poll: 9

  • Last week: No Games
  • Coming Week: @ RIT (2/17, 2/18)/

A week off will set the Nittany Lions up for what they hope is a march to the tournament as they take on the last-place Tigers before they open the CHA tournament as the top seed.

10. Clarkson (24-8-2), 13 — Last poll: 10

  • Last week: W 4-2 @ Harvard (2/11), W 4-0 @ Dartmouth (2/11)
  • Coming Week: v Princeton (2/17), v Quinnipiac (2/18)/

Last weekend saw the Golden Knights easily take care of business in New England now they host a pair of games they are likely to split. They only need one point to lock in a home-ice quarterfinal.

Also Receiving Votes: St. Cloud State 4, Princeton 3