Jan. 30, 2006
OXFORD, Ohio - According the most recent national polls, the Miami University hockey team is the nation's consensus No. 1 team after sweeping a two-game series with Ferris State last weekend. This marks the first time in school history that a Miami squad has been the nation's top-ranked team according to the polls in any sport.
After being ranked third last week, Miami has claimed the top spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine, USCHO.com and InsideCollegeHockey.com polls ahead of Minnesota, which comes in at No. 2 in all three polls. Miami opened the season unranked and entered the polls at No. 19 on Oct. 24 after going on the road and sweeping Nebraska-Omaha by scores of 6-3 and 3-2 in its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association series of the season.
Miami's first foray into this season's top 10 came after a sweeping a home-and-home series with Ohio State on Nov. 4-5 as USA Today pegged the Red and White as its No. 10 team. Following a series sweep of Bowling Green on Nov. 25-26, Miami became a consensus top 10 team and two weeks later climbed all the way to No. 2 after sweeping a series from then-No. 3 Michigan.
Since the Dec. 5 poll put Miami on the cusp of being the nation's top-ranked team, the RedHawks are 8-2-3 and are riding a five-game winning streak that dates back to Jan. 14 at Notre Dame. Miami has remained in the top five for eight consecutive weeks and has not been ranked lower than fourth in that time.
Miami's trip to No. 1 was aided by last week's No. 1 team, Boston College, which split a pair of games over the weekend, and Wisconsin, ranked No 2 last week, which was swept by Minnesota. Boston College is ranked third this week, while Wisconsin fell to fourth.
The RedHawks are just the second Division 1 team in the tri-state area (Southwestern Ohio, Souththeastern Ind., and Northern Ky.) to achieve a No. 1 ranking. The University of Cincinnati's men's basketball team has been ranked No. 1 on 45 occasions.
Head coach Enrico Blasi's RedHawks have the nation's best record at 19-4-4 and lead the CCHA at 16-3-2. Miami's 34 league points give it an 11-point lead over second-place Lake Superior State with seven regular-season games remaining this season. Blasi, whose career coaching record stands at 123-111-23, surpassed Steve Cady as Miami's all-time winningest hockey coach when Miami downed Ferris State 3-1 on Jan. 27.
Miami plays host to Alaska Fairbanks this weekend with the puck slated to drop on Feb. 3-4 at 7:35 p.m. at Goggin Ice Arena.