Feb. 27, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio - Coming off a third straight sweep, the latest against then-No. 17 Ohio State, the Miami University hockey team has quickly risen up the rankings during its six-game winning streak, climbing to No. 9 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and No. 11 in the USCHO.com Poll, both of which were released Monday. The rankings are Miami’s highest in each poll since Oct. 17 when the ‘Hawks were 10th in the USCHO Poll and seventh in the USA Today Poll. Miami has now been in the USCHO Poll for seven straight weeks and 12 of 21 polls on the year while being ranked in back-to-back weeks in the USA Today Poll for just the second time all year with the other the first two weeks of the season.
The RedHawks (21-13-2, 15-11-2-1 CCHA) earned 192 points in the USA Today Poll to make the biggest jump of the week, moving up six spots from No. 15 last week when Miami earned just 55 points. In the USCHO Poll, the ‘Hawks moved up four spots to No. 11 with 487 points, compared to 331 points last week.
Boston College is the new No. 1 team in the country in both polls, picking up 31 of 34 first-place votes and 504 points in the USA Today Poll, while garnering 44 of 50 first-place votes and 993 points in the USCHO Poll. The Eagles, who swept Providence by a combined 10-0 last weekend, were No. 2 in both polls last week. Minnesota-Duluth is No. 2 in the polls, moving up two spots in each while picking up a pair of first-place votes in the USA Today Poll and five first-place votes in the USCHO Poll. CCHA regular-season champion Ferris State fell from first to third while earning the final first-place vote in each poll after a tie and loss to Western Michigan last weekend.
Boston University and Minnesota are fourth and fifth, respectively, in the USA Today Poll, and are tied for fourth in the USCHO Poll. CCHA rival Michigan fell three spots in each poll to No. 6 after splitting with Bowling Green while Union College moved up a spot in each poll to No. 7. UMass-Lowell holds down the eighth spot in the polls and sits 57 points ahead of Miami in the USA Today Poll with 249. Denver, who the ‘Hawks beat earlier this year, rounds out the top 10 in the USA Today Poll as the Pioneers sit just three points behind Miami in 10th with 189 points. In the USCHO Poll, Denver is No. 9 after its split with North Dakota while Maine takes the No. 10 spot with 496 points, just nine more than the RedHawks.
The Black Bears claim the No. 11 spot in the USA Today Poll while Merrimack and Cornell are ranked 12th and 13th respectively, in both polls, with Merrimack 13 points behind Miami in the USCHO Poll with 474 points. CCHA foe Michigan State, who the RedHawks face in the CCHA Tournament quarterfinals, sits 14th in the USA Today Poll and 15th in the USCHO Poll. North Dakota holds the opposite spots, as the Fighting Sioux are 14th in the USCHO Poll and 15th in the 15-team USA Today Poll.
Three CCHA teams are next in the USCHO Poll, as Western Michigan is up to 16th, Northern Michigan is No. 17 after a sweep of Lake Superior and Notre Dame is ranked 18th after splitting with the Spartans. Colorado College and Air Force complete the poll in 19th and 20th, respectively. A total of seven CCHA teams are ranked in the USCHO Poll, the most of any conference, while four CCHA teams are ranked in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll.
In the latest Inside College Hockey (INCH) Power Rankings, Miami made the biggest jump, rising five spots to No. 8, which is third among CCHA teams behind No. 5 Ferris State and No. 7 Michigan. In the all-important PairWise Rankings, which help determine NCAA Tournament berths, the ‘Hawks are tied for eighth with Union College, improving three spots from last week.
The RedHawks earned a first-round bye in the CCHA Tournament but will host fifth-seeded and No. 14/15 Michigan State in the quarterfinals March 9-11 at Steve Cady Arena.