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Denver Domineers, Omaha Tops Off Four Ranked NCHC Teams

By Paige Shacklett, 11/04/19, 4:30PM EST


Mavericks Make First Appearance in the Poll Since March of 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Denver extended its No. 1 reign to four straight weeks in both national polls, released on Monday. Meanwhile, Omaha entered the Poll for the first time since the end of the 2017-18 season and tops off four National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) teams in the poll. Six of the eight NCHC members are ranked or receiving votes in at least one of the national polls.

DU (8-0-0) remains perfect through an entire month of competition to rank No. 1 in the Poll with 998 points and 49 of 50 first-place votes. In the USA Hockey Magazine Poll, the Pioneers once again earned a unanimous 34 first-place votes and 510 points as part of their No. 1 rank. Last week, DU swept Niagara in front of a home crowd and tallied its third shutout of the season. This weekend, the Pioneers open NCHC play facing No. 7/7 Minnesota Duluth for the first time since the Bulldogs collected a shutout win against DU in the 2019 Frozen Faceoff semifinals. The top-10 tilt will air on on Nov. 8-9.

UMD (3-3-0) fell one spot in both national polls despite a scheduled bye last weekend. The back-to-back reigning national champions earned a No. 7 rank in both polls, with the Poll totaling 682 points and the USA Hockey Magazine Poll giving UMD 276 points. The Bulldogs' conference schedule opens this weekend versus undefeated and top-ranked Denver.

North Dakota (5-1-1) continues its climb up the ranks to land at No. 10 in both national polls in Week 5, a four-spot improvement from last week. UND broke into the USA Hockey Magazine Poll for the first time this season at No. 14 last week.  The Fighting Hawks earned 508 points and 176 points in the Poll and USA Hockey Magazine Poll, respectively. UND participated in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game with Michigan Tech last Saturday in Grand Forks, N.D. and collected its third straight win. The Fighting Hawks close out a five-game homestand this weekend opening NCHC play against Miami (2-3-2).

The final NCHC team ranked in the Poll is Omaha (4-1-1) at No. 20 with 78 points. The last time the Mavericks earned a spot in the Poll was March 19, 2018 at No. 20. With 18 points from USA Hockey Magazine Poll voters, Omaha would be No. 20 if the 15-team rankings continued. Coming off a win and tie at Alaska Anchorage, there’s no rest for the weary as Omaha hosts a tough test in No. 12/12 Wisconsin this weekend.

Western Michigan (3-3-2) has yet to return to the Poll after falling out of the top-20 in Week 4. The Broncos received votes in the Poll and would be No. 22 with 47 points if the rankings continued. WMU opened conference play at Colorado College last weekend and gained five points with a win, overtime tie and shootout win.

St. Cloud State (1-2-3) dropped out of the Poll rankings this week yet still received 41 points and would be No. 24 if the 20-rank system continued. The Huskies received five points in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll and would be No. 23 if the 15-rank system continued. SCSU lost and tied its most recent games against Princeton last weekend. Up next, SCSU faces its second ranked opponent of the season at No. 16 Northern Michigan.

Seven games will air on this weekend, including both conference series, which features the top-10 showdown between No. 1/1 Denver and No. 7/7 UMD in Duluth.