COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The first full weekend of National Collegiate Hockey Conference match-ups forced a couple of changes in the polls, yet five NCHC teams remain ranked in Week 7 of the USCHO.com Poll, released on Monday. North Dakota made the most significant upward trajectory, bounding to No. 5 and No. 6 in the USCHO.com Poll and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, respectively. The five ranked NCHC teams in the USCHO.com Poll ties with Hockey East for the most teams ranked.
Denver (8-2-2) fell from No. 2 to No. 4 with 820 points in the USCHO.com Poll. The Pioneers also came in at No. 4 with 377 points in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll. After boasting a perfect record through eight games, the Pioneers faced their toughest tests of the season in two back-to-back top-10 tilts with conference foes in the last two weeks. Last weekend, the series against then-No. 9/9 North Dakota ended similarly to the DU’s series at Minnesota Duluth two weeks ago, a tie in game one and a loss in game two. This weekend, the Pioneers remain at home and look to snap their four-game winless skid against No. 20 Western Michigan on Nov. 22-23.
North Dakota (8-1-2) rose four spots from No. 9 to No. 5 in the USCHO.com Poll with 809 points, including one first-place vote. The Fighting Hawks made a similar jump in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll to No. 6 with 342 points. UND is on a heater as they extended their unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) with a tie and win at then No. 2/1 Denver last week. Up next, the Fighting Hawks host St. Cloud State (2-4-4).
Minnesota Duluth (5-4-1) tops off the NCHC teams in the top-10 of the USCHO.com Poll at No. 9 with 570 points. Last week, the Bulldogs ranked No. 6 in the same poll. UMD split its series last weekend at Miami and subsequently fell to No. 10 in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll with 271 points. This weekend, the Bulldogs return to home ice against their third NCHC opponent of the season, Colorado College (4-3-1).
Omaha (6-3-1) boosted its rank one spot in the USCHO.com Poll to No. 18 with 148 points. The Mavericks are working their way into the USA Hockey Magazine Poll and received votes in Monday’s poll. Omaha would be No. 17 with 29 points if the 15-team poll continued. In its last three series against ranked opponents, Omaha won game two in each to split the series. Most recently, UNO traveled to then-No. 20 WMU and collected a 6-3 win on Saturday night. The Mavericks return home to face another NCHC opponent this weekend in Miami (3-6-2).
Western Michigan (6-4-2) ranked No. 20 in the USCHO.com Poll for the second week in a row with 104 points. WMU completed the NCHC teams listed in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll and received 12 points to be No. 21 if the rankings continued. WMU split a home series against Omaha last weekend, earning a 3-1 win on Friday night. The Broncos continue conference play this weekend at No. 4/4 Denver.
Colorado College (4-3-1) received votes in the USCHO.com Poll and would be No. 26 if the 20-team poll continued. The Tigers earned 4 points. CC notched its first series sweep of the season at SCSU last weekend and continues its road trip in Minnesota this weekend at No. 9/10 UMD.
The second full weekend of conference match-ups airs on NCHC.tv on Nov. 22-23.