COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Five National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) teams extended their stay in the USCHO.com Poll in Week 9, released on Monday. Following the holiday weekend, four of the five teams ranked in the poll retained their position from the previous week. The NCHC tied with Hockey East once again for the most teams ranked in the USCHO.com Poll. Three NCHC teams remain ranked in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, and two additional teams received votes.
North Dakota (12-1-2) held steady in the USCHO.com Poll at No. 3 with 889 points. The Fighting Hawks also extended their hold on the No. 3 spot in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll with 431 points. UND collected its fifth series sweep of the season at Minnesota over Thanksgiving, extending its unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1). The Fighting Hawks resume their road trip this weekend at conference foe No. 17 Western Michigan on Dec. 6-7.
Coming off a bye week, Denver (9-3-2) remained at No. 4 with 826 points in the USCHO.com Poll. Despite a break in their schedule over the holiday weekend, the Pioneers moved up one spot in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll to No. 4 with 392 points. This weekend, the Pioneers travel to No. 20 Arizona State (7-4-1), which entered the poll this week.
In the USCHO.com Poll, Minnesota Duluth (7-6-1) fell six spots to No. 14 with 429 points after dropping two games. The Bulldogs made a similar descent in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll from No. 9 to No. 14 with 105 points. UMD hosted a top-10 tilt with in-state rival and top-ranked Minnesota State last weekend, and suffered its second sweep of the season. The Bulldogs return to conference play this weekend at No. 18 Omaha, looking to bounce back.
Fresh off the holiday weekend, Western Michigan (7-5-2) retained its USCHO.com Poll ranking at No. 17 with 200 points. The Broncos received 4 points in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll and would be No. 19 if the 15-team rankings continued. After three weeks away from Lawson, the Broncos look forward to hosting No. 3/3 UND in their sole series of December this weekend.
Omaha (6-4-2) maintained its USCHO.com Poll position from last week, as well, at No. 18 with 128 points. Although the Mavericks rank one spot below WMU in the USCHO.com Poll, Omaha received more points in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll and would be ahead of their conference foe at No. 17 with 14 points if the poll continued. Omaha faces another top-20 opponent this weekend as the Mavericks host No. 14/14 UMD.
Three NCHC match-ups air on NCHC.tv this weekend, including two top-20 showdowns: No. 3/3 UND at No. 17 WMU and No. 14/14 UMD at No. 18 Omaha.