COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In the first polls of the New Year, North Dakota reigns at No. 1 for the third straight week and leads three National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) teams in both national polls, released on Monday. In Week 14, the USCHO.com Poll has three NCHC teams in the top 10, and one receiving votes. The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll followed suit with UND, Denver, and Minnesota Duluth all in the top nine.
UND (16-1-2) locked in the top spot in both national polls with 46-of-50 first-place votes and 995 points in the USCHO.com Poll. In its third week at No. 1 in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll, the Fighting Hawks earned 30-of-34 first-place votes and 504 points. UND completed a stifling sweep of Alabama-Huntsville last weekend to extend its unbeaten streak to 15 games and won its 13th straight game at home to set a new building record for consecutive home wins. UND kicks off its 2020 conference schedule hosting Omaha (8-9-3) on Jan. 10-11.
After sweeping then-No. 9 Massachusetts last weekend, Denver (13-4-3) moved up two spots to break into the top 5 of the USCHO.com Poll at No. 5 with 792 points. Last week, USA Hockey Magazine Poll votes placed the Pioneers at No. 5, a rank they held onto in Week 14 with 390 points. DU opens its conference slate against St. Cloud State (6-8-4) this weekend at Magness Arena.
Minnesota Duluth (11-6-1) improved its rank one spot to No. 9 with 580 points in the USCHO.com Poll. The Bulldogs closed out the calendar year with a road sweep at Merrimack and have yet to skate in the New Year. Despite a bye during the first weekend of 2020, UMD also jumped a rank in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll to No. 9 with 219 points. UMD next drops the puck against Western Michigan at AMSOIL Arena on Jan. 10-11.
Western Michigan (7-8-3) received votes in the USCHO.com Poll and would be No. 24 with 25 points if the 20-team rankings continued. WMU ranked No. 19 in last week’s USCHO.com Poll before an overtime tie at Notre Dame on Friday and loss at home Sunday saw the Broncos fall out of the rankings. Up next, WMU travels to UMD to resume its conference schedule.
All eight NCHC teams are in action on NCHC.tv this weekend, Jan. 10-11, with the three ranked teams competing against unranked conference foes.