COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Following the first full weekend of conference play in over a month, three National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) teams remain ranked in Week 15 of both national polls, released on Monday. North Dakota shares the podium with Cornell in a tie atop the USCHO.com Poll, while the NCHC boasts three teams in the top 10, and a fourth is receiving votes. Similarly, in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll, UND, Denver, and Minnesota Duluth all placed in the top eight.
After leading the polls for a month, the Fighting Hawks share the top spot in Week 15 as voters tied North Dakota (17-2-2) and Cornell at No. 1 with 956 points. Cornell outpaced UND in first-place votes with 21 to UND’s 17. UND fell one spot in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll, dropping to No. 2 with 8-of-34 possible first-place votes and 480 points. The Fighting Hawks suffered their first loss in 16 games at the hands of NCHC rival Omaha (9-10-3) last Friday. UND bounced back on Saturday night, 4-1, to split the series. The Fighting Hawks hit the road this weekend with a trip to Miami (6-11-3). Friday’s tilt airs on CBS Sports Network.
After completing the only sweep in NCHC play last weekend with a pair of wins over St. Cloud State, Denver (15-4-3) boosted its ranking one spot in both polls. DU moved up from fifth to No. 4 with 403 points in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll. In the USCHO.com Poll, the Pioneers earned 823 points to land at No. 4. DU heads to Omaha this weekend, Jan. 17-18, looking to extend its six-game winning streak.
After a win and tie with Western Michigan last weekend, reigning back-to-back national champions Minnesota Duluth (12-6-2) climbed further up the ranks to No. 8 with 255 points in the USA Hockey Magazine Poll, consistently moving up one spot each week during the last three weeks of polling. The Bulldogs made a similar move in the USCHO.com Poll climbing to No. 8 with 623 points. Up next, UMD faces off against in-state rival St. Cloud State (6-10-4) at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Despite the results at UMD, Western Michigan (7-9-4) remained in the list of teams receiving votes in the USCHO.com Poll in Week 15 and would be No. 26 with four points if the 20-team rankings continued. This weekend, the Broncos host Colorado College for their second meeting of the season. The pair last met in November, with WMU earning five of six points behind a win, tie and shootout win.
All NCHC match-ups air on NCHC.tv this weekend except for No. 1/2 UND at Miami on Friday, Jan. 17, which will air on CBS Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. ET.