Here was the NCAA Top 20 coming into action on Friday and how those ranked teams made out:
1 Boston University - Tied Northeastern twice
2 Notre Dame - A pair of 1-goal wins over Nebraska-Omaha
3 Michigan - Split with Ohio State Buckeyes
4 Northeastern - Tied Boston University twice
5 Miami - Split with Northern Michigan
6 Vermont - 0-1-1 against Mass-Lowell
7 Yale - Tied Quinnipiac and lost to Princeton
8 Denver - Two road victories over Wisconsin
9 North Dakota - Two road victories over Alaska-Anchorage
10 Princeton - Beat Brown and Yale
11 Cornell - Beat RPI and Union
12 New Hampshire - Won both ends of the home-and-home against Boston College
13 Wisconsin - Swept at home by Denver
14 Minnesota - Swept by Colorado College
15 Minnesota-Duluth - 1-0-1 against Michigan Tech
16 Ohio State - Split with Michigan
17 Boston College - Swept by New Hampshire
18 Colorado College - Swept the Golden Gophers
19 St. Cloud State - Did not Play
20 St. Lawrence - Beat Dartmouth and tied Harvard
Last week I predicted that Notre Dame would regain the #1 seed but that didn't happen. It definitely should this week as the Irish picked up a pair of wins while the Terriers netiher won nor lost, settling for a pair of ties against #4 Northeastern.
The pair of victories locked up the CCHA regular season title giving them the top seed in the conference playoffs in March. They needed an overtime goal from Billy Maday to win Friday's contest and the Irish scored the only goal in Saturday's 1-0 game. Notre Dame has lost only once in their last 28 games after getting off to a 2-3 start to their schedule. Senior Erik Condra (OTT) leads the team in scoring with 32 points in 33 games (pictured).
BU should slide back to the #2 spot with Northeastern coming in at #3 on the strength of their two ties against the top ranked Terriers. The #3 spot should open up for them because Michigan split against Zac Dalpe (pictured) andthe Ohio State Buckeyes who upset the Wolverines 3-2 on Saturday. The Buckeyes erased a 2-goal deficit and withstood 37 Michigan shots to pull out the win on a C.J. Severyn goal with under five minutes left in the game. 8390 fans were in attendance.
Miami, Vermont and Yale should all lose a little ground in the rankings because the three teams earned a single win between them. Miami was upset by Northern Michigan and should drop from #5 because of it. Vermont had their hands full with Mass-Lowell and could only squeak out a single point from their 2-game series. Yale tied Quinnipiac and then lost a key game against the Princeton Tigers, a loss which should see them fall past both them and probably Cornell as well.
The next five teams in the ranking all won both games they played on the weekend so movement in the middle of the top 20 should be expected. Denver's sweep over Wisconsin thanks to more heorics from freshman Joe Colborne, should be enough to get them back into the top 5. The Pioneers got a late tying goal from Colborne on Friday and then on Saturday it was the Patrick Wiercioch (pictured) show as the rookie blueliner collected 4 points in a 5-0 white wash of the Badgers.
The Fighting Sioux won the was against Alaska-Anchorage sweeping the Seawolves in overtime on Friday and then pounding them 6-2 on Saturday. Junior Chris Vande Velde recorded a hat trick on Saturday, good timing as he'll join Dean and I on Tuesday night as the Oiler prospect makes his return to The Pipeline Show.
Both Princeton and Cornell won twice in ECAC Conference play and New Hampshire put another nail in Boston College's coffin as the Eagles' chances of defending their National title are rapidly slipping away.
The free-falling Golden Gophers continue to struggle. Minnesota has won only 1 game in their last 8 contests and were swept by Colorado College. The Gophers take on Duluth and Michigan Tech to close out the regular season while Colorado College will face North Dakota next weekend and close things out with a single game against their arch-rivals from Denver.
St. Lawrence had more success as they smoked Dartmouth by a 7-2 score and followed that up with a tie against Harvard. The Saints have only lost once in their last 9 outings but with 3 other ECAC programs ahead of them in the rankings, probably have to win their way into the National Tournament. Undrafted junior Mike McKenzie (pictured) continues to lead the club with 30 points in 32 games.
One team on the outside looking in at the Top 20 that hope to get on the list is Air force who beat Holy Cross twice. The Falcons have won 5 of their last 6 and are now tied with RIT for top spot in Atlantic Hockey. Wouldn't it be great if Air Force and RIT ended the year with a series against each other to determine the regular season Conference champs?? Well you've got it! The Tigers will host the Falcons next weekend in Rochester with bragging rights and top seed in the playoffs on the line. The two programs splite their series played in Colorado earlier this year.
Mass-Lowell is probably going to squeak into the bottom of the top 20, perhaps at the expense of Boston College. Their upset of Vermont comes on the heels of those same BC Eagles as well as Massachusetts and Maine. The River Hawks will be challeneged though by both Air Force and RIT for that 20th spot.
Guy's Fearless NCAA poll prediction: 1-Notre Dame, 2-BU, 3-Northeastern, 4-Michigan, 5-Denver, 6-Miami, 7-North Dakota, 8-Vermont, 9-Princeton, 10-Cornell, 11-UNH, 12-Yale, 13-Minn.Duluth, 14-Ohio State, 15-Wisconsin, 16-Colorado College, 17-St. Cloud 18-St. Lawrence, 19-Minnesota, 20-Mass-Lowell