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In a largely static poll from a Hockey East perspective, the four ranked conference members each only moved one spot. Miami is still number one in the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Division I Men’s Hockey Poll with 37 of 50 first place votes and 983 total points. They bested Denver, who had 938 points and nine top votes. The River Hawks inched up one spot, to third, with two first place votes. North Dakota and Colorado College round out the top five and Bemidji State was sixth with the final two first place votes. UMass moved up a single spot to tenth while BC also moved up one to 16 and Vermont fell one to 18.
The league has had a trend this season of splitting weekend series, leaving all the teams in a muddle, however, this weekend saw a new development. Three teams took three of four points from theit opponent this weekend, helping to separate the schools a bit. BC beat and tied Maine and New Hampshire did the same to BU. Northeastern also turned the trick on Providence after the Friars had already collected the Mayor’s Cup by beating Brown, giving them a win, loss, and tie on the week. The two University of Massachusetts system schools each recorded a win in their only game. The Minutemen beat now #11 Yale and Lowell beat Merrimack in league play.
UNH and BC are tied for the conference lead with 10 points each, however the Wildcats have played eight games and the Eagles nine. UMass-Lowell has nine points and UMass has eight, but each of them have games in hand on UNH and BC as they have each only played six conference games. Vermont, Maine, and Northeastern are logjammed at fifth with seven points apiece and Merrimack is eighth with six points, but is also .500. The Terriers have only five points in nine league contests, leaving them in ninth and Providence occupies the bottom slot with three points in just five games.
The Hockey East Association was born in 1984 after five charter members (BC, BU, UNH, Northeastern, and PC) split from the ECAC amidst rumors that the Ivy League schools were going to leave to form their own conference. League membership has doubled since then, including the Hockey East acquisition of Vermont in 2005. The two conferences will play seven games against each other this weekend in a reprisal of some old rivalries. BU will play at Harvard and #7 Cornell, Clarkson will visit BC, Providence goes to Dartmouth, Massachusetts visits #9 Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence will travel to Maine, and Yale treks to ski country and Vermont. Back in league play, UMass-Lowell will travel to Providence and visit Maine. Vermont has a busy week as they will get a visit from UMass and then go to Northeastern. New Hampshire will take on Merrimack as well.