March 1, 2005

Men's Hockey Captures Top Ranking in USA Today Poll

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The men’s hockey team is hitting its stride at exactly the right time.

After sweeping St. Lawrence and Clarkson over the weekend, the Red finds itself in a tie for the No. 1 spot in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll with Colorado College, who was idle over the weekend.

The two teams are No. 1 and No. 2 in the poll, with Colorado College edging the Red out of the top spot by just three points, despite the fact that the Red received 21 first-place votes to the Tigers’ 12. The No. 2 spot in this poll is not a jump for the Red, as Cornell was tied for that spot with Colorado College last week. However, the No. 1 spot changed after last-week’s leader, Denver, split a weekend series with Minnesota State.

Denver dropped in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine spot as well, falling to No. 3. The Red has seen a steady rise up both polls recently as the squad is riding a 14-game unbeaten streak — the nation’s longest. Overall, Cornell is 22-4-3 and 18-2-2 in the ECACHL. Since a 0-2-2 road trip to Michigan State, Vermont and Dartmouth in November, the team has gone 18-2-1. Cornell’s last loss came Jan. 8 in a 1-0 loss at Harvard when the squad was No. 9/10. The Crimson remained in the No. 11 spot in both polls despite a weekend that saw an overtime loss to Dartmouth and a tie with Vermont. The loss to Dartmouth also allowed the Red to clinch its fourth consecutive Ivy League title.

Harvard and the Red are joined by Dartmouth to give the ECACHL three teams in the top-15 going into the start of the conference playoffs this weekend.

With the No. 1 seed in the league after its regular season championship, The Red will have a bye this weekend. The team will begin its playoff push March 11-13 at Lynah Rink against the lowest remaining seed in the tournament.

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