The last time a program had the No. 1 hockey team in both the men’s and women’s polls was on Oct. 27, 2014, when Minnesota grabbed both spots. Cornell can now also claim this distinction.
For the fourth week this season — and the first time since Jan. 27 — Cornell men’s hockey has earned the No. 1 spot in the USCHO.com poll. The Red previously earned the top spot in Jan. 13 edition of the poll, hanging onto that ranking for three weeks.
And with No. 1 Cornell women’s hockey reigning atop the rankings since Feb. 10, this marks the first time ever that both the men’s and women’s hockey teams have been No. 1 concurrently.
The men’s team garnered 27 first-place votes in this week’s poll. North Dakota, which previously occupied the top spot, received nine first-place votes and tumbled to No. 3 following a tie and a loss at St. Cloud State. Minnesota State obtained the other 14 votes and rose from No. 3 to No. 2 to complete the triad.
Boasting a 21-2-4 record and the best winning percentage in the country (.857), the men’s team climbed to No. 1 following a sweep against Yale and Brown. In those two contests, Cornell outscored its Ivy foes, 7-0, claiming the Ivy League title and upping its winning streak to seven games.
After suffering a shocking 5-0 setback at Quinnipiac on Jan. 31, Cornell dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the poll. But since that loss, the Red has returned to its dominant form — outmatching its ECAC competition in the last seven games.
Perhaps the most striking development during the run has been Cornell’s showing in the first period. Up until its one-goal first period against Brown on Saturday, the Red had notched multiple goals in the opening frame in its previous six contests. In February, Cornell has tallied 18 goals in the first period — a mark that leads the nation.
Meanwhile, the women’s team has achieved an even more impressive level of dominance. Sitting at 25-1-3 at the end of the regular season, the Red earned both the Ivy League title and the ECAC regular-season title.
Ever since a 3-1 loss at Ohio State on Nov. 29, the Cornell women have not lost a single contest, ending the regular season on a 19-game unbeaten streak. This unparalleled level of play arises from the Red’s strength on both sides of the ice.
Junior goaltender Lindsay Browning recently broke the school record for shutouts in a season with 11 and has allowed a nation-best 0.80 goals per game. And on offense, Cornell’s well-balanced attack features eight icers with 20-plus points. Senior captain Jaime Bourbonnais leads the pack with 38 points, which includes 31 assists.
Having occupied the top spot for the last three polls, Cornell only tightened its grip this past weekend, beating both RPI and Union to bookend one of the program’s best regular seasons on record. The Red received 14 of the 15 first-place votes, ceding a lone ballot to No. 2 Wisconsin.
The women’s team will kick off their postseason play against No. 8 St. Lawrence in a best-of-3 series this weekend at Lynah Rink. The men will put their newly minted ranking to the test in their final action of the regular season against Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend, when the Red will look to claim the Cleary Cup.