January 26, 1999
The Notre Dame hockey team (14-7-3), coming off a 3-3 tie at Northern Michigan and a 3-1 loss at Lake Superior, remains among the top 10 of both major national polls, marking the 17th straight week that the Irish have been ranked among the top 10 of each poll, with a high ranking of fourth in both polls on Nov. 16 (when the team was 8-1-2).
The Irish dropped to 10th in both the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll. North Dakota retained the top spot in both polls, followed by Maine. Michigan State is third in the USCHO and fourth in UT/AHM while New Hampshire is fourth and third, respectively.
Upcoming Irish opponent Michigan (17-5-3) ranks fifth in both polls while Colorado College is sixth in both. The USCHO poll has Boston College, Rensselaer and Princeton in the 7-9 spots while UT/AHM has Princeton, Boston College and Rensselaer.
In addition to MSU (236 voting points), Michigan (176) and Notre Dame (44), three other CCHA teams received votes in the USCHO poll: Ohio State (5), Ferris State (2) and Northern Michigan (1). OSU was the only other team to receive votes in the UT/AHM poll.
Just two points in the CCHA standings separate third from sixth place-Ohio State (11-6-3, 25 pts), Notre Dame (11-6-2, 24), Ferris State (10-7-3, 23) and Northern Michigan (10-8-2, 22)-with the top four teams receiving home ice for the first round of the CCHA playoffs (best 2-of-3, March 12-14). OSU owns the head-to-head tiebreaker vs. the Irish while the Notre Dame-FSU series could be decided on Feb. 13 (currently tied 1-1, even on goal differential). NMU gained an early lead last week in its series with the Irish, with the teams set to play Feb. 26-27 at Notre Dame.
Ties in the CCHA standings are broken based on head-to-head record, followed by head-to-head goal differential and then record vs. the CCHA's top teams (starting with the regular-season champion).
Notre Dame's 1998-99 season has included a 3-2-2 record vs. teams ranked in the national top 10 at the time of the game. The Irish opened with a 2-1 win at then-No. 10 Wisconsin, in front of nearly 14,000 fans at the Kohl Center dedication game, before posting a home win over then-No.9 Ohio State (3-0), a 5-5 tie at former No.1 Boston College and a 2-2 home tie with then-No. 8 Michigan. The Wolverines won the rematch a week later, 1-0 in Ann Arbor.
The upcoming Jan. 30 game vs. Michigan has been a sellout since mid-December while a limited number of tickets are left for the Feb. 5 home game vs. Michigan State. Notre Dame's other remaining home games include Alaska Fairbanks (Feb. 6), Ferris State (Feb. 13) and Northern Michigan (Feb. 26-27).
U.S. COLLEGE HOCKEY ONLINE POLL (1/25/99)
Team (1st-Place) Record Points Previous 1. North Dakota (29) 19-2-1 299 1 2. Maine 18-2-4 253 3 3. Michigan State (1) 20-3-4 236 2 4. New Hampshire 19-4-1 229 4 5. Michigan 17-5-3 176 5 6. Colorado College 17-8-1 141 7 7. Boston College 14-8-2 106 6 8. Rensselaer 15-5-1 76 10 9. Princeton 11-4-1 68 9 10. NOTRE DAME 14-7-3 44 8 others Receiving Votes: Denver 9, Ohio State 5, Colgate 2, Ferris State 2, Providence 2, Northern Michigan 1, St. Cloud State 1.