MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Bemidji State men’s ice hockey makes its first-ever appearance in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Coaches Poll this week, picking up one point which would rank the program 24th in the nation if the poll were extended. It is BSU’s first appearance in the coaches’ poll since the program made the jump to Division I in 1999.
Bemidji State, which defeated Air Force last weekend by scores of 3-1 and 5-1, holds a two-point lead for first place in College Hockey America with a 7-1-0 record in CHA play. It is BSU’s best-ever start in the CHA and the best mark by any Beaver team to open conference play since 1995-96 when BSU opened the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association season with a 7-1-0 mark when the program was still a member of NCAA Division II.
BSU’s 7-1-0 start in the CHA is the second-best eight-game start in the league’s five-year history. During the league’s inaugural 1999-2000 season, Niagara stood 7-0-1 after eight league games en route to a 15-0-2 league record and a first-round NCAA Tournament win. This year’s Niagara team is 6-0-0 in league play, the first team in CHA history to start with six consecutive wins.
BSU the only College Hockey America program to receive attention in this week’s coaches’ poll. The Beavers also picked up one point in this week’s U.S. College Hockey Online poll, which would rank the team 23rd if that poll were extended.
The ninth annual USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the American Hockey Coaches Association and American Hockey Magazine, the official publication of USA Hockey.
To view the complete poll, please visit http://www.usahockey.com
Bemidji State takes a 10-6-2 record into a key College Hockey America series with the Niagara Purple Eagles this weekend. BSU holds a two-point lead over Niagara for first place in the CHA, but has captured just one point in eight all-time games at Niagara’s Dwyer Arena. Opening face-offs for both contests are slated for 7:05 p.m. on Jan. 9-10, 2004.