MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Bemidji State’s men’s ice hockey program has cracked the Top 20 in the U.S. College Hockey Online (uscho.com) Top 15 poll, released this afternoon. Bemidji State received a school-record 10 points in the Week 20 edition of the poll, which would rank the program 19th in the nation if the poll were extended. BSU’s previous highs in the USCHO.com poll were six points and 20th in the extended poll, both set in last week’s poll release.
Niagara joined Bemidji State in the rankings this week, checking in at No. 21 with six points. It marks the second time this season two College Hockey America teams have appeared in the rankings; both BSU and Niagara received points in the Dec. 8 poll.
Bemidji State is coming off weekend sweep at the hands of Minnesota. The Beavers gave the fifth-ranked Golden Gophers all they could handle, falling just 2-1 in Friday’s opener and trailing just 2-1 entering the third period of an eventual 5-1 Game 2 loss. BSU goaltenders Grady Hunt and Layne Sedevie starred for BSU, combining for 74 saves - 37 by Sedevie in Game 2, season-high by a BSU goaltender, and 36 by Hunt in Game 1.
Bemidji State opened the 2003-04 campaign with two points in USCHO.com’s pre-season poll (27th if the poll were extended) and improved to three points in the first regular-season release of the poll on Oct. 6, 2003. BSU dropped from the rankings for two weeks, then again garnered three points in the Oct. 27 poll after a loss and a tie against Minnesota State. BSU then picked up a then-record five points in the Dec. 8, 2003 poll, marking its first poll points since the Oct. 27 release. BSU matched those five points in the Jan. 19 poll, then climbed to No. 20 with a then-record six points in the Week 19 USCHO.com poll release on Feb. 2.
BSU’s 10 points in this week’s poll gives it points in the USCHO.com poll in each of the last four weeks and in five of the last six.
Prior to the 2003-04 season, BSU had received attention in the USCHO.com poll just once in its Division I era - two points on Nov. 18, 2002.
The USCHO.com Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 40 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 12 beat writers from across the country. The poll is published weekly by the Associated Press.
To view the complete poll, please visit http://www.uscho.com
Bemidji State’s road losses at Minnesota dropped the Beavers to 15-9-2 on the season. BSU remains 12-2-0 in College Hockey America play and holds a four-point lead over Niagara for first place in the conference. The Beavers wrap up non-conference play this weekend at No. 9 St. Cloud State, its second-consecutive road trip to a Top 10 opponent. Opening face-offs on Feb. 13-14, 2004 are set for 7:05 p.m. Central time at the National Hockey Center on the St. Cloud State campus.