Bemidji State returns to College Hockey Online poll
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Bemidji State’s weekend men’s ice hockey sweep of the Air Force Falcons helped the Beavers jump back into the U.S. College Hockey Online (uscho.com) Top 15 poll, released this afternoon. Bemidji State received one point in the Week 15 edition of the poll, which would rank the program 23rd in the nation if the poll were extended.

Bemidji State, which defeated Air Force 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 USCHO.com poll.

Bemidji State opened the 2003-04 season 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 school-record five points in the Dec. 8, 2003 poll marked its first poll points since the Oct. 27 release. BSU’s 23rd-place ranking in this week’s poll ties a season high; the Beavers also would have ranked 23rd if the Dec. 8 poll were extended.

Prior to the 2003-04 season, BSU had received attention in the USCHO.com poll just once in its Division I era - two points in the Nov. 18, 2002 poll, ironically enough after a home-ice sweep of Wayne State in which BSU limited the Warriors to one total goal.

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 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.
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