MINNEAPOLIS -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team entered the NCAA Division I polls this week. Missing from the polls since March 22, 2010, the Beavers appeared at No. 18 in the USCHO.com ranking, while it received votes in the third USA Today/ USA Hockey Magazine Poll of the season.
Although the Beavers have received votes in the USCHO.com poll 26 times since the end of the 2009-10 season, which includes two weeks this season, BSU has not garnered the votes or points to crack the top 20 in the poll, until this week.
The Beavers, now 4-0-0 overall and 4-0-0 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play play, breaks from league action as it travels to Grand Forks, N.D. to battle No. 1 University of North Dakota this weekend. The series will get underway at 7:37 p.m. Friday from Ralph Engelstad Arena, while the finale is set for 7:07 p.m. Saturday.
At 3-0-0, North Dakota is the nation’s unanimous top team. It received all 34 No. 1 votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and all 50 USCHO.com first-place votes to hold down the top spot for the third consecutive week.
The Beavers join Minnesota State University Mankato as the only WCHA representatives in the USCHO.com poll, while the MSU is the league’s lone representative in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. Both Bemidji State and Lake Superior State University are receiving votes in the later poll.
The USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a joint production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college sports, including hockey, lacrosse, soccer and others, and CBS College Sports Networks, Inc., the only digital media company dedicated solely to college sports. CBS College Sports operates a 24-hour college sports cable network, also available via DISH and DirecTV satellite.
The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll, now in its 15th year, is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). 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 AHCA and USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.