COLORDO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team made its debut in the USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine Division I Men’s Hockey Poll this week as 18-8-4 Beavers were voted to the No. 13 spot. BSU also slid into the No. 13 spot in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Hockey Poll. The jump into the poll comes on the heels of a convincing series sweep over then-No. 19 Northern Michigan University, Feb. 14-15, in Marquette, Mich. to extend the Beavers’ win streak to five games and improve to 10-1-1 since Jan. 3.
No. 13 billing marks the first time BSU has appeared among the top 15 in the USAToday/USA Hockey poll since the team was slotted No. 15, Dec. 14, 2016. It also stands as the 34th week BSU has been ranked in the top 15 dating back to 1999-2000 season when the Beavers made the jump to the NCAA Division I level. Bemidji State has ascended as high as No. 4 in the poll, Dec. 12, 2010.
This year, BSU has regularly received votes USCHO.com poll and has appeared among the top 20 for the last four weeks, which including this week marks the Beavers’ 52nd week top as a top-20 program.
The University of North Dakota held down the nation’s top spot in both major polls with 34 first-place votes and 510 points in the USAToday/USA Hockey poll and 999 points and 49 of the 50 first-place votes.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association was also represented in the Feb. 17 USAToday/USA Hockey poll by Minnesota State University, which garnered 452 points to sit at No. 3. MSU also received the other first-place vote in the USCHO.com poll, pulling down 910 points to sit third, while BSU’s 374 points was good for 13th. Both Bowling Green State (3) University and Northern Michigan (14) received votes in the USCHO.com poll.
The Beavers, now 18-8-4 overall and 18-4-2-1 in WCHA play, pulled to within five points of first-place Minnesota State University, Mankato with four games to go in the regular season. BSU will travel to Anchorage, Alaska for a two-game series with the University of Alaska-Anchorage, Feb. 21 and 22. The series will get underway at 10:07 p.m. (CT) Friday before an 8:07 p.m. opening faceoff in the series finale Saturday.
The USCHO.com poll consists of 50 voters, including coaches and beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.
The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll, now in its 25th year, 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 AHCA and USA Hockey.
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.