COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team has been slotted No. 15 in the Preseason USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine NCAA Division I men’s hockey poll. The Beavers, who finished the 2019-20 season at 22-10-5 and No. 11 in the final poll of the season, have now appeared among the top 15 team in the country in six consecutive USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
The Beavers earned the No. 15 billing with 42 points to finish 54 votes behind Quinnipiac University (96) in 14th place and four points ahead of Providence College (38)--the top unranked team receiving votes. The University of North Dakota garnered 494 points, which included 22-of-35 first-place votes, to hold a 76-point advantage over Boston College (418) for the top spot in the poll.
Finding its way into the top 15 teams in the country for the initial release of the first USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll 2020-21 extends the Beavers’ run in the poll to six weeks dating back to Feb. 17, 2020 when BSU earned 85 points to sneak into the top-15 at No. 13. BSU’s six-poll run among the top 15 marks the 80th time BSU has appeared in the national poll, while it stands as the 39th week BSU has been ranked.
Last season the Beavers climbed as high as No. 10 in the poll March 2 when BSU earned 210 points and was among the top 10 teams in the country for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
The WCHA was also represented in the USCHO.com Preseason Poll by Minnesota State University, Mankato, which garnered 369 points and three first-place vote points to sit fifth in the nation. Michigan Technological University (5) and Northern Michigan University (4) also received votes in the poll.
The Beavers anxiously await the start of the 2020-21 season. After seeing their 22-10-5, 2019-20 season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WCHA delayed the start and abbreviated the 2020-21 campaign. Bemidji State will host Minnesota State to open the 26-game season with a non-conference series at Sanford Center Nov. 20-21.
The 26th annual USA Today/USA 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 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.