BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University finds itself back among the top 15 NCAA Division I men’s hockey teams in week’s USA Today/USA Hockey national poll. The Beavers checked in at No. 15 this week, down three spots from a week ago, marking its third appearance in the poll this season.
The Beavers garnered 64 points to finish 15th, eight votes behind American International College in the No. 14 spot and 446 points University of North Dakota (510) in the top spot. The Fighting Hawks pulled in all 34 first-place votes to hold a 52-point edge over the University of Minnesota (458) in the No. 2 spot. This weekend’s NCAA East Regional Semifinal opponent, University of Wisconsin, picked up 381 points to round out the top four teams.
This marks the third time BSU has been ranked among the top 15 in this poll this season, while it is the 41th occasion all-time. Last week’s No. 12 billing was the high-water mark in the poll for BSU this season.
In addition to BSU, the WCHA was also represented in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll by Minnesota State University in the No. 6 spot (358) and Lake Superior State University in the No. 13 position (90), while Bowling Green State University (11) was among “others receiving votes.”
BSU is also ranked No. 14 in this week’s USCHO.com NCAA Division I men’s hockey poll marking the 11th week the Beavers have been recognized among the top 20 that poll.
The Beavers, now 15-9-3 overall, have earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. As the No. 4 seed, BSU will face the top seed University of Wisconsin (20-9-1) in the first semifinal of the East Reginal. The opening faceoff is set for 12 p.m. Friday at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. The winner will advance to the championship at 4 p.m. Saturday and will face the winner of the Lake Superior State University/University of Massachusetts semifinal for the right to go to the Frozen Four, April 8-10 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.
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.