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Penn State Hockey Climbs Top-20 of USCHO Rankings

Happy Valley, is now Penn State Hockey Valley, as the Nittany Lions climb into the top-20 of the USCHO Poll, after opening the season 4-0.

Penn State Hockey

Connor MacEachern #29 of Penn State Hockey.(Photo by Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State Hockey continued its unbeaten season, sweeping Mercyhurst this past weekend by a score of (6-3) and (4-1), garnering some more national respect.

This weekend allowed the Nittany Lions to move two spots from No. 20 to No. 18 in the USCHO poll, released on Monday, Oct. 17.

Other notable movements in the polls included Providence, Ohio State, and UConn. The Providence Friars beat previously No. 7 ranked Northeastern (2-1) and Clarkson (5-2). The big win against the Huskies made the friars jump four spots from No. 15 to No. 11, bumping Northeastern back a peg to No. 12.

The Ohio State Buckeyes had the opposite fate, moving back in the polls five spots from No. 11 to No. 16 after playing the University of Connecticut.

The buckeyes went 0-1-1 against the Northeastern Huskies, tying them (0-0) and then losing (6-1). This brings UConn’s overall record to 5-0-1, starting the season off hotter than anyone expected. Freshman phenom, Mathew Wood has been a large reason for the Husky’s success.

Entering this year after a two-year stint in the BCHL with the Victoria Grizzlies where he scored 98 total points in 64 games. Other honorable mentions include Harvard who fell three spots from #12 to #15 this week, to no fault of their own of course, considering Harvard men’s hockey’s first game isn’t until Oct. 28th when they play Dartmouth University.

Poll Prediction

The Lions’ next series will be another Thursday/Friday matchup against St. Thomas, where Penn State Hockey will look to establish a 6-0 start to the year.

The brooms should be out all over again, as they should sweep St. Thomas University and be primed for big ten play starting Oct. 28th against the Wisconsin Badgers.

Harvard will most likely continue to fall in ranking, solely considering the late start relative to other teams.

Umass Lowell must play the Northeastern Huskies this weekend, and they are 15-21-3 all-time against them. A loss this weekend will give another opportunity for the Lions to keep climbing.

In addition, the Western Michigan Broncos (#17) face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (#13). The Broncos are 11-16-8 all-time against them, having not won a game since playing them in 2015. If the circumstances align as I predict, the Penn State Nittany Lions will crack the top 15 in the USCHO poll come October 24th

Here are this week’s rankings:

Movement Around the Poll

USCHO Rankings Oct. 10th

#15: Providence

#16: Umass Lowell

#17: UConn

#18: Western Michigan

#19: Cornell

#20: Penn State

Updated USCHO Rankings Oct. 17th

#15: Harvard

#16: Ohio State

#17: Western Michigan

#18: Penn State

#19: Umass Lowell

#20: Cornell