Penn State Hockey Cracks Top-10 of National Rankings
Following a weekend that saw Penn State Hockey knock off No. 1 Michigan, the Nittany Lions rose to national prominence and into the top-10 of the rankings.
Penn State Hockey jumped five spots from No. 13 to No. 8 to crack the top-10 this week, in the USCHO rankings, the first time since November of 2020.
The Nittany Lions giant leap comes from a series split with Michigan, after winning 3-0 and losing in OT 4-3 this past weekend. Last weekend marks the first time that Penn State Hockey has beaten a No. 1 ranked team in program history, and dropping Michigan two spots from No. 1 to No. 3 in the USCHO rankings.
The Lions had doubters early on, barely being ranked top 20 before the season started off, now with a vision to crack the top 5.
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Here is a breakdown of the USCHO rankings, and where Penn State Hockey stands:
Movement Around the Poll
USCHO Rankings Oct. 31st
#6: Minnesota State
#9: Ohio State
#10: North Dakota
#11: Boston University
#12: Notre Dame
#13: Penn State
USCHO Rankings Updated Nov. 7th
#6: Minnesota State
#8: Penn State
#10: Ohio State
#12: North Dakota
#14: Boston University
Movement Around the Polls
The University of Massachusetts took a heavy dip this weekend, dropping six spots from No. 5 to No. 11. UMass got swept by the Providence Friars by a score of (4-7) and (3-4 OT), pushing the Friars up five spots in the ranking.
Boston University had the opposite fate, splitting a series with UMass Lowell, dropping down the totem pole from No. 11 to No. 14.
Some teams Penn State Hockey must pass to enter the top five include Connecticut, Minnesota State, Quinnipiac, and St. Cloud. The Quinnipiac Bobcats have easy matchups against Brown University and Yale, where they should win both those games. Connecticut on the other hand, could be challenged, facing off against the No. 9 ranked Providence Friars, a confident group that just swept the previously No. 5 ranked Umass Minuteman.
The matchups for Minnesota State and St. Cloud include Northern Michigan and Western Michigan, another sweep potential for the two powerhouses.
Penn State Hockey faces off against Minnesota for a Thursday/Friday series, the new No. 1 ranked team in the country.
This will mark two weekends in a row with the opportunity to take down the top dog. Other potential matchups to keep an eye on include No. 18 ranked Notre Dame against the No.3 ranked Michigan Wolverines.
An upset by the fighting Irish would prove HUGE for Penn State to leap into the top-five territory. I predict Michigan will split the series with Notre Dame, and the Lions will do the same in Minneapolis.
Prediction: Lions move up to No. 6 in USCHO