After improving to 6-0 on the season, Penn State Hockey jumped from No. 18 to No. 16 in the USCHO Division I men’s hockey poll.
The Nittany Lions and St. Cloud remain the only two undefeated teams in the NCAA.
Nationally, and around Happy Valley, the hype for Penn State Hockey is building, but not established yet.
The Lions must battle numerous conference opponents soon, where the wins matter most.
Here’s a look at where Penn State Hockey stands in the latest polls
Movement Around the Polls
Previous Rankings Oct. 17th:
#16: Ohio State
#17: Western Michigan
#18: Penn State
#19: Umass Lowell
Updated Rankings Oct. 24th:
#16: Penn State
#17: Western Michigan
#18: Umass Lowell
#19: Minnesota Duluth
Northeastern started off the season ranked No. 8, only to see massive drops since. They are now No. 15, losing to Providence (2-1), tying Boston College (3-3), and dropping another this past weekend against Umass Lowell (3-2).
The Buckeyes moved up five spots from No. 16 to No. 11, allowing Penn State Hockey’s rise to No. 16. Ohio State got a light nonconference matchup against Bentley University, sweeping them by a score of (9-2) and (3-1).
Another surprising shift from expectations is Minnesota Duluth, once a No. 4 ranked team in the nation, they now barely fall in the top 20. After sweeping Arizona State to start the year, the bulldogs have lost four straight. Two weeks ago, they played a strong Minnesota State team losing by scores of (6-0) and (2-1). Finally, the Wisconsin Badgers paid them a visit, Minnesota Duluth lost (5-2) and (3-0).
Where The Lions Lay/ Poll Prediction
The Wisconsin Badgers have had little respect shown to them entering the season, but maybe Penn State Hockey needs to buckle up for a very tough conference matchup on the way.
They did the expected by sweeping each of their nonconference opponents, but did not end game 2 against St. Thomas the way fans hoped. It concluded in a thrilling OT goal scored by Connor McMenamin, making Happy Valley worry that a loss could have been in order.
St. Thomas has only been an NCAA D-1 program for two years now, so you certainly can not win 6-2 game 1 and barely pull out the sweep the next night.
Guy Gadowsky will likely be very tough on his team this week, especially because the Badgers will come out with plenty of energy after a huge opening weekend against Minnesota Duluth.
The teams Penn State Hockey must leap to crack the top 15 include Harvard, Providence, and Northeastern. The Crimson play Dartmouth and Princeton University, while Providence and Northeastern both get light matchups against New Hampshire and Maine.
Poll Prediction: Penn State Hockey stays at #16
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