The Final Rankings

UND is ranked No. 4 in the final USCHO poll this season (for whatever it’s worth) and I decided to go and look up some past polls. Some of the findings were interesting.

Only five teams have been ranked in the final poll in each of the last five seasons (which tells you a little about the parity in the sport these days). Who are those five teams? North Dakota, Boston College, Michigan, Denver and Union.

So yes, Union has been having similar success to the nation’s best programs over the past five seasons. Its national championship did not exactly come out of thin air.

The other striking stat to me: UND is the only program that has been ranked in the top 16 for each of the past nine years. And the lowest UND has been in that span is No. 7. While UND hasn’t finished off a national championship in that span, that is rather remarkable.

If you go back the last decade, UND has been in the top 10 each season in the final USCHO poll.

Worst final rank of the last decade

10. North Dakota (2005)
17. Denver (2014)
20. Michigan (2013)
20. Boston College (2009)
NR. The rest of the country’s teams

*Of note, USCHO used to do its final ranking before the start of the NCAA tournament. The last four years, they have conducted a poll after the NCAA tournament.

It was interesting to me that UND’s worst season of the last decade — as ranked by the polls — was a year in which it played for the national championship.

11 Responses

  1. Viking1

    FWIW (i.e. “not much”), here’s the SB Nation 20114-15 projection. Top 5 sound about right (but they were smoking something funny when they picked Brown & Dartmouth) ….. 🙂

    School ’13-’14 Record Summary

    1 Providence 22-11-6 Stud goaltender Jon Gillies returns with a talented roster that is constantly improving under the leadership of Nate Leaman. Nick Saracino and Mark Jankowski could have breakout campaigns.

    2 Minnesota 28-7-6 Barring early departures the Gophers bring back their top seven scorers and nine of their top 10 to go along with Adam Wilcox in net.

    3 North Dakota 25-14-3 North Dakota found its groove in the second half and will bring a lot of key pieces back for next season. A continuing trend in these rankings is rising-junior goaltenders – Zane Gothberg for UND.

    4 Colgate 20-14-5 The Raiders bring back all but one skater and a backup goaltender, including the dynamic Spink twins. Don Vaughan’s team is the clear-cut favorites in ECAC Hockey.

    5 Miami 15-20-3 The Red Hawks underachieved this season, but many of its key cogs announced a return to Oxford over turning pro early. Rico Blasi’s team should be a legit contender to make it to Boston.

    6 Boston College 28-8-4 The Eagles lose their entire vaunted first line, but as has become customary in Chestnut Hill, a new crop of blue chip recruits enter, led by Noah Hanifin and Sonny Milano.

    7 Minnesota State 26-14-1 The Mavericks return a talented squad that made life extremely difficult for UMass Lowell in the NCAA Northeast Regional. Mike Hastings’ team should be the class of the WCHA.

    8 Boston University 10-21-4 Year two at Agganis Arena should be a lot better for David Quinn and co. The top six forwards return, and stud Jack Eichel should give a huge boost to the offense.

    9 Brown 11-17-3 The Bears had to deal with some significant injuries, but many key players return. Brendan Whittet is set to bring in another terrific recruiting class led by several 2014 NHL Draft prospects.

    10 Denver 20-16-6 The Pioneers lose senior Sam Brittain, but Jim Montgomery had his team coming together down the stretch. Look for Evan Cowley to step right in to fill the void in goal.

    11 St. Cloud 22-11-5 Charlie Lindgren will step into the crease to fill the void of Ryan Faragher. Another solid recruiting class will offset some key departures.

    12 Union 32-6-4 The defending national champions will survive because of the terrific program Rick Bennett has fostered in Schenectady, but some of the losses will be too tough to overcome for another run at the Frozen Four.

    13 UMass Lowell 26-11-4 Norm Bazin’s team has been devastated by pro signings and graduation. The River Hawks will take a step back, but Bazin’s body of work should give UML the benefit of the doubt here.

    14 Ferris State 29-11-3 The Bulldogs lose three of their top four scorers and a key defenseman, but C.J. Motte should return between the pipes to anchor the boys from Big Rapids.

    15 Dartmouth 10-20-4 The Big Green went 6-4-1 down the stretch after a disastrous start to the season and returns 219 of their 223 points from this season. Look for Tyler Sikura to have a bounce back season.

    1. farce poobah

      The SBN rankings look pretty decent overall … 4 NCHC teams in the top 15 smells right, 1 Big Ten team.

      And I agree with your point about the Brown and Dartmouth … must have been written by alums of those 2 schools. (How about we slide in Michigan and Notre Dame instead.)

      1. Stone

        Yeah, I’m not sure how Michigan doesn’t make a Top 15 with Brown and Dartmouth in there. Interesting.

  2. JMJ

    What a difference a goal makes. If Ohio State wins in OT, NoDak could be ranked in the teens. Instead, two wins later, finish top 4 based upon being a Frozen Four participant. Don’t get why one more NCAA win allows NoDak to jump 9 spots over Lowell who lost a one-goal game to BC.

  3. Waterlover

    Interesting….but meaningless. Ask UMD if they’ rather be the only team not ranked out of the top ten the last decade or if they’d rather have the 2011 National Championship. 100% of the time they’ll point to the rafters at Amsoil Arena without having to think about saying a word. EVERY UND fan would say the same. I’m sure you didn’t mean to but basically you’ve just pointed out that the current coaching staff has failed the most come NCAA tournament compared to the rest of D1.

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