While watching the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this weekend in their series against the Michigan Wolverines, some of you may have noticed the #2 on the graphics for Notre Dame. This was thanks to the Irish being ranked behind the St. Cloud State Huskies in the US College Hockey Online poll, despite pounding our chest all week about ND being #1 in the USA Hockey Magazine / USA Today poll.
The doubters were impressed with the Irish sweet of the Wolverines over the weekend, as they now have coach Jeff Jackson’s team ranked at in top spot, with 40 votes, ahead of St. Cloud State, who got 6 votes. The Clarkson Golden Knights, Cornell Big Red, and defending national champion Denver Pioneers round out the remaining top 5.
Saturday’s win was the 15th straight for the Irish, who remain undefeated in Big Ten play. Coach Jackson ties his personal best, as he coach the Lake Superior State Lockers to a 15 game win streak in 1991. The Lakers would go on to win 2 national championships with Jackson as head coach in the 90’s. Notre Dame is also the only team in the nation undefeated on the road, and USCHO aren’t the only ones putting some respect on it. ESPN’s John Buccigross tweeted his new #CawlidgeHawkey Top 10 and had the Irish in the top spot.
PairWise and Ratings Percentage Index still have the Irish ranked #2 behind St. Cloud State, so there is still work to be done. The Irish are off this weekend then return home for a two game series with the Wisconsin Badgers, with the first game at Compton Family Ice Arena and the second at the United Center in Chicago. Regardless of where the experts rank this team, there’s no doubt that they’re putting fear into the rest of the college hockey world. For now, let’s go to Grace Hall..