Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer
I had intended on posting on the blog Sunday, but I got back from Grand Forks and got tired.
Luckily, though, my neglect to post means I can write this Monday blog post on the release of the national polls.
Both the Beaver women and the Beaver men are getting some national love, although the women more than the men.
Let’s start with the Beaver women. Jim Scanlan’s squad remained unbeaten this weekend with their 0-0 tie of North Dakota on Friday in Bemidji followed by their comeback overtime victory over UND on Saturday in Grand Forks.
The national pollsters took notice. The Beavers jumped from No. 8 to No. 6, leapfrogging North Dakota in the process. It’s the highest-ranking in program history for any BSU women’s team.
Check the full poll here. BSU will get a chance to further prove their credentials this weekend when they head to Madison to take on No. 3 Wisconsin. The Badgers are 6-0-0 and have outscored opponents 35-2, so it should be a fun to see BSU’s defense — which has given up just five even strength goals this season.
The men, meanwhile, aren’t unbeaten anymore — they lost to North Dakota 5-2 on Saturday in Grand Forks after rallying to tie 4-4 on Friday in Bemidji.
And although the Beavers have received some votes, they’re currently on the outside looking in for USCHO’s most recent men’s poll. They’re unofficially No. 21, with 59 points.
Ahead of them? Minnesota. Yes, Minnesota, the team that is 0-3 and has scored a total of one (1) goal in those three games.
Yes, Minnesota, a team that was swept by Minnesota Duluth — the same team Bemidji State already beat.
The Beavers, in fact, scored three times as many goals in one game against the Bulldogs as the Gophers did in two.
Look, I know it’s early and polls don’t ACTUALLY mean anything, but polls are valuable in letting people know what the college hockey world thinks about this team or that team. The fact that people are still voting for Minnesota despite an 0-3-0 start (as opposed to the 1-1-1 Beavers) just tells you how much having a logo on the front of the sweater means as opposed to what the team actually does.
How many voters that picked Minnesota actually looked at them and said, “Hey, wait a minute! Bemidji beat Duluth and the Gophers lost! Twice!” I’m guessing not many. And they’re probably the same people who continued to vote for Wisconsin at the start of the season (and last week). Thankfully the 0-2-2 Badgers aren’t on the poll anymore.
Anyway, I think the Beavers are worthy of being a top-20 team for now. They’re certainly as deserving as Minnesota (or Minnesota State, which is 0-4-0 and just behind BSU after dropping out of the poll).
I voted the Beavers as No. 13. Maybe this is high. I don’t care. (FWIW, the Beavers are No. 17 in the pairwise, which doesn’t mean much until teams have played more games. But still….)
Here’s my ballot. I don’t think it’s unreasonable. And you’ll notice I dropped out both the Gophers and the Mavericks. If you’re 0-3-0 (or 0-4-0) after two weeks, you’re not a top-20 team (for now… this could change, obviously). Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think.
1. Boston College
2. North Dakota
5. Bowling Green
9. Boston U
10. Michigan Tech
13. Bemidji State
14. St. Cloud
16. St. Lawrence
Finally, unrelated to BSU but since the Beavers were in NoDak Nation on Saturday (This is the actual name of UND’s student section. They had a giant banner with that name on it. Is the UND administration doubling down on that one and just putting all its eggs in that “NoDak” basket?), I thought it would be worth mentioning that North Dakota’s nickname vote starts today. Which means that the next time BSU and UND play, both teams will have a nickname (well, maybe… this is North Dakota we’re talking about….)
The options are: NoDaks, sUNDogs, Fighting Hawks, Roughriders and North Stars.
Will they actually pick one or will this go back to court for five more years? STAY TUNED!