BF’s Benchmark Tuesday- National Polls; Accolades and Awards in HE

Not much movement in the polls as Minnesota Duluth remains the top seed while Minnesota moves down a few notches after the Northeastern Huskies knocked them off in

Bulldogs remain the TOP DOGS

the finals of the Mariucci Classic last week. When will NU get some national respect? I know they had an inauspicious start to the season but given their recent resume of wins, it’s hard to fathom why the Huskies aren’t slotted higher in all of the polls and are relegated to the “also receiving votes” denotation. BU’s slide has begun (fell to 10th-USA Today + 11th-USCHO) following their New Year’s Eve loss in South Bend and I look for them to fade out of the national spotlight in the coming weeks. BC dropped a spot to #4 in both the USCHO and USA Today and would’ve fallen further had it not been for a close call against Michigan Tech in the consolation game of the GLI. UMass Lowell climbs to #12 in the USA Today and USCHO rankings; it will be interesting to see how the surprise Riverhawks fare down the stretch. Despite a so so Holiday break, Merrimack moves up a spot in the USA Today poll to #6 and remains at #7 in the USCHO.

National Polls

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll
January 2, 2012

No. Team (First-place votes) Points Last Wk.
1. Minnesota Duluth (33) 509 1
2. Ohio State (1) 459 4
3. Notre Dame 415 6
4. Boston College 405 3
5. Minnesota 395 2
6. Merrimack 325 7
7. Colgate 279 11
8. Colorado College 248 5
9. Western Michigan 238 8
10. Denver 198 15
11. Boston University 158 9
12. UMass Lowell 136 NR
13. Michigan 90 NR
14. Cornell 80 13
15. Michigan State 46 14

Also receiving votes: Union 42, Ferris State 24, Yale 15, Lake Superior State 8, Northeastern 5, RIT 2, Northern Michigan 1, Nebraska-Omaha 1, North Dakota 1.

USCHO.com Poll
January 2, 2012

No. Team (First-place votes) Points Last Wk.
1. Minnesota Duluth (47) 997 1
2. Ohio State (2) 930 4
3. Minnesota (1) 862 2
4. Boston College 839 3
5. Notre Dame 833 5
6. Colorado College 675 6
7. Merrimack 648 7
8. Western Michigan 618 8
9. Colgate 573 12
10. Boston University 523 9
11. Denver 435 15
12. UMass Lowell 375 17
13. Cornell 350 13
14. Union 349 10
15. Michigan State 337 14
16. Michigan 264 20
17. Ferris State 223 11
18. Lake Superior State 198 16
19. North Dakota 157 18
20. Yale 111 19

Also receiving votes: Northeastern 75, Northern Michigan 61, Air Force 34, RIT 12, Miami 9, Nebraska-Omaha 8, Harvard 4.

Accolades and Awards in HE:

Hockey East posted its monthly awards yesterday with Spencer Abbott (Maine) garnering player of the month, Chris Rawlings (NU) was named goalie of the month and North Providence, RI native, Stephen Buco took home rookie of the month honors. It was indeed a nice month for Northeastern goaltenders present and future as future Northeastern netminder, Jon Gillies was named USHL goalie of the week for his stellar performance in week 14 for the Indianapolis Ice.

ATHLETIC REPUBLIC PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Spencer Abbott – Maine
Senior Forward; Hamilton, Ont.
Abbott scored 15 points (6g,9a) in five games in December. He averaged 1.20 goals per game and 3.00 points per contest. Abbott finished the month +4 plus/minus rating and 26 shots on goal. Had a power play goal and score the game-winning goal in each game at Vermont.Tallied five goals and added four assists for nine points in a two-game series at Vermont. Was named the Shawn Walsh Memorial Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Florida College Classic with six points (1g,5a) in the tournament.
HOCKEY EAST GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH
Chris Rawlings – Northeastern
Junior Goaltender; North Delta, B.C.
Rawlings started all five games in net for Northeastern and only surrendered more than two goals on one occasion, turning in a 1.97 GAA and a .933 save percentage. Rawlings did not lose a game either, amassing a 4-0-1 mark, playing every minute (305:00). He notched 30+ saves twice in the month, including 38 on Dec. 10th in the victory vs. UMass-Lowell at Matthews Arena.
PRO AMBITIONS ROOKIE OF THE MONTH
Stephen Buco – UMass-Lowell
Freshman Forward; North Providence, R.I.
Buco ranked third on the River Hawks with six points (2g,4a) during the month of December. He helped lead UMass Lowell to a 5-1-0 record, while carrying a +2 plus/minus rating and end the month on a four-game scoring streak with five points (1g,4a).
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