Winners of nine straight, the Boston College men's hockey team (23-10-1) is your new number one ranked teams in the country, per both USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com polls. BC earned 31 first-place votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll and 44 first-place votes in the USCHO.com poll. Unfortunately, the PairWise disagrees, placing Minnesota-Duluth (22-7-5) atop the NCAA Tournament's heap. The KRACH is more our style. BC's strength of schedule is ranked 8th, while defending champs UMD is 31. Really no comparison there.
Again, this isn't anything to get worked up about as college hockey polls are meaningless.
However, there is a big difference between finishing 1 and 2 in the PairWise final rankings. There's still plenty of hockey left to be played and BC is in a good position to earn an eastern No. 1 seed. But the difference between 1 and 2 in the PairWise is the difference between playing Atlantic Hockey champ -- presumably Air Force -- in the first round and a dangerous WCHA team like North Dakota or Denver. Superfans know full well what can happen when they run into a hot WCHA team in a single-elimination hockey tournament.
From Hockey East, Boston University (20-11-1) is ranked fourth this week, followed by UMass-Lowell at 8th, Maine at 10/11 and Merrimack at 12th.
Goalie Parker Milner extended his shutout streak to 140:18 over the weekend, and earned Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second straight week. BC is rolling at the moment, recording consecutive shutouts for the first time since 2006 when Cory Schneider stymied Miami (March 24) and BU (March 25) in the NCAA Northeast Regional en route to a berth in Milwaukee's Frozen Four.
Milner also picked up Hockey East Goaltender of the Month honors for February, because, well, duh. Milner went 7-0-0 in the month of February, posting a sub 1 GAA (0.98) and a .962 save percentage. Yes, there were two games against PC and a game against Vermont sprinkled in there, but also Boston University in the Beanpot final and Merrimack x2. Like a boss.
Similarly, Johnny Gaudreau was named Hockey East Rookie of the Month for February after tallying 13 points on seven goals and six assists during the month. He was also your Beanpot MVP, posting four points on two goals and two assists for the Eagles' third straight 'Pot.
Boston College completes the regular season at home against Vermont. Games at Friday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. Both games are to be televised by the CBS Sports Network.