UMD men's hockey falls out of USCHO rankings for first time since 2015-16 season, ending 154-week streak

The Bulldogs' run of being ranked in 154 consecutive polls was the longest active streak in NCAA Division I men's hockey.

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Minnesota Duluth players celebrate with Minnesota Duluth forward Ben Steeves (6) after he scored a goal against Omaha at Amsoil Arena on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — The Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey program is unranked in the rankings for the first time since Feb. 29, 2016, ending a run of 154-straight appearances in the poll.

The Bulldogs, who received 14 points in voting , fell out of the top 20 on Monday following a 3-2 loss and 3-2 overtime win at home against Omaha in NCHC play over the weekend at Amsoil Arena. The Bulldogs led both games 2-1 going into the third period, but took just two out of six league points in the series.

At 6-6 overall and 2-2 in NCHC play, UMD sits sixth in the league ahead of its trip to No. 14 Western Michigan this week.

The Bulldogs started the 2022-23 season ranked No. 5 in the poll and were ranked as high as No. 4 in the polls released on Oct. 3 and Oct. 10. A four-game losing streak dropped the Bulldogs to No. 19 on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31. The Bulldogs were No. 20 a week ago following a split at Colorado College.

The Bulldogs were unranked for six consecutive polls during the second half of the 2015-16 season from Jan. 25 through Feb. 29, and they didn’t receive any votes on back-to-back weeks — Feb. 15 and 22, 2016 — when they had fallen to 11-14-5 overall late in the season.


Coming off an NCAA regional final loss to Boston University in Manchester, New Hampshire, in 2014-15, UMD began 2015-16 ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll behind Boston College. The Bulldogs plummeted out of the top 10 following an early four-game losing streak against UMass-Lowell, Omaha and Denver.
A four-game unbeaten streak (0-3-1) versus St. Cloud State and Denver in January knocked UMD from the poll, but the Bulldogs returned on March 7, 2016 — the start of their 154-week streak — with four-straight wins over St. Cloud State and Miami to close the regular season.

Defenseman Darian Gotz scored just over two and a half minutes in, winger Luke Loheit had three assists and goaltender Matthew Thiessen got the shutout as the Bulldogs split their series with the Tigers.
Minnesota Duluth beat Ohio State via a back-and-forth 5-4 overtime win on Saturday to cap the regular season series.
Minnesota Duluth drops the first of what coach Scott Sandelin called four important home games in December.
Ohio State improved to 3-0 against Minnesota Duluth this season after beating UMD in the national championship game a year ago.
Bulldogs fifth-year senior defenseman Maggie Flaherty is having a career season thus far at UMD, sharing the team lead of seven goals going into this weekend's home series with Ohio State.
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Scott Sandelin said Wednesday the absences are due to a combination of injuries and illnesses, but the coach expects to have enough players available this weekend against the Tigers.

In 2015-16, UMD finished fourth in the NCHC during the regular season, lost to SCSU in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship and lost 3-2 to Boston College in an NCAA regional final in Worcester, Massachusetts — nearly rallying from a 3-0 third-period deficit.

UMD remained ranked throughout its 2017-18 national championship run, despite starting 8-9-2 and 3-7 in the NCHC that year. The Bulldogs had won just three of nine games in November and December, but never dropped lower than No. 17.

The Bulldogs' streak of 154-straight polls was the longest active streak in NCAA Division I men's hockey until this week. Minnesota State now holds the longest active streak at 124.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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