Penn State Hockey Ranked Program-High No. 19
For the second time this season and in program history, Penn State hockey has once again found itself on the USCHO’s Top 20 Poll. Coming in at No. 19, it surpassed the program-high that was set in December.
Last week, Penn State had the most votes of any team outside the Top 20, and sweeping Wisconsin this past weekend gave it the boost it needed. Last week‘s No. 20 team, the Colgate Raiders, has one win in its last six games and fell out of the polls alongside the previously No. 18 Merrimack Warriors.
The ranking is more than deserved, and arguably is overdue. Penn State is ranked 20th in the PairWise rankings, which is a statistics-based objective method of ranking. Its winning percentage of .6538 is a better mark than that of nine ranked teams. Another way of saying that: Penn State has the tenth-best winning percentage in the country. Couple that with the fifth-highest scoring offense in college hockey, led by the fourth-highest goal scorer in Casey Bailey, and the ranking is more than fair.
With 10 games remaining to earn itself a bid in the NCAA Tournament, cracking the rankings at this point in the season is key. The nation’s top 16 teams are put in the bracket, and Penn State’s best chances to earn a bid come from either winning the Big Ten Tournament or by earning itself a statistics-based at-large spot. Either way, the budding national recognition comes at an important time.
It’s been a very long and very fun season, and it’s good to see credit given where it’s due. Congratulations to Coach Gadowsky and his team, and here’s to many more weeks in the Top 20.