Rise of Williston State in poll drops Lopes one spot
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director
The Grand Canyon University Men’s Ice Hockey Division II team is officially ranked No. 7 in the latest American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) West Poll. It’s a drop of just one spot from last week’s No. 6 ranking for the Lopes – the highest ranking in the history of the program. The Lopes’ standing was only affected by a quick rise by Williston State College, who jumped from last week’s No. 8 ranking past Metro State-Denver and the Lopes to find the top 5, thus sliding those two teams one notch in the current poll. Nevertheless, the Lopes are in the ACHA Top 10 for the 6th straight time (and the 18th time in the last 19 polls).
The Lopes knew that their historic No. 6 mark would be under fire, since they faced four ranked teams in four days this past weekend at the Big Mountain Classic in Colorado. However, after dropping their first two games to No. 17 Denver and No. 2 Northern Colorado, the Lopes salvaged a split of the road trip with important victories over No. 15 Utah State and No. 4 Boise State. Their regular season schedule has dwindled to one final weekend, and it will involve yet another pair of games against a ranked opponent: No. 3 Northern Arizona. The Lopes will travel to Flagstaff Friday to begin the ‘home-and-home’ series with the IceJacks, then will come home to host NAU on Saturday, January 27 at AZ Ice Arcadia (38th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix). The game will be the second half of a men’s-women’s doubleheader, with the Lopes’ Women’s Hockey team playing their first game since the semester break hosting No. 10 University of Minnesota at 4 pm, and the Lopes and IceJacks to follow at 6:30 pm. Since it’s the home finale for the Lopes, they’ll also hold Senior Night festivities prior to the puck drop.
The entire ACHA West Rankings are listed below:
|4||Boise State (ID)||21-6-1||4|
|5||Williston State College (ND)||13-12-3||8|
|6||Metro State-Denver (CO)||16-7||5|
|7||Grand Canyon (D2)||14-14-3||6|
|10||Dakota College (ND)||10-10||9|
|14||Weber State (UT)||14-12-3||17|
|20||San Diego State (CA)||12-6-2||20|