The Irish hockey team joins the Notre Dame women's soccer team as Irish athletic teams currently ranked No. 1 in the country.

Irish Hockey Joins Notre Dame Women's Soccer At Number One In The National Rankings

Dec. 1, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. – For just the third time in the 41-year history of the Notre Dame hockey program, the Irish are the number one-ranked hockey team in the nation according to the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and College Sports hockey polls.

The Irish took over the top spot this week after a win (4-1) and a tie (3-3) last weekend against the Western Michigan Broncos. The previous top-ranked team – the University of Minnesota — fell to Michigan, 6-3, and then tied Michigan State, 4-4 at home. The Gophers fell to second in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and third in the College Sports poll with Boston College moving into the second spot in that voting.

In the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll, Notre Dame received 33-of-34 first place votes and a total of 508 points. Minnesota got the remaining first-place vote and trails the Irish by 61 points with 447 to their credit. In the College Sports poll, Notre Dame received 40 of the 50 first place votes with seven other teams also receiving first-place votes. The Irish have 961 total points while Boston College has 886 and Minnesota 881. The Eagles received one first-place pick while the Gophers had two cast in their favor.

The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the American Hockey Coaches Association and USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world.

In the College Sports poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a joint production of, which provides in-depth coverage of college sports, including hockey, lacrosse, soccer and others, and CBS College Sports Networks, Inc., the only digital media company dedicated solely to college sports. CBS College Sports operates a 24-hour college sports cable network, also available via DISH and DirecTV satellite.

“It’s great to get recognized, but it’s more important that we stay focused on our next game,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson following Monday’s practice. “We still have a lot of hockey to play this season and we have a lot of room for improvement but we appreciate the recognition for what we’ve done so far.”

The Irish have been ranked in both polls for 46 consecutive weeks, dating back to the 2006-07 season. In that year, Notre Dame took the No. 1 ranking for seven consecutive weeks from Feb. 5 to March 25. The previous time the Irish occupied the top spot was for a week in February during the 1976-77 season. Notre Dame came into this season ranked fourth in both preseason polls and have been as low as 13th (Oct.27) before starting its current 10-game unbeaten streak (8-0-2) on the way to the current record of 10-3-2 overall.

Notre Dame is currently second in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) standings with a 6-2-2-2 record, good for 16 points, three points behind first-place Miami (19 points) with two games in hand. The CCHA uses the shootout to break ties, accounting for the fourth column in the league standings.

The Irish will put their No. 1 ranking on the line this weekend when they take to the road for a CCHA series at Ferris State on Dec. 5-6 in Big Rapids, Mich. Both games start at 7:05 p.m.

A look at the polls for the week of Dec. 1:

USA TODAY/American Hockey Magazine (Dec. 1)                                          Last    School          Record    Pts     Week1.  Notre Dame (33) 10-3-2    508      22.  Minnesota (1)    7-2-5    447      13.  Boston College   9-4-1    420      64.  Miami                8-3-3    380      45.  Boston University    9-4-0    342      86.  Colorado College     9-4-3    318      37.  Denver               9-5-1    306     108.  Northeastern        10-3-2    298      49.  Princeton            9-2-0    253      710. Air Force           13-1-0    209     1111. Minnesota State      8-3-3    188      912. Vermont              9-3-2    181     1313. Cornell              5-1-2    105     1214. Michigan             9-7-0     72     1515. New Hampshire        5-6-3     16     NR
Receiving votes: Massachusetts-Lowell, 10, Alaska-Anchorage, 9;Dartmouth, 6; Nebraska-Omaha, 6; St. Cloud State, 4; Alaska, 1;Wisconsin, 1. /CBS College Sports (Dec. 1) Last School Record Pts Week1. Notre Dame (40) 10-3-2 961 22. Boston College (1) 9-4-1 886 53. Minnesota (2) 7-2-5 881 14. Miami (2) 8-3-3 773 65. Colorado College 9-4-3 732 36. Northeastern 10-3-2 717 47. Boston University (1) 9-4-0 707 88. Denver (1) 9-5-1 697 99. Princeton (2) 9-2-0 650 710. Air Force (1) 13-1-0 625 1111. Minnesota State 8-3-3 531 1012. Vermont 9-3-2 488 1313. Cornell 5-1-2 414 1214. Michigan 9-7-0 338 1415. Alaska-Anchorage 7-5-2 131 1916. Dartmouth 6-4-0 124 2017. UMass-Lowell 8-5-0 123 NR18. Nebraska-Omaha 9-4-1 115 1619. New Hampshire 5-6-3 113 1520. Alaska 8-4-2 85 NRReceiving Votes: St. Cloud State, 78; Wisconsin, 72;Massachusetts, 65; Ohio State, 54; Maine, 40;North Dakota, 39; Minnesota-Duluth, 36; Yale, 13;Harvard, 7; Ferris State, 3; Niagara, 1; Quinnipiac, 1.