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Penn State Hockey: Nittany Lions No. 6 In USCHO And Pairwise

by on January 06, 2020 1:13 PM

Penn State hockey jumped up two places to No. 6 in the nation in the latest poll following a two-game sweep of Niagara over the weekend.

The Nittany Lions are 15-6-0 on the year, a win total that is bettered by two teams across America. North Dakota rounds out the rankings at No. 1, Penn State will face North Dakota in Nashville next season in the first meeting between the two programs.

Across the Big Ten it's Ohio State landing at No. 8, Notre Dame at No. 14 and Michigan State breaking into the rankings at No. 20. The Nittany Lions currently lead the conference by four points and will resume conference play against Michigan following a single-game series against Robert Morris in Pittsburgh this upcoming weekend.

Like many polls in collegiate sports while the poll provides clarity and context for fans and teams across the sport, but the Pairwise rankings, which dictate the 16-team postseason field hold far more value. 

Currently, Penn State finds itself ranked 6th in the Pairwise, well inside the 16-team cutoff. The Pairwise rankings, effectively similar to the now out-of-service BCS standings in football, provides guidance for the postseason field. The Top 16 teams theoretically make the postseason with automatic bids from conference tournament winners potentially taking up spots from the Top 16.

In turn the higher in the rankings you are, not only the better your seed, the safer you are from the edge of the bubble.

If Penn State were to make the postseason it would play in Allentown as a regional host.

"Every game matters," coach Guy Gadowsky said on Monday.


Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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