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Another top-10 ranking shows UND hockey's consistency

The Fighting Hawks have been ranked in the final USCHO poll in 20-straight seasons.

BerryPenrose.jpg
UND coach Brad Berry carries the Penrose Cup after UND won it for a third-straight year in March 2022.
Mark Kuhlmann / UND athletics

GRAND FORKS — It has now been more than two decades since UND hockey fans have had to experience a true down year.

USCHO released its season-ending poll Monday afternoon and UND was in a familiar spot — sitting in the top 10.

It marked the 17th time in the last 19 seasons UND has finished the year ranked in the top 10.

It also marked the 20th-straight season UND has been ranked to end the year — a run no other program in the country comes close to reaching. The second-longest streak belongs to Minnesota Duluth at eight years, followed by Minnesota's six.

The Fighting Hawks closed with a 24-14-1 mark, winning a share of the Penrose Cup as National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular-season champions and losing in overtime to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

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UND was ranked No. 9 to close the season.

The last time the Fighting Hawks finished a year unranked was 2001-02, when they went 16-19-2 during the first year of Ralph Engelstad Arena. That also was the last time UND finished a season with a sub-.500 record.

Since then, it has been 20-straight years in the final USCHO poll — 17 of which, UND landed in the top 10.

When the run started, Dean Blais was the head coach. His assistants were Dave Hakstol and Brad Berry. Hakstol and Berry have since followed Blais as head coaches of the UND program.

Most consecutive years ranked in final USCHO poll

20 — North Dakota
8 — Minnesota Duluth
6 — Minnesota
5 — Clarkson
5 — MSU-Mankato
4 — Quinnipiac
4 — UMass
4 — UMass Lowell
4 — American International
3 — Michigan

Most top-10 finishes in last 20 years

17 — North Dakota
14 — Boston College
13 — Denver
13 — Michigan
12 — Minnesota Duluth
11 — Minnesota
10 — St. Cloud State

Final 2021-22 USCHO poll

1. Denver (50)
2. MSU-Mankato
3. Michigan
4. Minnesota
5. Minnesota Duluth
6. Western Michigan
7. Quinnipiac
8. Notre Dame
9. North Dakota
10. UMass
11. St. Cloud State
12. UMass Lowell
13. Northeastern
14. Michigan Tech
15. Harvard
16. Ohio State
17. Clarkson
18. American International
19. UConn
20. Providence

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA FIGHTING HAWKS
Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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