Head Coach Derek Schooley checks in weekly on Monday mornings with Ken Laird to talk about the nationally ranked Colonials. Today they preview some big games coming up for Robert Morris.

After taking the Thanksgiving weekend off, Robert Morris University men’s hockey returned to practice Monday as a ranked team again.

For the fourth time in the past five weeks, the Colonials were listed in the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) poll, leaping back into the 20th position. RMU (8-1-3, 6-1-3 Atlantic Hockey) fell one spot out of the rankings last week, but edged St. Cloud State by four points to reclaim a poll position.

Published by the Associated Press, the USCHO poll consists of 50 voters, including coaches, beat writers and other sports professionals from across the country. Teams receive 20 points for a first-place vote, 19 for a second-place vote, and so on. Robert Morris received 107 points this week, 11 more than last week despite not playing since Nov. 22.

The Colonials skated into the USCHO top 20 for the first time in two seasons on Nov. 3, grabbing the No. 18 ranking after sweeping RIT. They improved to 17th on Nov. 10 and dropped to 20th on Nov. 17 after a two-game split with Air Force. RMU maintained its first-place standing in Atlantic Hockey by earning a win and a tie at American International prior to the bye week, but the USCHO voters nonetheless dropped the Colonials out of the top 20.

In other relevant rankings, RMU is 25th in both the PairWise and the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). PairWise attempts to mimic the NCAA’s tournament selection process, while RPI is one of the metrics used by the NCAA to set the 16-team postseason field.

In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top 15 poll, the Colonials earned seven points to remain in the “others receiving votes” category, where they have resided in every survey since the start of the season.

The first-place Colonials return to the ice Friday and Saturday against conference rival Sacred Heart at 84 Lumber Arena. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. both nights.

RMU has 10 home games remaining this regular season, plus the third annual Three Rivers Classic on Dec. 29-30 at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center. For full schedule and ticketing information, visit RMUColonials.com.

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