Yale is ranked as high in the latest USCHO.com national men’s hockey poll as it is in the U.S. News and World Report’s list.

The hockey poll pegs the Bulldogs at third in the country, their highest ever national ranking. Their previous high came mid-season last year, when they were slotted as high as fourth.

Despite the honor, the Elis are trying to play down their success.

“The rankings mean nothing at this point in the season,” said forward Denny Kearney ’11, who is tied for the team lead in goals and in points. “We could lose every game we have left. But it is still nice to be recognized like that.”

The Bulldogs went into this past weekend’s games against Princeton and Quinnipiac ranked fifth in the country, with 790 points in the poll and a single first place vote. But they jumped up two spots — with 863 points and five first place votes — when they won both games and two teams ahead of them faltered.

Former No. 1 Miami of Ohio fell to fourth after going 0-1-1 in a tough road trip against previously unranked Ferris State.

Former No. 4 Boston College (5-3-0), who knocked the Elis out of the NCAA tournament last year in the Northeast regional final, dropped to seventh overall after losing two of their past three games, including a 2-1 defeat on Friday at the hands of No. 10 New Hampshire.

The Elis remain stuck behind No. 1 Boston University (6-0-2) and Minnesota-Duluth (7-1-2). But the No. 2 position, at least, is within striking distance. The Bulldogs’ 863 total points in the latest poll place them only four behind Minnesota-Duluth, which has 867.

Yale will have the chance to make up that difference this weekend, when they fly west to take on Colorado College (4-5-1) and the Air Force Academy (2-5-0). Neither team is ranked, but Colorado College received votes in the latest poll.

“The ranking won’t affect the way we play,” Kearney said. “We’re going to go out west and play hard. Colorado College is usually a very good team and it’s always good to play a team not in our league”.