HockeyBuzz NCAA Top-10 Power Rankings
Welcome to the HockeyBuzz NCAA Top-10 Power Rankings.
It was another great weekend of college hockey across the country. It was a good weekend for the NCHC, finding success over the Big Ten as Minnesota Duluth swept Minnesota and St. Cloud State swept Wisconsin.
Boston University and Merrimack combined for 14 goals Saturday night, while Denver dropped a pair of road contests to Hockey East opponents, first at Providence Friday night and then Boston College on Saturday.
A big pair of first occurred this weekend as St. Thomas earned their first D-1 victory with a Saturday win over Ferris State. Bill Riga earned his first win as a head coach Saturday as Holy Cross took down Bentley 3-2.
Here are this week’s HockeyBuzz NCAA Top-10 Power Rankings:
1) St. Cloud State 6-2 (0-0 NCHC) | Last Week: 2
The Huskies had themselves another excellent weekend, sweeping Wisconsin, winning the two contests by a combined score of 9-2. The weekend also saw the Huskies convert on the power play five times, adding to their country best 46.9 % power play efficiency.
2) Michigan 5-1 (0-0 Big Ten) | Last Week: 1
Coming off the high of the success they had last week at the Ice Breaker Tournament, a bit of a let down this past weekend was expected. The Wolverines suffered their first loss of the season Friday night, falling to Western Michigan 5-2. The Wolverines bounced back on Saturday with a 3-2 overtime win, splitting their series with the Broncos.
3) Minnesota State 4-2 (0-0 CCHA) | Last Week: 3
The Mavericks had the weekend off and remain where they were last week. They’ll begin their CCHA slate this upcoming weekend when they host Western Michigan for a pair of conference games. Goalie Dryden McKay is one shutout away from breaking Ryan Miller’s all-time NCAA shutout record.
4) Minnesota Duluth 5-1 (0-0 NCHC) | Last Week: 5
The Bulldogs had one heck of a weekend, sweeping a very good Minnesota team with a 5-3 victory on Friday and a 2-1 win on Saturday.
5) Minnesota 3-3 (0-0 Big Ten) | Last Week: 4
It was a disappointing weekend for Minnesota, one that could have bigger implications come tournament time. The two non-conferences losses against Duluth could be ones that come back to haunt them in March.
6) Quinnipiac 3-1-1 (0-0 ECAC) | Last Week: 9
The Bobcats continue to impress me, this weekend earning a split with North Dakota. Their series with the Fighting Hawks was an opportunity for Quinnipiac to show that their start to the season is no fluke. They did that by going toe-to-toe with North Dakota.
7) North Dakota 4-2 (0-0 NCHC) | Last Week: 8
The Fighting Hawks move up a spot this week after a tough weekend split with Quinnipiac. Goalie Zach Driscoll continues to be rock solid in net for North Dakota.
8) Western Michigan 3-1 (0-0 NCHC) | Last Week: NR
The Broncos made some serious noise this weekend when they handed Michigan it’s first loss of the season, and nearly doubled them up the next night, ultimately losing in overtime. In their loss, Western Michigan was able to erase a 2-0 deficit to force overtime.
9) Providence 5-2 (2-0 Hockey East) | Last Week: NR
Providence was close to cracking my Top-10 last week, but a win over Denver on Friday and a 2-0 shutout of New Hampshire on Sunday is enough to get them into this week’s rankings. Sophomore Nick Poisson had a hat trick in the Friars win over Denver.
10) UMass 2-2 (0-0 Hockey East) | Last Week: 6
UMass had an exhibition game on Saturday against Dartmouth—which, they lost—but that we won’t factor into this week’s rankings. Their fall from the sixth spot is more about what other teams did. The Minutemen will look to bounce back this coming weekend as they open conference play with a pair against a much-improved Merrimack.
Previously ranked teams missing the cut: Denver & Boston College
Other teams considered: Notre Dame, Northeastern, Arizona State & Omaha