HockeyBuzz NCAA Top-10 Power Rankings
Welcome to the HockeyBuzz NCAA Top-10 Power Rankings
This past weekend was by far the most unpredictable weekend to date. We have a new number one, a team making their debut on the rankings and a whole lot of movement in between.
Here are this week’s HockeyBuzz NCAA Top-10 Power Rankings:
1) Minnesota State 11-3-0 (7-1-0 CCHA) | Last week: 3
The Mavericks continue onward with their business this past weekend, sweeping St. Thomas and outscoring the Tommies 14-0 in the process. With St. Thomas making the transition to D-1 this season from D-3 and going up against arguably the top team in the nation, a weekend like this was certainly expected.
2) Minnesota Duluth 8-3-1 (3-2-1 NCHC) | Last week: 4
The Bulldogs make a nice jump in the rankings, simply because they did not get swept (see below). Duluth split their weekend set with North Dakota. A 4-1 victory on Friday followed by a 2-1 loss on Saturday showcased another all-around stellar weekend from Ryan Fanti who entered the weekend with three straight shutouts.
3) Western Michigan 8-4-0 (3-3-0 NCHC) | Last week: 10
It’s a massive jump in the rankings for the Broncos who are coming off a sweep of St. Cloud State. Do I have them ranked a little too high given their record and where they were last week, maybe? But when you factor in, they’ve now beat Michigan, lost their second to them in overtime and now swept St. Cloud, they deserve the high praise here in the rankings.
4) Michigan 10-4-0 (5-3-0 Big Ten) | Last week: 1
The Wolverines had a tough weekend, being swept by Big Ten foe Notre Dame, and to top it off, at home. Sure, it was a pair of overtime losses for Michigan, but Michigan blew two-goal leads in both contests. Facing adversity for the first time, Michigan should have no problem bouncing back this weekend against Niagara.
5) Quinnipiac 10-1-3 (3-0-1 ECAC) | Last week: 5
The Bobcats continue to roll, once aging putting forth another solid weekend. After a tie with Clarkson (shootout win) on Friday, the Bobcats handled St. Lawrence with ease on Saturday in an 8-0 victory. Quinnipiac looks to be the team to beat in the ECAC.
6) St. Cloud State 9-5-0 (3-3-0 NCHC) | Last week: 2
Like Michigan, St. Cloud had a tough weekend, being swept by Western Michigan. Unlike Michigan however, the Huskies didn’t have much of a chance. It was the first time all season we’ve seen uninspired hockey from St. Cloud.
7) North Dakota 9-4-0 (5-1-0 NCHC) | Last week: 6
A split with Minnesota Duluth was the weekend result for the Fighting Hawks, after a pair of weekend sweeps. North Dakota was without stud defensemen Jake Sanderson who missed the weekend set with an injury. The Ottawa Senators prospect leads the team with 15 points.
8) Notre Dame 10-3-0 (4-2-0 Big Ten) | Last week: NR
Welcome to the rankings, Notre Dame. The Irish’s big weekend sweep over Michigan gets them into the rankings for the first time this season. Junior forward Max Ellis who leads the team in goals with 10 and points with 18 had a hat trick on Saturday to complete his four-point weekend.
9) Minnesota 8-6-0 (5-3-0 Big Ten) | Last week: 8
While Minnesota hasn’t played bad by any means and, only trails Michigan by one point in the Big Ten, I really feel like they’ve yet to hit their full potential. The Golden Gophers split with Penn State this past weekend and haven’t swept a weekend set since taking a pair against Notre Dame in the final weekend of October. Next up is a tough test with North Dakota.
10) UMass 7-4-1 (5-2-1 Hockey East) | Last week: 7
UMass slips a few spots in this week’s rankings mostly thanks to Notre Dame’s burst onto the scene, and North Dakota and Minnesota having wins over more impressive teams. After a dominating weekend against Providence, it was a disappointing follow up against New Hampshire, despite the split. The Minutemen took Friday’s contest 3-0, but then dropped the second of the two in overtime on Saturday, 2-1.
Previously ranked teams missing the cut: Cornell
Other teams considered: Denver, UMass-Lowell, Omaha