Sunday, January 27, 2013

WCHA Power Rankings: Week 16

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Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here is the week 16 WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I have been doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel, who is a contributor for College Hockey Weekly.

1. Minnesota Gophers – (18-4-4, WCHA 10-4-4) – This past week, the Minnesota Gophers split (1-2 – 4-1 W) their weekend series with Minnesota State Mankato. This weekend, the Gophers are off.

2. Saint Cloud State – (15-10-1, WCHA 12-5-1) – This past weekend, the Huskies took (3-1 W – 2-2 T) points against North Dakota. This weekend, the Huskies travel to Bemidji to play the Beavers at the Sandford Center.

3Nebraska Omaha – (15-9-2, WCHA 11-5-2) – This past weekend, the Mavericks swept (5-3 W – 2-1 W) the Bemidji State Beavers. This weekend, Mavericks entertain the Michigan Tech Huskies as the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

4. University of North Dakota – (13-8-5, WCHA 8-5-5) – This past weekend, UND took (1-2 L – 2-2 T) one point against Saint Cloud State University at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. This weekend, UND entertains the Wisconsin Badgers at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Badgers come into this weekend's series having won seven of eight games and are on a 10-1-2 and have only lost once since November 24, 2012. 

5.  Denver University – (13-8-4, WCHA 8-6-4) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers were off. This weekend, the Pioneers travel to Duluth to play the Bulldogs at Amsoil Arena.

6.  Wisconsin – (11-8-5, WCHA 8-5-5) – This past weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers swept (5-1 W – 2-1 W) the Seawolves at the Kohl Center. This weekend, the Badgers travel to Grand Forks to play North Dakota at Ralph Engelstad Arena in an important two game series.

7. Minnesota State Mankato – (16-9-3, WCHA 10-9-1) – This past weekend, the Mavericks split (3-3 T – 4-0 W) their home and home series against the Minnesota Gophers. This weekend, the Mavericks are off.

8. Minnesota Duluth – (10-11-3, WCHA 8-7-3) – This past weekend, the Bulldogs beat 3-1 the U-18 team in an exhibition game. This weekend, the Bulldogs entertain the Pioneers at Amsoil Arena.

9. Colorado College – (10-14-2, WCHA 7-10-1) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers were off. This weekend, the Tigers make the trek north, to Alaska to play the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at Sullivan Arena.

10. Michigan Tech – (7-12-4, WCHA 4-10-3) – This past weekend, the Huskies were off. This weekend, the Huskies travel to Omaha to play the Mavericks at the CentryLink Center.

11. Bemidji State – (5-14-5, WCHA 4-10-4) – This past weekend, the Beavers were swept (3-5 L 1-2 L) by the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at the Sanford Center. This weekend, the Beavers entertain the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the Sanford Center.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (3-16-5, WCHA 1-15-4) – This past weekend, Seawolves were swept (1-2 L – 2-5 L) by the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. This weekend, the Seawolves entertain the Colorado College Tigers. The Seawolves are mired in horrible streak and have won one game in the last 20 games (1-15-4).

Taylor Seibel’s Power Rankings – January 27, 2013

1. St. Cloud State – (15-10-1, 12-5-1 WCHA) – The Huskies came into Ralph Engelstad Arena this weekend, and took 3 points from North Dakota.  St. Cloud State absolutely dominated North Dakota on Friday, and kept up with a resurgent UND squad on Saturday.  When SCSU is on, they are a national championship caliber team.  The Huskies travel to Bemidji to take on BSU in WCHA play next weekend.

2. Minnesota – (18-4-4, 10-4-4 WCHA) – The Gophers struggled at times against Minnesota State, but still managed a split with a road win on Saturday.  The Gophers have next weekend off before a huge series with SCSU the following weekend, which could decide the MacNaughton Cup.

3. Nebraska Omaha – (15-9-2, 11-5-2 WCHA) – The Mavericks finally solved Bemidji State, notching their first sweep over the Beavers since joining the WCHA.  Omaha has the advantage of an easier schedule coming down the stretch, and if they win the games they should, UNO will be in the mix for the MacNaughton.  Next weekend, Omaha hosts Michigan Tech in WCHA play.

4. North Dakota – (13-8-5, 8-5-5 WCHA) – North Dakota had another disappointing weekend, taking only 1 point.  UND is in serious trouble of missing the NCAA Tournament and potentially missing out on home ice if they don’t start playing to their potential.  The tools are there, but the effort has been extremely inconsistent over the past month.  Next weekend, North Dakota hosts Wisconsin in a key WCHA series.

5. Wisconsin – (11-8-5, 8-5-5 WCHA) – Wisconsin continues their hot streak, as this weekend they swept Alaska Anchorage in Madison.  The Badgers had an awful start to the season, but have responded with a dominating stretch, only losing once since November.  Next weekend, the Badgers look to continue their streak as they travel to North Dakota for WCHA play.

6. Denver – (13-8-4, 8-6-4 WCHA) – The Pioneers took a much needed weekend off this weekend after getting swept for the first time in four years.  Denver has been extremely inconsistent this season, and if not for superstar goaltending, they might be in the bottom half looking up.  Next weekend, The Pios travel to Duluth to take on the Bulldogs in WCHA action.

7. Minnesota State – (16-9-3, 10-9-1 WCHA) – The Mavericks showed that they belong in the WCHA race with a split against Minnesota, but failed to truly capitalize by falling at home on Saturday.  The Mavericks have the heart and coaching to get home ice for the WCHA Tournament, but they will need to win games that a top-half team should win to do so.  Next weekend, Mankato is off.

8. Minnesota Duluth – (10-11-3, 8-7-3 WCHA) – The Bulldogs beat the USA Under-18 squad in an exhibition this weekend.  Duluth is in the mix for home ice, and while they play a very difficult lineup in the stretch run, 6 of their last 10 are at home.  It all starts next weekend as Denver is coming to town for WCHA play.

9. Colorado College – (10-14-2, 7-10-1 WCHA) – The Tigers were off this weekend.  Colorado College has shown they can compete with anyone in the league, and are certainly capable of making a push for home ice.  However, they have been too inconsistent through this point of the season to be in the top half.  Next weekend, the Tigers travel to Anchorage in a series where CC needs 4 points.

10. Michigan Tech – (7-12-4, 4-10-4 WCHA) – The Huskies were off this weekend.  Michigan Tech came into the season as a popular pick for a top half finish, but have not played as well as many thought they could.  While a top-half finish is a stretch at this point, if the Huskies can play up to their potential, they will have a shot.  Next weekend, Tech travels to Omaha in WCHA play.

11. Bemidji State – (5-13-5, 4-10-4 WCHA) – The Beavers were finally stopped by Omaha in WCHA action, getting swept at home by a strong Maverick squad.  The road in isn’t any easier as Bemidji still faces off against SCSU, Wisconsin, Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, and Minnesota.  Next weekend, the Huskies from St. Cloud make their way up to Bemidji.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (3-16-5, 1-15-4 WCHA) – The Seawolves failed to earn a point against Wisconsin this weekend, as the Badgers swept Anchorage in Madison.  Home ice is out of the equation for Anchorage, but they can still earn some respect and gear up for a charge in the WCHA Tournament.  Next weekend, Alaska Anchorage hosts Colorado College in conference play.

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