Monday, March 04, 2013

WCHA Power Rankings: Week 21

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Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here is the week 21 WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I have been doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel, who is a contributor for The Hockey Writers Combine.
1. University of North Dakota – (18-9-7, WCHA 13-6-7) – This past weekend, UND took (4-2 W – 2-2 T) three points in their weekend series with the Bemidji State Beavers at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. This weekend, the University of North Dakota travels to Mankato, Minnesota to play the Minnesota State Mavericks at the Verizon Wireless Center. North Dakota is 5-2-3 in it's last 10 games. UND’s Pairwise Ranking 7.
2Minnesota – (22-7-5, WCHA 14-7-5) – This past weekend, the Minnesota Gophers split (0-2 L – 5-1 L) there weekend series with the Denver Pioneers at Mariucci Arena. This weekend, the Gophers travel to Bemidji, Minnesota to play the Bemidji State Beavers at the Sanford Center. Minnesota is 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and has only swept one WCHA opponent all-season long (UAA). Minnesota Gophers Pairwise Ranking 2.Minnesota Gophers Pairwise Ranking 2.
3. Saint Cloud State – (20-13-1, WCHA 17-8-1) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (5-3 W – 1- 5 W) their weekend series with the Michigan Tech Huskies at the National Hockey Center. This weekend, the Huskies travel to Madison Wisconsin to play the Wisconsin Badgers. The Saint Cloud State Huskies have split the last three series they have played in and have a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games. Saint Cloud State Huskies Pairwise Ranking 10t.
4. Minnesota State Mankato – (21-10-3, WCHA 15-10-1) – This past weekend, the Mavericks split (1-4 L – 7-2 W) their weekend series with Colorado College Tigers in Colorado Springs. This weekend, the Mavericks entertain North Dakota at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minnesota. The Mavericks are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Minnesota State Mavericks Pairwise Ranking 8t.
5. Denver University – (17-11-5, WCHA 12-9-5) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers split (2-0 W – 1-5 L) their weekend series with the University of Minnesota Gophers at Mariucci Arena. This weekend, the Pioneers entertain the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at Magness Arena in Denver Colorado. The Pioneers are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. Denver Pioneers Pairwise Ranking 8t.
6. Wisconsin – (16-11-7, WCHA 12-7-7) – The Wisconsin Badgers swept (4-3 W – 6-2 W) their weekend series with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. This weekend, the Badgers entertain the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. After starting the season 1-7-3, the Badgers still have an outside chance of finishing in first place. The Badgers would probably have to win the Final Five to make the NCAA tourney. The Badgers are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. Wisconsin Badgers Pairwise Ranking 20.
7. Nebraska Omaha – (18-14-2, WCHA 14-10-2) – This past weekend, the Mavericks were swept (3-4 L – 2-6 L) by the Wisconsin Badgers. This weekend, the Mavericks travel to Duluth Minnesota to play the Bulldogs in Amsoil Arena. The Mavericks are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games. Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks Pairwise Ranking 25. With the Mavericks being swept by the Badgers this past weekend, the Mavericks will probably have to win the Final Five to make the NCAA tourney. 
8. Colorado College – (13-16-5, WCHA 10-12-4) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers split (4-1 W – 2-7 L) their weekend series with the Minnesota State Mavericks. This weekend, the Tigers travel to Houghton, Michigan to play the Michigan Tech Huskies at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Tigers are 4-3-3 in the last 10 games. Colorado College Tigers Pairwise Ranking 30.
9. Minnesota Duluth – (12-17-4, WCHA 8-13-5) – This past weekend, the Bulldogs swept (4-0 W – 4-2 W) their weekend series with the Alabama Huntsville Chargers (1-20-1) at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Bulldogs entertain Nebraska-Omaha at Amsoil Arena.
10. Michigan Tech – (11-17-4, WCHA 7-15-4) – This past week, the Huskies split (3-5 L – 5-1 W) their weekend series with the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the National Hockey Center. This weekend, the Michigan Tech Huskies entertain the Colorado College Tigers at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
11. Bemidji State – (6-18-8, WCHA 5-14-7) – This past weekend, the Beavers took one point (2-4 L, 2-2 T) from the University of North Dakota in a two game series at Ralph Engelstad Arena. This weekend, the Bemidji State Beavers entertain the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.
12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-21-7, WCHA 2-18-6) – This past weekend, the Seawolves were swept (1-2 L – 1-3 L) by the University of Alaska Nanooks in the Governor’s cup. This weekend, the Seawolves travel to Denver to play the Pioneers at Magness Arena.
Taylor Seibel’s WCHA Power Rankings
1. St. Cloud State – (20-13-1, 17-8-1 WCHA) – The Huskies struggled at times against Michigan Tech, but still maintain a two point lead (and tiebreakers) over both Minnesota and North Dakota. That means that two points next weekend at Wisconsin will clinch at least a share of the MacNaughton Cup for the Huskies.
2. Minnesota – (22-7-5, 14-7-5 WCHA) – A tale of two nights, as Minnesota split their series against Denver this weekend. Friday was an abysmal showing for Minnesota, but Saturday, both teams brought it, and Minnesota came out on top thanks to a strong third period. The Gophers still have MacNaughton Cup aspirations, but they will need to sweep Bemidji State next weekend, and hope for some help from rival Wisconsin.
3. North Dakota – (18-9-7, 13-6-7 WCHA) – North Dakota played strong both nights, but were often frustrated by Bemidji’s physical play. The result was three points, moving North Dakota up into a tie for second place. Similar to Minnesota, North Dakota will be looking for a sweep next weekend against a strong Mankato squad, and then they will hope for some help from Wisconsin.
4. Wisconsin – (16-11-7, 12-7-7 WCHA) – The Badgers are peaking at the right time. Following a shocking loss to Penn State on Monday, Wisconsin stormed back, dominating Omaha in a weekend sweep. The Badgers can actually wind up with the MacNaughton Cup with a sweep of St. Cloud State next weekend at home, but they would need help from Bemidji and Mankato to get a share of the Cup.
5. Minnesota State – (21-10-3, 15-10-1 WCHA) – The Mavericks went down to Colorado Springs and managed to take two points against the Tigers. Mankato has a very slight chance at winning the MacNaughton heading into the final weekend, but it would begin with sweeping visiting North Dakota next weekend, and then hope for a miracle from both Bemidji and Wisconsin.
6. Denver – (17-11-5, 12-9-5 WCHA) – Denver played very well in their series up in Minnesota, scoring two points, and nearly holding on for a third (or fourth). Next weekend, the Pioneers host Alaska Anchorage in a Friday-Sunday series, giving DU fans and players a chance to survey exactly what they need to do to prevent them from being on the road in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs.
7. Nebraska Omaha – (18-14-2, 14-10-2 WCHA) – The Mavericks from Omaha were crushed this weekend by Wisconsin, getting swept by the Badgers. They still control their own destiny when it comes to home ice, but they will need to play much better next weekend when they make the trek up to Duluth to take on the Bulldogs.
8. Colorado College – (13-16-5, 10-12-4 WCHA) – The Tigers were eliminated from the home ice race on Saturday with their loss to Mankato, but CC will look to bounce back next weekend, as the Tigers host Michigan Tech in the WCHA finale. CC will wrap up the #8 spot with two points against the Huskies.
9. Minnesota Duluth – (12-17-5, 8-13-5 WCHA) – The Bulldogs swept Alabama Huntsville in non-conference action this weekend. The sweep should give Duluth some needed confidence heading into their WCHA finale against Nebraska Omaha next weekend. While Duluth is eliminated from home ice contention, they have an outside shot at moving up to the #8 ranking in the conference, and at the very least could avoid a top 4 team in the WCHA Playoffs.
10. Michigan Tech – (11-17-4, 7-15-4 WCHA) – The Huskies played with WCHA leader SCSU in St. Cloud, and arguably could have fared better than leaving with just two points. Tech is a dangerous team, that if they play up to their potential could easily make another trip to the Final Five. Next weekend, Tech looks to sharpen their skills as they travel to Colorado College.
11. Bemidji State – (6-18-8, 5-14-7 WCHA) – The Beavers played strong against North Dakota this weekend, and managed to take a point from the series. Bemidji will need to play another tight series next weekend as Minnesota comes to town for the WCHA finale. The Beavers play a style that should help them in the playoffs, and they will hope to showcase that against the Gophers, and these two squads could very well meet up in the WCHA Playoffs.
12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-21-7, 2-18-6 WCHA) – The Seawolves were swept this weekend in a home and home against non-conference, in-state rival Alaska. UAA played the Nanooks tough, but were unable to solve the UA netminder, scoring only two goals on the weekend. UAA will be playing for pride next weekend against Denver, as the Seawolves are locked into the twelfth spot.
Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine
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