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In my humble opinion, there are three tiers that are starting to emerge in the WCHA. You have the first tier; this is the top six teams that all have at least 12 wins in their over-all record. You also have a middle tier of three teams (Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth and Colorado College) . Then you have a bottom tier of three teams (Bemidji State, Michigan State and Alaska Anchorage).
Also, Bemidji State, Minnesota, North Dakota and Saint Cloud have only played 14 games while the rest of the league has played 16 league games.
1. Minnesota Gophers – (16-3-3, WCHA 8-3-3) – This past week, the Minnesota Gophers beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4-1 at Mariucci Arena. Then, this past weekend, the Gophers sweep (4-3 W – 7-1 W) the UAA Seawolves. The Gophers entertain UND in a pivotal two game WCHA series.
2. University of North Dakota – (13-5-3, WCHA 8-3-3) – This past weekend, UND split (3-4 L – 5-3 W) their series with the Colorado College Tigers at the Ralph Englestad Arena. This weekend the Green and White travel to Mariucci Arena to play the Gophers in an important two game conference series.
3. Denver University – (13-6-4, WCHA 8-4-4) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers took three points (7-4 W – 3-3 T) against the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks at Magness Arena. This weekend, the Pioneers travel to Saint Cloud to play the Huskies at the National Hockey Center.
4. Nebraska Omaha – (13-9-2, WCHA 9-5-2) – This past weekend, the Mavericks took one point (4-7 L – 3-3 T) against the Denver Pioneers at Magness Arena. This weekend, the Mavericks are off.
5. Saint Cloud State – (12-10-0, WCHA 9-5-0) – This past weekend, the Huskies were off. This weekend, the Huskies entertain the Denver Pioneers at the national hockey center.
6. Wisconsin – (8-7-5, WCHA 6-5-5) – This past weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers swept (5-3 W – 1-0 W) Minnesota State Mavericks at the Verizon Wireless Center Mankato Minnesota
7. Minnesota State Mankato – (14-8-2, WCHA 8-8-0) – This past weekend, the Mavericks were swept (3-4 O.T. L – 1-2 O.T. L) by the Wisconsin Badgers at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minnesota. This weekend, the Maverick travels to Alaska Anchorage to play the Seawolves.
8. Minnesota Duluth – (9-10-3, WCHA 7-6-3) – This past weekend, the Bulldogs swept (1-0 W – 5-4 W) the Michigan Tech Huskies at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Colorado College to play the Tigers at World Arena.
9. Colorado College – (9-12-2, WCHA 6-9-1) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers split (4-3 W – 3-5 L) their series with UND. This weekend, the Tigers entertain the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at the World Arena.
10. Michigan Tech – (6-12-3, WCHA 3-10-3) – This past weekend, the Huskies were swept (0-1 L – 4-5 L) by the Bulldogs at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Huskies entertain the Bemidji State Beavers at John J. MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
11. Bemidji State – (5-11-4, WCHA 4-7-3) – This past weekend, the Beavers were off. This weekend, the Beavers travel to Houghton, Michigan to play the Huskies at the John J. MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
12. Alaska Anchorage – (3-13-4, WCHA 1-12-3) – This past weekend, Seawolves were swept (3-5 L – 0-1 L) by the Minnesota Gophers at Marriucci Arena. This weekend, the Seawolves entertain Minnesota State at the Sullivan Arena. The Huskies are mired in horrible streak and have won one game in the last 16 games (1-12-3).
Taylor Seibel's WCHA Power Rankings
1. Minnesota – (16-3-3, 8-3-3 WCHA) – The Gophers outclassed Notre Dame on Tuesday before sweeping Alaska Anchorage this weekend. Minnesota is playing their best, most consistent hockey of the season (with a slight exception for Friday’s game against UAA). Next weekend, the Gophers host North Dakota in a crucial WCHA series for both sides.
2. North Dakota – (13-6-3, 8-3-3 WCHA) – North Dakota struggled to a split this weekend against Colorado College. A lackluster performance on Friday led Coach Hakstol to make significant changes in his lineup for Saturday. It worked, as North Dakota squeaked by the Tigers 5-3. Next weekend, UND travels to Mariucci to take on rival Minnesota.
3. Denver – (13-6-4, 8-4-4 WCHA) – The Pioneers played inconsistent hockey this weekend against Nebraska Omaha, but managed to walk away from the series with 3 points. Denver now is tied with UNO with 20 points to lead the WCHA. Next weekend, the Pioneers take on the Huskies of SCSU in St. Cloud.
4. Nebraska Omaha – (13-9-2, 9-5-2 WCHA) – The Mavericks played well enough to sweep Denver this weekend, but were only able to manage a draw on Saturday. However, UNO still is tied with Denver for the WCHA lead with 20 points. Next weekend, UNO is off.
5. Wisconsin – (8-7-5, 6-5-5 WCHA) – The Badgers just might be the hottest team in the WCHA right now. Since the addition of Nic Kerdiles to the lineup, Wisconsin is 7-0-3. This weekend, the Badgers traveled to Mankato and swept the Mavericks with 2 overtime victories…the program’s first OT victories in conference in over 6 years. Next weekend, Wisconsin hosts Miami in a key non-conference series for the Badgers.
6. St. Cloud State – (12-10-0, 9-5-0 WCHA) – The Huskies were off this weekend, and hopefully they were able to recover and get healthy for the stretch run in WCHA play. Currently a “bubble” team for the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies host Conference leader Denver in a key WCHA series next weekend.
7. Minnesota State – (14-8-2, 8-8-0 WCHA) – Luck was simply not on their side this weekend, as the Mavericks were swept in heartbreaking fashion by the visiting Wisconsin Badgers. Mankato dropped both games in OT, but still look like a solid contender for home ice advantage. Next weekend, the Mavs make the trek up north to take on the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves in WCHA play.
8. Colorado College – (9-13-2, 6-9-1 WCHA) – The Tigers finally ended their winless streak with a 4-3 victory over North Dakota in Grand Forks on Friday, and nearly pulled off another point or two on Saturday before succumbing to UND 5-3. The Tigers are capable of making a push for home ice, but will need to keep playing hungry. Next weekend, CC hosts Minnesota Duluth in conference action.
9. Minnesota Duluth – (9-10-3, 7-6-3 WCHA) – The Bulldogs used a key sweep over Michigan Tech this weekend to soar into the top 6 in conference play, and are amazingly only 3 points out of first place. If Duluth can continue getting solid defense and timely scoring, they should find themselves at home for the first round of the WCHA tournament. Next weekend, Duluth travels to WCHA foe Colorado College.
10. Michigan Tech – (6-12-3, 3-10-3 WCHA) – The Huskies’ chances of home ice took a serious hit this weekend, as they were swept by the Duluth Bulldogs. In order to make a push for home ice in the second half, it will likely require a sweep of their home games. Next weekend provides the Huskies their chance to get that goal started on the right foot as Tech hosts Bemidji State in conference play.
11. Bemidji State – (5-10-4, 4-7-3 WCHA) – The Beavers from Bemidji were off this weekend, and now find themselves six points out of the top 6, but with 2 games in hand on each of the four teams in front of them. Next weekend, Bemidji travels to Houghton to take on Tech in WCHA play.
12. Alaska Anchorage – (3-13-4, 1-12-3 WCHA) – A disappointing result after a great 55 minutes of play on Friday was the beginning of a not so fun weekend for the Seawolves, as UAA was swept by Minnesota at Mariucci. Anchorage looks to right the ship next weekend, as they host Minnesota Duluth in WCHA action.