Sunday, October 28, 2012

WCHA Power Rankings (10/28/12)

Here’s this week’s WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I will be doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel who is a contributor of College Hockey Weekly.

1.  Minnesota Gophers – (3-1-0, WCHA 1-1-0) – This past weekend, the Minnesota Gophers tied their exhibition game with the US National Development Under-18 team (2-2). As this week’s power rankings were being put up, Minnesota was playing Canisius College, who Minnesota on paper, should have no trouble beating. This weekend, the Minnesota Gophers have a home and home series with the Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks.

2. Denver University – (4-0-0, WCHA 2-0-0) – This weekend, the Denver Pioneers stayed hot as they swept the Michigan Tech Huskies (5-1 W – 5-2) at home. This weekend, the undefeated Denver Pioneers entertain the Saint Cloud State Huskies at Magness Arena. Junior goalie Sam Brittain’s numbers are eye popping to say the least (2-0-0, 1.00 GAA, 0.970 save percentage).

3. University of North Dakota – (2-1-1, WCHA 1-0-1) – This past weekend, the Green and While took three points from the UAA Seawolves (4-1 W – 3-3 T). This weekend, the University of North Dakota plays the Boston University Terriers in an important nonconference series at Ralph Englestad Arena. Freshman Rocco Grimaldi (2g-2a—4pts) and senior Danny Kristo (0g-4a—4pts) lead UND in points.

4. Saint Cloud State – (4-2-0, WCHA 2-0-0) – This past weekend, the Huskies swept the Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks (5-1 W – 5-1 W) at the National Hockey Center.  This weekend, the Huskies travel to Denver, Colorado to play the Denver University Pioneers in a weekend series at Magness Arena. It should be an exciting series because both teams hung 10 goals on their opponents this past weekend. Huskies forwards Nick Dowd (4g-6a—10pts) and Drew LeBlanc (3g-7a—10pts) lead their team in scoring.

5. Colorado College – (3-3-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers were swept (0-2 L – 2-3 L) by the Cornell Big Red of the ECAC in Ithaca, New York. This weekend, the Tigers travel to Madison Wisconsin to begin WCHA play against the Wisconsin Badger in the Kohl Center.

6. Michigan Tech – (2-4-0, WCHA 1-3-0) – This past weekend, the Huskies were swept in the weekend series against the Denver Pioneers (1-5 L – 2-5 L) at Magness Arena. This weekend, the Huskies entertain the UNO Mavericks in a two game set at MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan.

7. Nebraska Omaha – (2-3-1, WCHA 0-1-1) – This past weekend, the Red Mavericks took one point against the Bemidji State Beavers (3-3 T – 2-3 L). Since the 2010-11 season; the Mavericks have played 12 games against the Beavers and have a horrid 1-7-4 record. That includes a 0-5-3 record at home against the Beavers. This weekend the Mavericks travel to Houghton, Michigan to play the Tech Huskies at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan.

8. Wisconsin – (1-2-1, WCHA 1-0-1) – This past weekend, the Badgers traveled to Duluth, Minnesota where they took three points against the Bulldogs (2-0 W – 2-2 T). This weekend, the Badgers entertain the Colorado College Tigers at the Kohl Center. Badgers junior goalie Joel Rumpel (1-1-1, GAA 1.30, 0.954 save percentage) recorded a 2-0 shutout on Friday night against the Bulldogs.  Rumpel stopped all 29 shots he faced.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (2-3-1, WCHA 0-1-1) – This past weekend, UMD Bulldogs took one point in their weekend series against the Wisconsin Badgers (0-2 L – 2-2 T). This weekend, the Bull Dogs have a bye week.

10. Bemidji State – (2-1-1, WCHA 1-0-1) – This past weekend, the Bemidji State Beavers took three points against the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (3-3 T – 3-2 W), in Omaha Nebraska. No Dan Bakala – no problem, the Beavers continued their obscene dominance of the 7-1-4 against the Mavericks since the 2010-11 season, that includes a 5-0-3 record in Omaha. While the Beavers have been dominant against the Mavericks, it hasn’t translated to the rest of their games as the Beavers record during that same time frame is 16-31-5. This weekend, the Beavers are off.

11. Alaska Anchorage – (2-1-1, WCHA 0-1-1) – This past weekend, the Seawolves took a point against the University of North Dakota (1-4 L – 3-3 T) at Ralph Englestad Arena.  This weekend, the Seawolves are off.

12. Minnesota State Mankato – (2-2-2, WCHA 0-2-0) – This past weekend, the Purple Mavericks were swept by the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the National Hockey Center (1-5 L – 1-5 L).   This weekend, Mavericks play a home and home series with the Minnesota Gophers. The Mavericks are having trouble staying out of the penalty box and are ranked 3rd in penalty minutes after 6 games.

 Taylor Seibel  WCHA Power Rankings

1. Minnesota – (3-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) – The Gophers did not play in the WCHA this weekend, but drew with the USA U-18 Team.  I wouldn’t read too much into that result, but if the Gophers struggle next weekend, they may be in jeopardy of dropping in my rankings.  Minnesota takes on Minnesota State in a home/away series next weekend.

2. Denver – (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) – The Pioneers jump up my rankings thanks in part to their offensive outbursts.  This squad was expected to struggle to score goals.  With their goaltending, Denver is a scary team if they can continue their prowess with the puck.  DU will face another test next weekend as the Pios take on SCSU in Denver next weekend.

3. North Dakota – (2-1-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) – North Dakota was a dominating team on Friday, taking down UAA 4-1, but struggled at times on Saturday for the second weekend in a row in a 3-3 draw.  North Dakota has the talent to be the top team in the league, but they will need to play more consistently than they are right now.  UND takes on BU in non-conference action next weekend.

4. St. Cloud State – (4-2-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) – The Huskies dominated Minnesota State this weekend, winning both of their contests with the Mavericks by a 5-1 score.  If SCSU continues to play defense like they are capable of, they will be a difficult matchup with anyone in the conference.  Next weekend, SCSU travels to Denver in what could be the series of the week in the WCHA.

5. Wisconsin – (1-2-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) – Wisconsin went into Duluth and were able to take 3 points from the hometown Bulldogs this weekend.  The Badgers used timely scoring and great goaltending and defense to take a win on Friday (2-0) and a draw on Saturday (2-2).  Next Weekend the Badgers host the Colorado College Tigers.

6. Michigan Tech – (2-4-0, 1-3-0 WCHA) – The Huskies struggled to solve Denver this weekend, but that could be a common theme for everyone in the league this season.  Michigan Tech will look to get back on track next weekend as the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks make the trek to Houghton, MI in WCHA action.

7. Colorado College – (3-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) – The Tigers are the only team that has yet to play a conference game, and CC traveled out to Cornell to take on the Big Red this past weekend.  CC played with a top-notch team, but were unable to score victories.  CC finally gets back into the mix this weekend as the Tigers travel to Madison to take on the Badgers.

8. Bemidji State – (2-1-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) – The Beavers traveled to Omaha this past weekend, and proved to not only the Mavericks, but the rest of the WCHA as well that they are a team that can do some damage.  Bemidji scored a tie on Friday (3-3) before defeating Omaha on Saturday 3-2.  If the Beavers can keep this type of play up, they could challenge for home ice.  BSU is off next weekend.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) – The Bulldogs were only able to score 1 point this weekend against Wisconsin, but played well enough defensively and in the net to get more than that.  Duluth should challenge for home ice this season, but they will need to find more scoring, especially at home.  The Bulldogs are off next weekend.

10. Nebraska Omaha – (2-3-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) – Inconsistency continued for the Mavericks as they took only 1 point from Bemidji at home this past weekend.  Omaha has the talent to challenge for home ice, but they will need to be more consistent if they hope to host a game in Omaha in mid-March.  Omaha travels to Michigan Tech next weekend in WCHA play.

11. Alaska Anchorage – (2-2-2, 0-1-1 WCHA) – The Seawolves were a little unlucky to come out of Grand Forks with just 1 point, as they led 3-2 with less than 90 seconds on Saturday, but more importantly, UAA showed that they are capable of playing with anyone in the country.  The Seawolves have a weekend off next weekend before hosting Minnesota (Nov. 9/10).

12. Minnesota State – (2-2-2, 0-2-0 WCHA) – The Mavericks ran into the SCSU buzzsaw this past weekend, scoring only 2 goals in the series.  Minnesota State should recoup and move up these rankings in the coming weeks, but right now they are my cellar dweller.  The Mavs take on top-ranked Minnesota next weekend in a home