March 1, 2009
INCH Power Rankings

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It's that time of the year when the top teams need to step up and establish themselves as the truly elite class of college hockey. The top four teams in the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings got that message. They went a perfect 8-0-0 over the weekend, outscored their opponents 36-8 and posted three shutouts. As a result, you won't see much change in the top of the latest edition of the INCH Power Rankings.

Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation's top teams (along with a note for each team).

No. Team

Of Note
1. Notre Dame
Goaltender Jordan Pearce picked up career wins 54 and 55 this weekend in the Irish's sweep of Michigan State. He's one shy of the school's record set by Lance Madson.
27-5-3 (21-4-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Michigan State, 5-0; W at Michigan State, 2-1. THIS WEEK: Off
2. Boston University
Consistent. Hot. The Terriers have just one loss in their last 23 games (18-1-4) and still aren't even in first place in their own conference, because ...
25-5-4 (16-5-4 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Massachusetts, 6-3; W vs. Massachusetts, 7-2. THIS WEEK: at Providence, vs. Providence
3. Northeastern
... the Huskies maintained their Hockey East lead with a sweep of UMass Lowell. Brad Thiessen made 56 saves on 57 shots faced. Freshman center Mike McLaughlin had a goal in each win.
22-8-4 (17-5-3 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. UMass Lowell, 3-0; W at UMass Lowell, 3-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston College, at Boston College
4. Michigan

It's the college hockey equivalent of adding Chris Pronger at the trading deadline: Captain Mark Mitera, in his first games since injuring his knee on Oct. 10, had a goal and an assist in the Wolverines' sweep of Ferris State.

26-10-0 (20-8-0 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Ferris State, 6-1; W vs. Ferris State, 4-0. THIS WEEK: Off
5. North Dakota
The Fighting Sioux, one point from winning the WCHA regular-season title, are 12-1-3 since Jan. 1. With their penchant for second-half success, maybe Dave Hakstol should schedule all 36 games after Christmas from here on out.
21-11-4 (16-6-4 WCHA) LAST WEEK: T vs. Colorado College, 4-4 ot; W vs. Colorado College, 4-3 ot. THIS WEEK: at Wisconsin, at Wisconsin
6. Denver
Already playing without high-scoring forward Tyler Bozak, the Pioneers may have suffered another blow when forward Rhett Rakhshani, the team's second-leading scorer, was injured in Friday's win vs. St. Cloud State and missed Saturday's rematch.
16-8-3 (20-10-4 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. St. Cloud State, 3-1; L vs. St. Cloud State, 2-1 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Colorado College
7. Vermont
Justin Milo has 10 goals on the season. Four of them are game-winners, including Saturday's decisive tally with 4:20 remaining at Maine.
19-8-5 (14-7-4 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W at Maine, 3-2; W at Maine, 2-1. THIS WEEK: vs. New Hampshire, vs. New Hampshire
8. Miami
Salute to round numbers: Justin Mercier's empty-net goal with 60 seconds left in Saturday's 7-5 win at Ohio State was his 10th of the season and his 100th career point in his 150th career game.
19-10-5 (17-7-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: L vs. Ohio State, 6-2; W at Ohio State, 7-5. THIS WEEK: Off
9. Yale
Yale won ECAC Hockey with 32 points, but a 3-1-0 record in the four head-to-head games against Cornell and Princeton was the difference between the top three in the ECACH standings.
20-7-2 (15-5-2 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: W vs. Cornell, 4-2; L vs. Colgate, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: Off
10. Princeton
Have no fear, Princeton fans. The Tigers lost their last two regular-season games last season too, then went on to win the ECAC Hockey playoff title.
20-9-0 (14-8-0 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: L at Dartmouth, 2-0; L at Harvard, 3-2. THIS WEEK: Off
11. New Hampshire
The Wildcats have taken 11 of a possible 12 points in their last six Hockey East games. Four of the five wins were by one goal, or a two-goal margin that included an empty-net goal.
18-9-5 (14-7-4 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W at Merrimack, 4-3; W vs. Merrimack, 1-0. THIS WEEK: at Vermont, at Vermont
12. Cornell
The Big Red scored two goals in the last 12 minutes of the third period on Saturday at Brown to tie the game, then got an overtime power-play goal from Blake Gallagher to beat the last-place Bears and clinch second place in the league.
18-7-4 (13-6-3 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: L at Yale, 4-2; W at Brown, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: Off
13. St. Lawrence
The Saints had not recorded a single shutout all season, but senior goalie Alex Petizian blanked both Union and Renssealer over the weekend. The last time SLU shut out back-to-back opponents? Also RPI and Union, in November of 1997.
19-11-4 (11-7-4 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: W at Union, 2-0; W at Rensselaer, 2-0. THIS WEEK: Off
14. Ohio State
Should the Buckeyes get past Bowling Green this weekend in the first round of the CCHA playoffs, their reward will be a trip to Fairbanks – the second in roughly six weeks – for a quarterfinal series against Alaska.
20-12-4 (13-11-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Miami, 6-2; L vs. Miami, 7-5. THIS WEEK: vs. Bowling Green (CCHA First Round Series)
15. Colorado College
The Tigers played their 10th and 11th overtime contests of the season this weekend at North Dakota, but Sunday's loss to the Fighting Sioux was the first time CC ended up on the wrong side of the ledger.
16-10-9 (12-9-6 WCHA) LAST WEEK: T at North Dakota, 4-4 ot; L at North Dakota, 4-3 ot. THIS WEEK: at Denver
16. Minnesota
Backup goaltender Kent Patterson made his first career start Friday against Minnesota Duluth and earned a 2-2 tie by stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced. Starter Alex Kangas returned Saturday to make 28 saves in a 5-3 win.
14-11-7 (11-10-5 WCHA) LAST WEEK: T vs. Minnesota Duluth, 2-2 ot; W vs. Minnesota Duluth, 5-3. THIS WEEK: at Michigan Tech, at Michigan Tech
17. Minnesota Duluth
He did his part: Forward MacGregor Sharp scored three goals over an 18-minute stretch of Saturday's game at Mariucci, turning a 2-0 Minnesota lead into a 3-2 Bulldog edge early in the third period before the Gophers rallied to win.
16-10-8 (10-9-7 WCHA) LAST WEEK: T at Minnesota, 2-2 ot; L at Minnesota, 5-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Alaska Anchorage, vs. Alaska Anchorage
18. St. Cloud State
The Huskies have put together a little bit of a run over the last 10 games, going 6-3-1 during that span as they make a late push for a home-ice berth in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.
18-14-2 (13-12-1 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Denver, 3-1; W at Denver, 2-1 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota State, at Minnesota State
19. Boston College
Seven different players scored BC's nine goals on the weekend. That's the type of offensive balance that can make the Eagles dangerous. We'll see if they can keep it going against Northeastern, the nation's eighth-best defensive team.
15-12-5 (10-10-5 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Providence, 5-1; W at Providence, 4-3 ot. THIS WEEK: at Northeastern, vs. Northeastern
20. Wisconsin
How much do Badger fans hate to see games knotted at the end of regulation? In the last two seasons, Bucky has lost six overtime games, the latest coming Friday at Mankato against Minnesota State.
16-14-4 (13-10-3 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Minnesota State, 4-3 ot; T at Minnesota State, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. North Dakota, vs. North Dakota

Dropped out: UMass Lowell

Bubble-licious: Air Force, RIT