January 3, 2010
INCH Power Rankings

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The holiday tournament season has come and gone and we got to know a little more about those teams that participated. We also got to know that our stance hasn't changed on shootouts. They're a little goofy and out of place in college hockey. Yale and Wisconsin didn't settle anything through 65 minutes on Sunday night, but strong weekends by both teams saw them jump up in this weeks 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. Miami
Despite the long holiday respite, there was some RedHawk-related news during the break: Ex-Miami defenseman and current San Jose Shark Dan Boyle was named to the Canadian Olympic hockey team.
13-2-5 (10-1-3 CCHA) RECENT GAMES: Off. THIS WEEK: at Robert Morris, vs. Robert Morris
2. Denver
Pioneer coach George Gwozdecky on forward Rhett Rakhshani, who scored two goals in Saturday's come-from-behind win over BC, to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post: "His play was outstanding ... where once when we got to the third period, he wasn't going to be denied."
13-5-2 (9-3-2 WCHA) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 7-0; W vs. Boston College, 4-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Alaska Anchorage, vs. Alaska Anchorage
3. Yale
The nation's top-two scoring offenses met in the championship of the Badger Showdown and the game yielded just four goals through 65 minutes, less than half of the season-averages of Yale (4.29) and Wisconsin (4.00).
8-3-3 (4-1-2 ECAC Hockey) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Ferris State, 6-1; T at Wisconsin, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: at Dartmouth, at Harvard
4. Wisconsin
The Badger Hockey Showdown, won by the hosts on the strength of their shootout triumph over Yale in the title match, is history, scrapped in favor of the Barry Alvarez Big Ten Hockey Hootenanny. Or maybe not.
12-5-3 (8-3-3 WCHA) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Merrimack, 5-4; T vs. Yale, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. US NTDP U-18 (Ex.)
5. Colorado College
Maine scored a pair of third-period goals en route to a 3-2 win over the Tigers in the title game of the Florida College Classic – CC's first loss in nine games away from home this season.
12-5-3 (8-3-3 WCHA) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Cornell, 4-2; L vs. Maine, 3-2. THIS WEEK: at Minnesota Duluth, at Minnesota Duluth
6. Cornell
After suffering back-to-back losses for the first time all season, Cornell responded with one of its strongest efforts of the year. The fourth goal came following three minutes of cycle time in the UNH zone during which the Big Red made two line changes, capped by Riley Nash's goal.
8-4-2 (6-2-1 ECAC Hockey) RECENT GAMES: L vs. Colorado College, 4-2; L vs. Princeton, 3-2; W at New Hampshire, 5-2. THIS WEEK: Off
7. North Dakota
How did former Sioux star Jonathan Toews, now the toast of Chicago as the Blackhawks' captain, spend New Year's Eve in the Windy City? Dining with his brother, David, and the rest of the NoDak hockey team, in town for Notre Dame's Shillelagh Tournament.
10-6-4 (6-6-2 WCHA) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Niagara, 3-1; T vs. Notre Dame, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota State, vs. Minnesota State
8. Boston College
We can't help but wonder how differently the third period might have gone against Denver had John Muse made the stop on a long wrister from Rhett Rhakshani on the first shift of the stanza - the first of Denver's four third-period goals.
10-5-2 (7-3-2 Hockey East) RECENT GAMES: L vs. St. Lawrence, 5-2; L at Denver, 4-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston University (Fenway Park)
9. Michigan State
MSU scored a total of 16 goals in wins against Michigan Tech and Rensselaer at the Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit last week. The Spartans scored 19 goals in its 10 non-conference games in 2008-09.
14-6-2 (9-3-2 CCHA) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Michigan Tech, 10-1; W vs. Rensselaer, 6-1. THIS WEEK: vs. US NTDP U-18 (Ex.), vs. Lake Superior State, vs. Lake Superior State
10. Bemidji State
Matt Read and Brad Hunt assisted on every goal the Beavers scored in their tie and win at Western Michigan this past weekend. Granted, BSU only scored three times, but that was three more goals than the Broncos managed.
14-4-2 (8-0-0 CHA) RECENT GAMES: T at Western Michigan; 0-0 ot; W at Western Michigan 3-0. THIS WEEK: Off
11. Quinnipiac
The Bobcats have been held to one goal in three of their last four games. They didn't score fewer than three in any of their first 14 contests.
13-4-1 (7-3-0 ECAC Hockey) RECENT GAMES: L at Harvard, 3-1. THIS WEEK: at Princeton, vs. Rensselaer, vs. Union
12. UMass Lowell
Fun fact that may only interest us, and those UML fans that insist they're the true university of the Commonwealth. The River Hawks are 5-2-0 against Massachusetts-based schools this year. After a game at UNH on Friday, UML plays 10 straight against Bay State schools.
11-7-1 (5-4-1 Hockey East) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Holy Cross, 3-0; L vs. Northeastern, 2-1. THIS WEEK: at New Hampshire, at Northeastern
13. Ferris State
Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Yale was Ferris State’s first since Halloween. Back then, Tiger Woods was happily married, Urban Meyer hadn’t been hospitalized/resigned/returned to coaching/taken a leave of absence, and gunplay in the Washington Wizards’ locker room was non-existent (we think).
14-4-2 (8-2-2 CCHA) RECENT GAMES: L vs. Yale, 6-1; W vs. Merrimack, 5-1. THIS WEEK: at Notre Dame, at Notre Dame
14. Minnesota Duluth
Can you consider the Bulldogs streaky? UMD hasn’t won more than three games in a row this season—Sunday’s loss at Vermont kept them from accomplishing that for the third time—but they’ve lost back-to-back matches just once.
12-7-1 (8-5-1 WCHA) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Mercyhurst, 6-0; L at Vermont, 5-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Colorado College, vs. Colorado College
15. Massachusetts
The Minutemen's game at Northeastern on Sunday night can be seen on ESPNU. It's a rematch of last year's Hockey East quarterfinal series, won by Northeastern in three games.
11-7-0 (6-5-0 Hockey East) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Union, 4-3; L vs. Bentley, 4-1; L at Boston University, 7-3. THIS WEEK: at New Hampshire, at Northeastern
16. Union
Union's win over Connecticut was the 100th of head coach Nate Leaman's career. He now stands 22 wins behind Charlie Morrison as the winningest coach in program history, following Union's OT win over Army.
10-4-5 (4-0-3 ECAC Hockey) RECENT GAMES: L vs. Massachusetts, 4-3; W vs. Connecticut, 7-0; W at Army, 2-1 ot. THIS WEEK: at Princeton, at Quinnipiac
17. Maine
Maine led 2-0, 4-1 and 6-4 over Princeton in the first round of the Florida College Classic. Strategy for the final? Trail 2-1 after two periods and score twice in the third for a win over Colorado College.
10-7-2 (7-4-1 Hockey East) RECENT GAMES: T vs. Princeton, 6-6 ot; W vs. Colorado College, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Merrimack
18. Alaska
INCH fave and ex-Nanook Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson made his NHL debut for the Rangers at Madison Square Garden Dec. 30, turning aside 17 shots in 40 minutes of work in relief of Henrik Lundqvist.
9-5-4 (6-5-3 CCHA) RECENT GAMES: Off. THIS WEEK: at Nebraska-Omaha, at Nebraska-Omaha
19. St. Cloud State
Keep an eye on the Huskies, who are 5-1-1 in their last seven games heading into a weekend series against a Michigan Tech squad that has lost 10 in a row and allowed 44 goals in eight WCHA road contests this season.
10-7-3 (7-5-2 WCHA) RECENT GAMES: W vs. Brown, 5-1; W vs. Brown, 5-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan Tech, vs. Michigan Tech
20. New Hampshire
The annual in-state showdown against Dartmouth in two weeks is the last non-conference game for the Wildcats. The Hockey East leaders are 0-5-1 against foes from outside of the league.
8-7-3 (8-2-2 Hockey East) RECENT GAMES: L vs. Cornell, 5-2. THIS WEEK: vs. UMass Lowell, vs. Massachusetts

Dropped out: None

Bubble-licious: Lake Superior State, Notre Dame, St. Lawrence, Vermont