February 20, 2011
INCH Power Rankings

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Last Week's INCH Power Rankings
USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll

We've often said that the INCH Power Rankings aren't constructed in a vacuum. Sometimes the way a team is impacted has more to do with what's happened to teams around them. It can be a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Western Michigan moved up in the rankings despite being swept. Boston University and Cornell also made gains, despite losing to the last-place team in ECAC Hockey. It was that kind of week.

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. North Dakota
Forward Brett Hextall, who scored three goals in his first 23 games this season, scored three more in the Fighting Sioux's tie and win at St. Cloud State. He has five goals and two assists in his last five games.
22-8-3 (17-6-1 WCHA) LAST WEEK: T at St. Cloud State, 3-3 ot; W at St. Cloud State, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Bemidji State, vs. Bemidji State
2. Boston College
It's not often that an elite team like Boston College would score 15 goals over a three-game span and win just once, but that's how the Eagles' week went. And the win came in the game that rewards a trophy afterward.
22-7-1 (16-6-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Northeastern, 7-6 ot (Beanpot Championship); T vs. Northeastern, 7-7 ot; L at Northeastern, 2-1. THIS WEEK: at Massachusetts, vs. Massachusetts
3. Yale
Yale's penalty-kill might be its only real statistical weakness, as the Bulldogs are currently ranked 35th nationally in short-handed efficiency. But the Bulldogs do have six short-handed goals, after potting two shorties in a comeback win at Princeton on Sunday.
22-5-0 (16-4-0 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: W at Quinnipiac, 6-1; W at Princeton, 5-4. THIS WEEK: vs. Colgate, vs. Cornell
4. Union
Union has played seven two-game weekends since returning from Minnesota's holiday tournament. Six times they won both games and the other was a split against Dartmouth and Harvard.
24-7-3 (16-3-1 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: W at Clarkson, 4-3 ot; W at St. Lawrence, 5-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Quinnipiac, vs. Princeton
5. Merrimack
The Warriors have been winning the close ones. Five of the Ws in Merrimack's current eight-game win streak have been by one goal and another was a 4-2 win at New Hampshire.
21-5-4 (15-5-3 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W at Massachusetts, 4-3 ot; W vs. Massachusetts, 2-1. THIS WEEK: at Maine, at Maine
6. Miami
Regardless of the outcome of their regular-season finale at Lake Superior State, the RedHawks are locked into third place in the CCHA standings thanks to Michigan’s overtime win against Western Michigan Saturday.
17-9-6 (14-7-5 CCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: at Lake Superior State, at Lake Superior State
7. New Hampshire
UNH's three-point weekend at Vermont clinched a first-round home-ice series when the Hockey East playoffs begin. The Wildcats hold a two-point lead over BC and Merrimack with four games remaining in the regular season.
18-7-5 (16-4-3 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W at Vermont, 6-1; T at Vermont, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Northeastern, at Northeastern
8. Denver
The Pioneers have developed a troubling habit of allowing their opponents to score first. Michigan Tech took 1-0 leads in both ends of its split at Magness Arena this past weekend, marking the sixth and seventh consecutive games DU has given up the first goal.
19-8-5 (15-6-3 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L vs. Michigan Tech, 3-2; W vs. Michigan Tech, 5-1. THIS WEEK: at Nebraska-Omaha, at Nebraska-Omaha
9. Minnesota Duluth
With a winter storm currently bearing down on a good chunk of the upper Midwest, it’s probably no coincidence that the Bulldogs’ Mike Seidel (no, not that Mike Seidel) scored a pair of goals in his team’s 6-2 win at Minnesota State Saturday.
19-7-5 (14-6-4 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Minnesota State, 3-1; W at Minnesota State, 6-2. THIS WEEK: at Colorado College, at Colorado College
10. Michigan
When senior Carl Hagelin scored his second goal of Saturday's game against Western Michigan with three seconds remaining in overtime, he propelled his team to its first OT win since Dec. 29, 2007, when the Wolverines beat Michigan Tech for the Great Lakes Invitational title on a goal 2:32 into the second extra session.
21-9-4 (18-7-1 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Western Michigan, 6-3; W vs. Western Michigan, 5-4 ot. THIS WEEK: at Northern Michigan, at Northern Michigan
11. Notre Dame
There was a mini-Fighting Irish reunion in Toronto Saturday when the host Maple Leafs welcomed the Ottawa Senators to the Air Canada Centre. Former Fighting Irish standouts Christian Hanson and Brett Lebda were in the Leafs' lineup, while ex-ND All-American Erik Condra dressed for the Sens.
20-9-5 (17-6-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Ferris State, 3-2; W at Ferris State, 5-2. THIS WEEK: at Western Michigan, at Western Michigan
12. Rensselaer
Goalie Allen York returned from injury and was yanked in his first game back at St. Lawrence. He bounced back the next night with 20 saves in a 5-1 win at Clarkson.
19-9-4 (11-8-1 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: L at St. Lawrence, 5-3; W at Clarkson, 5-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Princeton, vs. Quinnipiac
13. Nebraska-Omaha
Freshman forward Brock Montpetit became the fifth Maverick with 10 or more goals on the season when he scored early in the third period of UNO’s win at Alaska Anchorage Saturday. Minnesota Duluth is the only WCHA team with as many players who’ve reached double digits in goals.
19-11-2 (15-7-2 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Alaska Anchorage, 3-2; W at Alaska Anchorage, 4-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Denver, vs. Denver
14. Boston University
BU's traditional Beanpot success is measured with championships, but it's almost more impressive to look at the other end of the scale. Monday's loss to Harvard marked just the fourth time in the tournament's 59-year history that BU finished fourth and the first time since 1980.
16-9-7 (13-5-5 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: L vs. Harvard, 5-4 (Beanpot Third Place); W vs. Providence, 2-1; W at Providence, 1-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Vermont, vs. Vermont
15. Wisconsin
These Badgers run hot and cold—Wisconsin started the season 6-2-1, then went 0-4-2 in its next six, followed that stretch with by winning 13 of 15, and now enter this weekend's series at St. Cloud State with a four-game winless streak.
19-11-4 (11-10-3 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L vs. Minnesota, 5-2; T vs. Minnesota, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: at St. Cloud State, at St. Cloud State
16. Western Michigan
Salute to round numbers: Senior center Max Campbell needs two points to become the 50th Bronco skater to record 100 career points. The Strathroy, Ontario, native got one step closer to that plateau with a goal in Friday’s loss at Michigan.
15-9-10 (9-8-9 CCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Michigan, 6-3; L at Michigan, 5-4 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Notre Dame, at Notre Dame
17. Cornell
Cornell was four-games under .500 twice this year, but has climbed up the ECAC Hockey standings with a 9-3-2 record since the start of the new year. The Big Red control their own destiny for a first-round bye in the ECACH playoffs.
13-11-3 (11-7-2 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: L vs. Harvard, 4-3; W vs. Dartmouth, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: at Brown, at Yale
18. RIT
RIT saw an 11-game unbeaten streak snapped in its loss at Robert Morris, one short of the school record at the Division I level, when the Tigers rattled off 12-straight wins last year.
16-9-7 (15-4-6 Atlantic Hockey) LAST WEEK: L at Robert Morris, 5-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Niagara, at Niagara
19. Robert Morris
After dropping a pair of close games to the first-place Tigers earlier this year, Robert Morris solved their Atlantic Hockey rivals Saturday night, largely helped by a three-goal scoring binge in less than four minutes in the first period.
18-9-5 (13-7-5 Atlantic Hockey) LAST WEEK: W vs. RIT, 5-3. THIS WEEK: at Air Force, at Air Force
20. Minnesota
Senior defenseman Cade Fairchild notched three assists in the Gophers' win and tie at Wisconsin this past weekend, giving him three goals and six assists in his last six games.
13-12-5 (10-10-4 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Wisconsin, 5-2; T at Wisconsin, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan Tech, vs. Michigan Tech

Dropped out: Dartmouth, Colorado College

Bubble-licious: Maine, Dartmouth, Princeton, Colorado College