February 6, 2012
INCH Power Rankings

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

A common theme in this edition of the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings is evaluating some of the recent trends and results for the included teams and some of their players. Check out the latest report card, with a brand new student at the head of the class.

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. Minnesota
The Gophers had the weekend off but still can be considered winners—the WCHA leaders watched as second-place Minnesota Duluth only gained two points by splitting at Alaska Anchorage and then third-place Denver lost and tied with Colorado College.
19-9-1 (15-5-0 WCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: at Denver, at Denver
2. Minnesota Duluth
Splitting at Alaska Anchorage is disappointing, but sophomore forward J.T. Brown did his part, scoring all four goals in the Bulldogs’ 4-1 win Friday and adding another goal in Saturday’s 3-2 loss.
18-6-4 (12-5-3 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Alaska Anchorage, 4-1; L at Alaska Anchorage, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. North Dakota, vs. North Dakota
3. Boston University
It's Beanpot time, and that usually makes ears perk up around the BU Terriers. They roll into the tournament off the heels of a very good road win at Merrimack, which lifted Boston University into first place in Hockey East.
16-8-1 (13-6-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W at Merrimack, 4-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Harvard (Beanpot), vs. Massachusetts
4. Union

The Dutchmen are 7-1-2 in 10 games since the start of the New Year and have taken over first place in ECAC Hockey. They'll wrap the regular season Feb. 24-25 at Cornell and Colgate -- their two closest pursuers in the standings.

16-6-7 (10-3-4 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: W vs. Colgate, 3-1; T vs. Cornell, 4-4 ot. THIS WEEK: at Dartmouth
5. UMass Lowell
Talk about a home-ice advantage ... since losing its first home game of the season to Boston College, UMass Lowell is 9-0-0 at Tsongas Arena. UML is in the midst of a six-game homestand. Five of the team's remaining eight games this season are at home.
18-7-0 (13-6-0 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Vermont, 3-1; W vs. Vermont, 6-4. THIS WEEK: vs. Merrimack, vs. Maine
6. Merrimack
Jeff Velleca scored with two seconds left in the third period to give the Warriors a 4-3 bounce-back win at UMass, after Merrimack lost at home to BU one night earlier. Velleca had two goals and an assist in the win at Massachusetts.
15-6-5 (11-5-3 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: L vs. Boston University, 4-1; W at Massachusetts, 4-3. THIS WEEK: at UMass Lowell, vs. New Hampshire
7. Michigan
In eight starts since Jan. 1, senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick is 6-1-1 with two shutouts, a 0.90 GAA, and a .973 save percentage. In this weekend’s sweep of visiting Miami, he stopped all but one of the 54 shots he faced.
17-9-4 (11-7-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Miami, 4-1; W vs. Miami, 3-0. THIS WEEK: at Michigan State, vs. Michigan State (Joe Louis Arena)
8. Ferris State
The Bulldogs started the season with a 6-0-0 run and proceeded to go 5-8-1 over their next 14 games. Since Jan. 1, Ferris is 7-0-3, including a win and tie at Northern Michigan this past weekend. Add it all up and you’ve got the CCHA’s first-place team.
18-8-4 (12-6-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: T at Northern Michigan, 5-5 ot; W at Northern Michigan, 3-1. THIS WEEK: at Notre Dame, vs. Notre Dame
9. Boston College
It's a favorable draw in the Beanpot opener for Boston College. The Eagles have had 40 all-time meetings against Northeastern in the annual event, and won 31 of those games.
16-10-1 (12-7-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Northeastern (Beanpot), at Vermont
10. Colorado College
A win and tie against Denver sent the Gold Pan traveling trophy back to Colorado Springs for the first time in three seasons. More importantly, the Tigers move into third place in the WCHA standings, two points behind UMD and five behind Minnesota.
15-9-2 (12-7-1 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Denver, 2-0; T vs. Denver, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: at Bemidji State, at Bemidji State
11. Notre Dame
Since peaking at 10-2-3 with a Nov. 25 win at Lake Superior State, the Fighting Irish are 6-9-0 overall and 4-7-0 against CCHA opponents. The remaining regular season schedule is tricky, with series against Ferris State, Miami, and Michigan State on deck.
16-11-3 (11-8-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Bowling Green, 2-1; L vs. Bowling Green, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Ferris State, at Ferris State
12. Maine
The Black Bears were down 3-0 to Alabama-Huntsville after two periods Friday, then scored four-straight to win the game, capped by Stu Higgins' overtime-winner. Maine had no such trouble the next night in a 5-0 victory over the Chargers.
16-8-3 (11-7-2 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 4-3 ot; W vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 5-0. THIS WEEK: at Providence, at UMass Lowell
13. Denver
Pioneers fans will admit Colorado College taking the Gold Pan is a case of losing the battle; they’ll add that DU’s seven NCAA titles since the Tigers last won one in 1957 constitutes winning the war.
15-9-4 (10-6-4 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L vs. Colorado College, 2-0; T at Colorado College, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota, vs. Minnesota
14. Cornell
Freshman Brian Ferlin had 15 points through his first 13 games, but has just four points in his last 10 outings. Cornell is 6-1-1 when he scores a goal, but he has scored in just three of Cornell's last 16 games.
11-6-6 (8-3-5 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: T at Rensselaer, 2-2 ot; T at Union, 4-4 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Brown, vs. Yale
15. North Dakota
Sophomore defenseman Dillon Simpson, who was held scoreless in his first nine games this season, has 13 points in North Dakota’s last 18 games. The team is 9-1-1 in games in which he has scored at least one point.
15-10-2 (11-9-0 WCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: at Minnesota Duluth, at Minnesota Duluth
16. Colgate
So this guy Austin Smith ... four goals Saturday night at Rensselaer to ruin their annual Big Red Freakout! Pretty good player. Smith has 30 goals on the year. Yes, 30.
15-10-3 (9-6-1 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Union, 3-1; W at Rensselaer, 8-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Yale, vs. Brown
17. Miami
The last time an opponent held the RedHawks to a single goal in a weekend series was Jan. 10-11, 2009, when Michigan handed Miami 5-1 and 4-0 defeats in Ann Arbor.
15-13-2 (11-11-2 CCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Michigan, 4-1; L at Michigan, 3-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Alabama-Huntsville, vs. Alabama-Huntsville
18. Harvard
Harvard's week started with, wait for it, another tie. It was the Crimson's ninth deadlock of the season. The good news is that it's impossible for a tie to be the result on Monday, in a Beanpot semifinal against BU.
7-6-9 (6-4-7 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: T vs. Dartmouth, 2-2 ot; W at Quinnipiac, 6-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston University (Beanpot), vs. Rensselaer
19. Michigan State
Junior defenseman Torey Krug had two goals and three assists in the Spartans’ sweep of Ohio State in Columbus this past weekend. In four games against the Buckeyes this season, he recorded three goals and four assists.
15-11-4 (10-9-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Ohio State, 6-3; W at Ohio State, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan, vs. Michigan (Joe Louis Arena)
20. Western Michigan
After scoring at least one goal in five straight games between Dec. 30-Jan. 14, sophomore forward Chase Balisy has one point (an assist) in his last six outings. The Broncos are 2-4-0 during that span, which includes this past weekend’s split with Alaska.
14-11-5 (11-8-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Alaska, 2-1; L vs. Alaska, 4-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Ohio State, vs. Ohio State

Dropped out: Ohio State, Nebraska-Omaha

Bubble-licious: Air Force, Lake Superior State, Ohio State