March 4 , 2012
INCH Power Rankings

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

It was a quiet week for most of the teams in the INCH Power Rankings, as the top teams in the CCHA, ECAC Hockey and Atlantic Hockey had a playoff bye week. The regular season wrapped up in Hockey East and the WCHA, and most things went according to script. There's not much movement in 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. Boston College
As hot as Boston College is right now, with 11 wins in a row and a 19-1 aggregate score over the last four games, a first-round playoff series against UMass might give the Eagles some hesitation. The Minutemen won two of the three regular-season meetings, but both of them came at the Mullins Center.
25-10-1 (19-7-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Vermont, 5-1; W vs. Vermont, 4-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Massachusetts (Hockey East Quarterfinal Series)
2. Union
It's a rivalry weekend for the Dutchmen, as travel-partner RPI will visit Messa Rink for a three-game series. Union's had the upper hand in this matchup recently, with a 15-4-4 record in the last 23 games.
20-7-7 (14-4-4 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Rensselaer (ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series)
3. Minnesota
Forwards Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula have combined for 78 points, the most by a pair of Gopher sophomores since Danny Irmen and Ryan Potulny teamed up for 84 points in 2004-05.
24-12-1 (20-8-0 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L vs. Wisconsin, 4-1; W vs. Wisconsin, 2-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Alaska Anchorage (WCHA First-Round Series)
4. Minnesota Duluth

After posting a 10-2-2 WCHA record prior to Jan. 1, the Bulldogs’ second-half record against league opponents was just 6-5-3. That said, this weekend’s foe, Minnesota State, is just 2-9-3 against UMD since the start of the 2007-08 season.

22-8-6 (16-7-5 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L at St. Cloud State, 2-1; T at St. Cloud State, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota State (WCHA First-Round Series)
5. Ferris State
Bowling Green, this weekend’s CCHA quarterfinal series opponent, hasn’t beaten the Bulldogs since Feb. 14, 2009. Since that date, Ferris State has taken eight in a row from the Falcons.
22-9-5 (16-7-5 CCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Bowling Green (CCHA Quarterfinal Series)
6. Michigan
If recent results are an indicator, the Wolverines’ quarterfinal playoff series with Notre Dame is going three games. These teams have split five straight regular season series; the last sweep was Jan. 18-19, 2008, when Michigan took a pair from the Irish.
21-11-4 (15-9-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Notre Dame (CCHA Quarterfinal Series)
7. Boston University
Don't tell the Terriers that goals get tougher to come by as the season comes to an end. They're averaging 4.33 goals per game over their last six contests, and totaled 11 goals in three regular-season wins over UNH.
21-12-1 (17-9-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Northeastern, 5-2; L at Northeastern, 5-4 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. New Hampshire (Hockey East Quarterfinal Series)
8. Miami
The RedHawks welcome Michigan State to Oxford this weekend having won eight of their last nine home games. The lone blemish during that span was a 2-1 loss to Northern Michigan on Jan. 27, which was also the only time during that stretch Miami gave up more than one goal at home.
21-13-2 (15-11-2 CCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan State (CCHA Quarterfinal Series)
9. Denver
Forward Jason Zucker had his streak of six games with a goal snapped Saturday at Nebraska-Omaha, but he assisted on the game-tying and game-winning goals to help DU to a 3-2 OT win and a series sweep of the Mavs.
21-11-4 (16-8-4 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Nebraska-Omaha, 3-0; W at Nebraska-Omaha, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Wisconsin (WCHA First-Round Series)
10. North Dakota
North Dakota was a season-worst three games under .500 after Bemidji State, this weekend’s WCHA first-round playoff opponent, shut them out Nov. 20 in Bemidji. Since that afternoon, NoDak has gone 16-5-2.
20-12-3 (16-11-2 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Minnesota State, 4-2; W vs. Minnesota State, 3-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Bemidji State (WCHA First-Round Series)
11. UMass Lowell
UMass Lowell got back on track with a sweep of Providence after winning just one of its previous five games. The River Hawks' reward? More games against Providence. The Friars will visit Tsongas Arena for a playoff series, UML's first home playoff series since 2002.
22-10-1 (17-9-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W at Providence, 5-1; W vs. Providence, 4-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Providence (Hockey East Quarterfinal Series)
12. Cornell
Don't make plans for Sunday. Three of Cornell's last four home-ice playoff series have been stretched to a decisive third game, including a series against Dartmouth in 2008.
15-7-7 (12-4-6 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Dartmouth (ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series)
13. Maine
Maine pulled out home ice in the Hockey East series by finishing fourth, but lost twice and tied during the regular season against fifth-place Merrimack, this weekend's visitors.
20-11-3 (15-10-2 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. New Hampshire, 1-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Merrimack (Hockey East Quarterfinal Series)
14. Michigan State
How long has it been since the Spartans have won a CCHA playoff series? Long enough that the team they beat in the league quarterfinals back in 2007 (Nebraska-Omaha) is no longer part of the conference.
19-13-4 (14-11-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: at Miami (CCHA Quarterfinal Series)
15. Merrimack
We don't think there's anyone whose looking forward to the Hockey East playoff series between Merrimack and Maine as much as Merrimack's Jesse Todd. He had four goals in the regular-season games against the Black Bears, scoring at least once in each of the three games.
17-10-7 (13-9-5 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: L at Massachusetts, 5-1; W vs. Massachusetts, 5-3. THIS WEEK: at Maine (Hockey East Quarterfinal Series)
16. Colorado College
For the second straight year, the Tigers open the playoffs against the same team in played in its last regular-season series. In 2011, CC split at Wisconsin, then took two of three from the Badgers in the Springs. Now, they’ll try to duplicate this past weekend’s results and sweep Michigan Tech.
18-14-2 (15-12-1 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Michigan Tech, 5-2; W vs. Michigan Tech, 2-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan Tech (WCHA First-Round Series)
17. Western Michigan
At least the scouting report is fresh: The Broncos’ lone regular-season series with Lake Superior State was Feb. 17-18, four-plus months after the season started. Three weeks later, Western hosts the Lakers in a CCHA quarterfinal series.
17-13-6 (14-10-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Lake Superior State (CCHA Quarterfinal Series)
18. Harvard
Harvard's ancient rival visits Bright Hockey Center for a playoff series. The Crimson beat Yale 4-3 at home in the regular season behind two goals from Alex Killorn.
10-8-11 (8-5-9 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Yale (ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series)
19. Air Force
The Falcons own an 11-game (7-0-4) unbeaten streak against Connecticut, this weekend’s opponent; the Huskies last beat Air Force on Nov. 17, 2007, earning a 3-2 OT decision at Cadet Ice Arena.
17-9-7 (15-6-6 Atlantic Hockey) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Connecticut (Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinal Series)
20. Notre Dame
Big weekend for senior forward Billy Maday, who netted three goals and added an assist in the Fighting Irish sweep of visiting Ohio State, Notre Dame’s first back-to-back wins in a month.
19-16-3 (12-13-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Ohio State, 2-0; W vs. Ohio State, 4-2. THIS WEEK: at Michigan (CCHA Quarterfinal Series)

Dropped out: Northern Michigan

Bubble-licious: Colgate, Quinnipiac