WCHA Power Rankings (10/14/12)

Back for a second year,  is this week’s WCHA Power Rankings. This season I will be doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel who is a contributor of College Hockey Weekly. Feel free to give us your thoughts.

Eric Burton’s Power Rankings

1.  Minnesota Gophers – (2-0-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Gophers dismantled the Michigan State Spartans (7-1 W, 5-1) at Mariucci Arena.  This week, the Gophers travel to Michigan Tech to play the pesky Huskies.

2.  North Dakota – (0-0-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – UND won their exhibition game against the US National Development U- 18 team (6-4 W). This weekend, the Green and White travel to Fairbanks Alaska to play in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tourney.

3. Denver University – (0-0-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Pioneers were idle this past weekend. This weekend, the Pioneers entertain non-conference foes the University of Mass-Lowell and Air Force Academy this weekend at Magness Arena.

4. Colorado College – (2-0-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Tigers swept the Clarkson Knights by identical (5-4 W – 5-4 W) score at the World Arena this past weekend. This weekend, the Tigers entertain non-conference foes Air Force Academy and the University of Mass-Lowell at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

5. Minnesota Duluth – (1-1-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Bulldogs split their series with CCHA foe Ohio State University at the Amsoil Arena (6-2 W – 2-3 L). This weekend, the Dogs travel to South Bend to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

6. Nebraska Omaha – (1-1-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Mavericks took second in the Ice Breaker Tourney this past weekend in Kansas City Missouri (5-1 W – 2-3 L). This weekend, the Mavericks entertain the Northern Michigan University Wildcats in Omaha, Nebraska.

7. Michigan Tech – (1-1-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Huskies split their weekend home and home series with the Lake Superior State University Lakers (2-4 L – 8-4 W). This weekend, the Huskies entertain the high flying Minnesota Gophers at the John J. MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

8. Saint Cloud State – (0-2-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Huskies were unceremoniously swept by the University of New Hampshire in Durham New Hampshire (3-5 L – 2-4 L). This weekend, the Huskies entertain the Alabama Huntsville Chargers at the National Hockey Center.

9. Wisconsin – (0-2-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Badgers were swept by the Northern Michigan University Wildcats (1-2 L – 2-4 L) at the Resch Center, Green Bay, WI. The Badgers are off this weekend.

10. Bemidji State – (0-0-0, WCHA) – The Beavers 0-0-0; beat the US National Development U- 18 team at the Sanford Center (4-3 W). This weekend, the Beavers entertain Lake Superior State University.

11. Minnesota State Mankato – (1-1-0, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Mavericks beat and tied the Alabama Huntsville Chargers in Huntsville this past weekend (4-1 W – 2-2 T). This weekend, the Mavericks entertain Rensselaer Engineers of the ECAC at the Verizon Wireless Center, in Mankato, Minnesota.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (1-0-1, WCHA 0-0-0) – The Seawolves beat the Canisius College Griffins 2-0 and tied Air Force Academy Falcons 3-3 in the Kendall Hockey Classic Anchorage, Alaska this past weekend. This weekend, the Seawolves travel to Fairbanks Alaska to play in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tourney.

Taylor Seibel’s Power Rankings

1. Minnesota – (0-0-0 WCHA, 2-0-0) The Golden Gophers dominated Michigan State this weekend.  Minnesota showed the college hockey world why they are deserving of their #1 ranking not only in the WCHA, but in the country as well.  Right now, the Gophers are head and shoulders above the rest of the league.  Minnesota travels to Houghton next weekend to take on Michigan Tech.

2. North Dakota – (0-0-0 WCHA, 0-0-0) North Dakota struggled at times defensively against the USA Under-18 Team this weekend, but still managed to defeat the talented youngsters 6-4.  However, Rocco Grimaldi showed everyone why he was so highly touted coming in as a recruit, scoring twice in the game.  North Dakota is playing in the Alaska Goal Rush next weekend, taking on Anchorage on Friday, and Alaska on Saturday.

3. Denver – (0-0-0 WCHA, 0-0-0) Denver managed only a draw in their exhibition, but with SCSU and Wisconsin both failing to notch a victory, the Pioneers sit at #3.  DU has arguably the best goaltending in the league, and a strong enough defense that should keep the Pioneers in just about any game.  How well they wind up doing will likely result on how quickly their offense can develop.  The Pioneers face an early-season non-conference test as Massachusetts Lowell comes to the Mile High City on Friday, and Air Force comes to Denver on Saturday.

4. St. Cloud State – (0-0-0 WCHA, 0-2-0) The Huskies struggled on the road this weekend, getting swept by New Hampshire.  SCSU will have to play better in their own end if they have plans to compete for the MacNaughton this season.  SCSU hosts Alabama-Huntsville in non-conference action next weekend.

5. Wisconsin – (0-0-0 WCHA, 0-2-0) Similar to St. Cloud, the Badgers were swept in a weekend series against Northern Michigan.  Wisconsin struggled to score, and lost third period leads in each of the games.  Wisconsin will need better performances out of their forwards and play a full sixty minutes if they want to challenge the top third of the league.  Wisconsin is off next weekend.

6. Michigan Tech – (0-0-0 WCHA, 1-1-0) The Huskies dropped their season opener on Thursday against LSSU on the road before defeating the Lakers at home on Saturday.  Michigan Tech will have a very difficult test next weekend, as the #1 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers make the trek to Houghton in a series that should tell us a lot about both squads.

7. Colorado College – (0-0-0 WCHA, 2-0-0) The Tigers swept Clarkson in a home non-conference series this weekend by identical 5-4 scores.  If CC can keep this offensive production up, they should contend for home ice in the WCHA, especially if they can shore up their own end.  Colorado College makes the short trek on Friday to take on local rival Air Force, and then plays host on Saturday against Massachusetts Lowell.

8. Nebraska Omaha – (0-0-0 WCHA, 1-1-0) The Mavericks played in the IceBreaker Tournament this weekend.  Omaha beat Army on Friday before falling to Notre Dame in a tight contest for the title.  Omaha may struggle early this season, but look for Coach Blais to have the Mavs playing very quality hockey by the end of the season.  Nebraska Omaha plays host to former CCHA rival Northern Michigan.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (0-0-0 WCHA, 1-1-0) The Bulldogs split their home series against Ohio State this past weekend.  Consistency will be a key for Duluth this season, and this was echoed in their series this past weekend.  On Friday the Bulldogs scored 6 goals in a win, but only managed 2 markers in a 3-2 loss on Saturday.  Minnesota Duluth travels to South Bend to take on Notre Dame in a Thursday/Friday series.

10. Minnesota State – (0-0-0 WCHA, 1-1-0) The Mavericks look to be an improved squad this season, but managed only a split at Alabama-Huntsville this past weekend.  Growing pains will be a central theme for the Mavericks this season, but look out for Mankato by January, as Coach  Hastings should have his players in form by then.  Rensselaer comes to Mankato next weekend as the Mavericks host the Engineers in a non-conference series.

11. Bemidji State – (0-0-0 WCHA, 0-0-0) The Beavers finished their exhibition schedule this weekend, as Bemidji came back to beat the USA Under-18 Team 4-3 on Saturday.  The Beavers will need to get scoring from throughout their lineup and timely goaltending if they wish to compete for home ice this year, something they got on Saturday in their exhibition.  Bemidji State hosts LSSU this weekend in non-conference action.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (0-0-0 WCHA, 1-0-1) The Seawolves beat Canisius 2-0 on Friday in the Kendall Hockey Classic before drawing with Air Force 3-3 on Saturday, nearly winning the game before a John Kruse (Air Force) goal with 1 second remaining knotted the score at 3.  It was a strong weekend for Anchorage, and they will need to play with even more intensity this weekend as Anchorage squares off against North Dakota in non-conference action on Friday in the Alaska Goal Rush, before taking on Hockey East foe Merrimack on Saturday.

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