WCHA Power Rankings: 11/25/2012

Here’s this week’s edition of the WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I will be doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel who is a contributor of College Hockey Weekly.

I think there is a little bit of separation starting to emerge in the WCHA which is very balanced league this season. Wisconsin Badgers are on the verge of being buried in the bottom of the WCHA standings.

I also think that you could swap any of the top four teams in the league as well. The Power Rankings are a snap shot of the WCHA teams on this date in the season. I am not convinced that UMN is a top two team in the WCHA – throw their record out – which they have padded playing some very bad non-conference teams and then split with MTU and MSU-M.

To quote UND head coach Dave Hakstol, “polls are meaningless this time of year.” I tend to agree!

That being said, they’re still fun to look at.

The other night, I saw ECAC fans talking about the Pairwise Rankings and how there are X number of ECAC teams in the top 12 right now. That is also a meaningless stat because we are only 6-12 games into a 34-36 game season. The Pairwise Rankings are going to move a lot between now and selection Sunday.

1. Denver University – (9-3-0, WCHA 7-1-0) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers were swept (1-2 O.T. L – 4-6-L) by nonconference foes Yale and New Hampshire at Magness Arena. This weekend, The Pioneers entertain the hapless Wisconsin Badgers in a two game series. The Pioneers opponents have a combined record of 44-36-10 (.544) winning percentage.

2. University of North Dakota – (6-4-2, WCHA 3-1-2) – This past weekend, UND split (2-1 W – 2-5 L) their nonconference series with the #6 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish of the CCHA. This weekend, UND is back on the road and travels to Colorado Springs to play an important two game series with the Colorado College Tigers. UND’s opponents, have a combined record of 34-29-9 (.534) winning percentage.

3. Minnesota Gophers – (9-2-2, WCHA 4-2-2) – This past weekend, the Minnesota Gophers swept (5-1 W – 3-1 W) nonconference foe Vermont of Hockey East. This weekend, the Gophers entertain the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks. Fun fact; the Gophers have yet to play a team with a record above .500 so far this season. The Gophers opponents have an “unimpressive” combined record of 22-41-4 (.376) winning percentage.

4. Saint Cloud State – (7-5-0, WCHA 5-3-0) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (1-2 L – 5-1 W) their weekend series with the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Huskies head north to Alaska to play the UAA Seawolves. The Huskies opponents have a combined record of 33-32-9 (.506) winning percentage.

5. Nebraska Omaha – (8-3-1, WCHA 4-1-1) – This past weekend, Mavericks (3-2 W – 8-0 W) swept nonconference foe Alabama Huntsville Chargers. This weekend, the Mavericks travel to Minneapolis to play the Gophers in an important WCHA matchup. The Mavericks have played one team with a winning record so far this season and their opponents have a combined record of 28-46-9 (.391) winning percentage.

6. Colorado College – (7-6-1, WCHA 4-2-0) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers recorded a tie and a loss (4-4 T – 5-6 O.T. L) against New Hampshire and Yale at the World Arena. This weekend, the Tigers entertain the University of North Dakota in a two game series at World Arena. The Tigers opponents have a combined record of 40-37-15 (.516) winning percentage.

7. Michigan Tech – (4-6-0, WCHA 3-5-0) – This past weekend, the Huskies were off. This weekend, the Huskies entertain the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Huskies opponents, have a combined record of 36-20-5 (.631) winning percentage.

8. Bemidji State – (3-5-2, WCHA 2-4-2) – This past weekend, the Bemidji State Beavers took three points (2-2 T – 5-4 W) from the UAA Seawolves. This weekend, the Beavers travel to Mankato to play the MSU Mavericks. The Beavers opponents have a combined record of 26-26-4 (.500) winning percentage.

9.  Minnesota Duluth – (3-7-1, WCHA 1-5-2) – This past weekend, the UMD Bulldogs split (2-1 W – 5-1 L) their weekend series against the Saint Cloud State Huskies at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Houghton, Michigan to play the Huskies. The Bulldogs opponents have a combined record of 36-27-8 (.563) winning percentage.

10. Minnesota State Mankato – (3-5-2, WCHA 1-5-0) – This past weekend, the Mavericks swept (4-2 W – 4-2 W) the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl center in Madison, Wisconsin. This weekend the Mavericks entertain the Bemidji State Beavers. The Mavericks opponents have a combined record of 30-39-7 (.440) winning percentage.

11. Wisconsin – (1-7-2, WCHA 1-5-2) – This past weekend, the Badgers were swept (2-4 L – 2-4 L) by the Minnesota State Mavericks at the Kohl Center. This weekend, the Badgers travel to Denver to play the Pioneers. The Badgers opponents have a combined record of 29-26-10 (.523) winning percentage.

12.   Alaska Anchorage – (2-4-4, WCHA 0-3-3) – This past weekend, the Seawolves took one point (2-2 T – 5-4) from the BSU Beavers. This weekend, the Seawolves entertain the SCSU Huskies at Sullivan Arena. The Seawolves opponents have a 27-27-15 record (.500) winning percentage.

Taylor Seibel‘s WCHA Power Rankings  for 11/25/2012

1. Denver – (9-3-0, 7-1-0 WCHA) – The Pioneers lost two heartbreaking non-conference games this past weekend, falling 2-1 in OT against Yale before losing 3-0 and 4-2 leads to New Hampshire on Saturday in a 6-4 loss.  On the plus side, Denver is still 7-1-0 in the WCHA, and could have easily won both games.  They stay at the top spot in my WCHA Rankings.  Next weekend DU takes on Wisconsin in Denver.

2. North Dakota – (6-4-2, 3-1-2 WCHA) – North Dakota managed a split in South Bend against the Fighting Irish this weekend, taking Friday’s contest 2-1 before falling 5-2 on Saturday.  UND is still struggling with consistency, but Notre Dame is a great squad.  A split on the road against the Irish is nothing to sneeze at.  North Dakota travels to Colorado Springs next weekend to play the CC Tigers.

3. Minnesota – (9-2-2, 4-2-2 WCHA) – The Gophers traveled to Vermont this weekend and walked away with a sweep of the Catamounts in non-conference play.  Minnesota is slowly rounding into form, a scary sign for the WCHA.  Look for the Gophers to continue to improve as the season progresses.  Next weekend, Minnesota hosts Nebraska Omaha.

4. St. Cloud State – (7-5-0, 5-3-0 WCHA) – SCSU took on Duluth this weekend, and after a subpar performance on Friday in a loss, the Huskies responded with a dominating victory on Saturday.  SCSU drops a spot primarily due to Minnesota’s play, but expect the Huskies to stay in the top 4 of the conference throughout the rest of this season.  SCSU travels to Anchorage to take on UAA next weekend.

5. Nebraska Omaha – (8-3-1, 4-1-1 WCHA) – Dean Blais ripped into his team following a disappointing performance on Friday against Alabama Huntsville where the Mavs won a tight game.  It worked.  On Saturday, UNO dominated UAH in their 8-0 victory.  UNO is quietly on the verge of breaking the top 4 if any of those above them falter.  The Mavs travel to the Twin Cities to take on Minnesota next weekend.

6. Colorado College – (7-6-1, 4-2-0 WCHA) – The Tigers played two tight non-conference games this past weekend against New Hampshire (4-4 tie) and Yale (6-5 OT loss).  CC proved that they are capable of playing with anyone in the country this weekend, but only managing a draw is a disappointing result.  CC will have the opportunity to rebound next weekend as North Dakota comes to town.

7. Michigan Tech – (4-6-0, 3-5-0 WCHA) – Michigan Tech was off this past weekend, and stay at #7 in my ranking.  The Huskies have the talent and coaching to make a push in the rankings before Christmas, but will need to get consistent play out of their entire lineup.  Tech hosts Minnesota Duluth next weekend.

8. Bemidji State – (3-5-2, 2-4-2 WCHA) – The Beavers took 3 points from the visiting UAA Seawolves this weekend, and continue to show that they are going to be a tough matchup for almost everyone in the league.  The middle of the WCHA is going to be very competitive, and the fight for home ice should include these Beavers.  Next weekend, Bemidji travels to Minnesota State.

9. Minnesota State – (5-5-2, 3-5-0 WCHA) – The Mavericks went into Madison and swept the Badgers, winning both games by 4-2 scores.  Coach Hastings has the Mavs playing very well early in the season, and it appears that the Mavs will compete for home ice this season.  The Mavs host Bemidji State next weekend.

10. Minnesota Duluth – (3-7-2, 1-5-2 WCHA) – The Bulldogs’ record does not reflect their ability thus far in the WCHA season.  Duluth finally got their first win of the season on Friday against SCSU, but fell on Saturday for a series split.  UMD has the talent to finish in the top half of the conference, but will need to avoid falling any further behind in order to have a chance at making a second half run.  Duluth travels to Houghton to take on Michigan Tech next weekend.

11. Alaska Anchorage – (2-4-4, 0-3-3 WCHA) – UAA traveled to Bemidji and took 1 point in a 2-2 draw on Friday.  The Seawolves have taken 1 point in each of their three conference series so far this season.  They will get another chance at WCHA points next weekend as SCSU comes to town.

12. Wisconsin – (1-7-2, 1-5-2 WCHA) – The Badgers were without top forward Mark Zengerle and top recruit Nic Kerdiles this past weekend, and it showed.  The Badgers struggled offensively in getting swept against Minnesota State.  Many Badger fans are calling for Coach Eaves to be shown the door.  Wisconsin hopes to turn things around next weekend against Denver in the Mile High City.

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