WCHA Power Rankings: 12/09/12

Here’s 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.

The Denver Pioneers came crashing down to earth this past weekend.  Again, you could swap any of the top five to six teams in the league as well, there are seven teams separated by only two points.

People have been asking why Mankato hasn’t risen higher in the power rankings. First, Mankato has played a very weak schedule and has yet to beat more than one opponent with a winning record except Minnesota. DU swept Mankato that also played into the equation as well.  When they finally win a couple of games against higher opponents I will adjust my rankings accordingly.

1. University of North Dakota – (8-5-3, WCHA 5-2-3) – This past weekend, UND took (2-2 T – 6-3 W) three points in their series with the Denver Pioneers. This weekend, the University of North Dakota travels to Houghton Michigan to play the Tech Huskies in an important two game WCHA series.

 2. Minnesota Gophers – (11-3-3, WCHA 6-3-3) – This past weekend, the Minnesota Gophers took three points (4-2 W – 4-4 T) in their weekend series with the Colorado College Tigers, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This weekend, the Gophers are off.

 3. Nebraska Omaha – (10-5-1, WCHA 6-3-1) – This past weekend, the Mavericks split (6-5 W – 1-2 L) their weekend series against the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the National Hockey Center.  This weekend, the Mavericks entertain the Minnesota State Mavericks at the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska in an important two game series.

 4. Denver University – (9-5-2, WCHA 7-3-2) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers took (1-1 T – 1-3 L) a single point from the University of North Dakota. This weekend the Pioneers travel to Bemidji, MN to play the Bemidji State Beavers in an important two game WCHA series. Denver is has a record of 0-4-2 in the last six games, that is the Denver Pioneers worst winless streak in 13 seasons, dating back to the 1999-2000 season.

5. Saint Cloud State – (9-7-0, WCHA 7-5-0) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (5-6 L – 2-1 w) their weekend series with the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks at the National Hockey center. This weekend the Huskies entertain the Colorado College Tigers at the National Hockey Center.

 6. Colorado College – (8-8-2, WCHA 5-4-1) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers took (2-4 W – 4-4 T) a single point in their weekend series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the World Arena in Colorado Spring Colorado. This weekend the Tigers travel to the National Hockey Center to play the Saint Cloud State Huskies.

 7.) Minnesota State Mankato – (9-5-2, WCHA 7-5-0) – This past weekend, the Mavericks swept (3-1 W – 3-0 W) the hapless University of Anchorage Alaska Seawolves at the Verizon Wireless Center.  This weekend the Mavericks travel to Omaha to play the University of Nebraska Omaha in an important two game WCHA series. While the Mavericks have a winning record, the Mavericks have played a very easy schedule and have only beat one team (Minnesota) with a winning record.

 8. Minnesota Duluth – (5-8-3, WCHA 3-6-3) – This past weekend, the UMD Bulldogs split (4-2W – 2-1 L) their weekend series with the Bemidji State Beavers in a two game series at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Anchorage Alaska to play the University of Alaska Anchorage in an important two game series in Sullivan Arena.

 9.  Michigan Tech – (4-8-3, WCHA 3-6-3) – This past weekend, the Huskies took (1-1 T – 3-3 T) two points Wisconsin Badgers. This weekend, the Huskies entertain the University of North Dakota in an important to game series at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan.

 10. Wisconsin – (2-7-5, WCHA 2-5-5) – This past weekend, the Badgers took two points (1-1 T – 3-3 T) from the Michigan Tech Huskies. This weekend the Badgers entertain the University of Alabama Huntsville in a two game nonconference series at the Kohl Center in Madison Wisconsin. How bad is the Wisconsin Badgers offense? The Badgers have scored 26 goals in 14 games.

 11.Bemidji State – (4-8-2, WCHA 3-7-2) – This past weekend, the Bemidji State Beavers split  (0-3 L – 1-6 W) their weekend series with the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, entertain the Denver Pioneers at Sanford Center in Bemidji, MN.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (3-7-4, WCHA 1-6-3) – This past weekend, the Seawolves were (1-3 L – 0-3 W) swept by the Minnesota State Mavericks in Mankato, Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center. This weekend, the Seawolves return home to entertain the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at Sullivan Arena. This past weekend, was the first time that the Seawolves have failed to pick up at least a point in a weekend series.

Taylor Seibel’s WCHA Power Rankings

1. North Dakota – (8-5-3, 5-2-3 WCHA) – North Dakota took 3 points from arch rival Denver on the weekend, and move up to the #1 spot in my WCHA Rankings.  UND dominated play in the third period and OT on Friday, but were robbed of a point by the DU goalie.  On Saturday, North Dakota continued their solid play to get the win.  Next weekend, North Dakota travels to Michigan Tech with a chance to have the WCHA lead at the Christmas break.

2. Minnesota – (11-3-3, 6-3-3 WCHA) – The Gophers outplayed Colorado College on the weekend, and if not for a furious rally by the Tigers in the third on Saturday to tie the game, Minnesota would have likely earned their first conference sweep of the season.  The Gophers are off next weekend, and do not play again until after Christmas when they host the Mariucci Classic.

3. Denver – (9-5-2, 7-3-2 WCHA) – Denver played very well on Friday in the first 40 minutes, and goalie Juho Olkinuora was absolutely amazing in net in the final 20 and OT to steal a point for the Pioneers.  DU kept it close on Saturday, but were unable to get the win.  Denver is now winless in their last 6, going 0-4-2 in that stretch.  Denver travels to Bemidji State next weekend.

4. Nebraska Omaha – (10-5-1, 6-3-1 WCHA) – UNO played two one-goal games, winning a barn-burner 6-5 on Friday, before dropping a close 2-1 contest on Saturday against St. Cloud State.  With the split, Omaha remains in contention for the WCHA lead going into Christmas.  The Mavs host…The Mavs of Minnesota State next weekend in a key WCHA series.

5. St. Cloud State – (9-7-0, 7-5-0 WCHA) – SCSU managed yet another split, their fifth in a row, with a 2-1 victory on Saturday against Omaha.  The Huskies fell on Friday 6-5 despite a hat trick from David Morley and outshooting the Mavericks 34-27.  St. Cloud hosts Colorado College next weekend.

6. Minnesota State – (9-5-2, 7-5-0 WCHA) – The Mavs are on a hot streak.  Since dropping five of their first six WCHA conference games, Mankato has rolled of six straight wins, allowing a total of six goals in those games.  This weekend, Minnesota State rolled Alaska Anchorage in a sweep, winning 3-1 on Friday, and 3-0 on Saturday.  Minnesota State looks continue their hot streak against UNO in Omaha next weekend.

7. Colorado College – (8-8-2, 5-4-1 WCHA) – The Tigers played well at times against Minnesota, but were only able to salvage 1 point on the weekend, thanks to a furious rally from a 4-1 deficit on Saturday.  The Tigers have only won once in their last 8 games, going 1-5-2 in that stretch.  CC has another difficult task next weekend, as the Tigers travel to St. Cloud to take on the Huskies.

8. Minnesota Duluth – (5-8-3, 3-6-3 WCHA) – The Bulldogs split with in-state rival Bemidji State this weekend, winning 4-2 on Friday before falling 2-1 on Saturday.  The Bulldogs are 3-2-1 in conference play after a disastrous 0-4-2 start.  Next weekend, the Bulldogs travel up north to take on the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.

9. Michigan Tech – (4-8-3, 3-6-3 WCHA) – The Huskies traveled to Madison to take on the Badgers this weekend, and played two nail biters, both of which ended in ties.  Michigan Tech has had an inconsistent season, and is 2-7-3 in their last 12 games, including 0-2-3 in their last five.  The Huskies will have another opportunity to prove themselves, as North Dakota is coming to Houghton next weekend.

10. Wisconsin – (2-7-5, 2-5-5 WCHA) – The Badgers were able to take 2 points from a drama-filled weekend against Tech.  The Badgers and Huskies played to a 1-1 tie on Friday, and then followed that with a 3-3 draw on Saturday.  That pushes Wisconsin’s unbeaten streak to 4 games, and after starting the season 1-5-2 in conference play, the Badgers are 1-0-3 in their last four.  Wisconsin hosts Alabama Huntsville in a Thursday-Friday non-conference series

11. Bemidji State – (4-8-2, 3-7-2 WCHA) – The Beavers were able to salvage a split at Duluth this weekend, winning a close 2-1 contest on Saturday.  Bemidji State has struggled offensively this season, going over 3 goals in conference play just twice in 12 tries.  The Beavers will look to get an offensive boost next weekend, but they will have to play very well to do so because Denver will be the Beaver’s guest next weekend.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (3-7-4, 1-6-3 WCHA) – Alaska Anchorage’s road woes continued this past weekend, as the Seawolves were swept in Mankato.  UAA is now 0-4-2 on the road in WCHA play.  Fortunately for the Seawolves, they won’t have to travel next weekend.  The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs are making the trek north to take on Anchorage next weekend.

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