1. Minnesota Duluth (Second in WCHA, 29 points; No. 3 in PairWise) – It took the Bulldogs 59 minutes to score on Friday night, but that power play goal may have been bigger than it originally appeared. On Saturday, UMD scored four times on the man-advantage, officially breaking its PP slump. Last week: Split vs. North Dakota (1-3, 5-4). This week: @ Minnesota State
2. Minnesota (First in WCHA, 30 points; Tied at No. 12 in PairWise) – The talk of the Minnesota-Denver series was the hit Kyle Rau laid on Jason Zucker, but the Gophers are more concerned with their result on Saturday night. Minnesota led 2-0 at one point, then 3-2 late before losing to the Pioneers in overtime. Last week: Swept @ Denver (3-5, 3-4). This week: vs. Bemidji State.
3. Denver (Third in WCHA, 28 points; Tied at No. 7 in PairWise) – The Pioneers got those signature wins they needed, and did it in impressive fashion. Without Zucker, Denver completed the sweep of the Gophers on Saturday night, becoming the first team to sweep Minnesota this season. Last week: Sweep vs. Minnesota (5-3, 4-3). This week: @ Wisconsin.
4. North Dakota (Sixth in WCHA, 24 points; Tied at No. 15 in PairWise) – The Sioux looked good on Friday night, holding UMD to almost nothing in a big road win. Saturday was a different story, though, and North Dakota’s parade to the box ended up being the difference between a possible sweep and the split they left Duluth with. Last week: Split @ Minnesota Duluth (3-1, 4-5). This week: vs. Michigan Tech.
5. Colorado College (Tied for fourth in WCHA, 25 points; No. 22 in PairWise) – Just when Colorado College makes everyone think its going to go streaking, the Tigers lay an egg in Bemidji and get swept in a key series on the road. With only two points between CC and seventh place, hiccups can’t happen from this point on. Last week: Swept @ Bemidji State (2-4, 1-4). This week: vs. Nebraska-Omaha.
6. Bemidji State (Tied for eighth in WCHA, 21 points; No. 23 in PairWise) – Bemidji State continued to be a very solid team when playing on the shores of Lake Bemidji this weekend, upping its home record to 11-4-1 with the sweep over CC. However, the Beavers sit in eighth place right now, and two of their final three series are on the road. Last week: Sweep vs. Colorado College (4-2, 4-1). This week: @ Minnesota.
7. Nebraska-Omaha (Tied for fourth in WCHA, 25 points; No. 24 in PairWise) – With a somewhat unexpected three-point weekend in Houghton, the Mavericks now find themselves sitting in a good spot with three weekends to go. UNO holds the key to its first-round fate at this point, but it will be tested in the final six games on the schedule.Last week: Won/tied @ Michigan Tech (3-3, 4-0). This week: @ Colorado College.
8. Michigan Tech (Seventh in WCHA, 23 points; Not ranked in PairWise) – The Huskies did exactly what they couldn’t do this weekend – gain less than two points against a team right next to them in the WCHA standings. Even so, MTU managed to stay within a single point of the six hole, and a pair of good games at North Dakota will do wonders for this team’s home-ice dreams. Last week: Lost/Tied vs. Nebraska-Omaha (3-3, 0-4). This week: @ North Dakota.
9. St. Cloud State (Tied for eighth in WCHA, 21 points; No. 27 in PairWise) – St. Cloud State welcomes Alaska-Anchorage to the Granite City this weekend, meaning it has a prime opportunity for a sweep. However, that all depends on which SCSU team shows up to play. Last week: Off. This week: vs. Alaska-Anchorage.
10. Minnesota State (Tenth in WCHA, 17 points; Not ranked in PairWise) – Minnesota State did something that high-powered UMD couldn’t do this weekend – sweep the Seawolves in Anchorage. This team is playing well right now, and they’ll get a giant test against the traveling Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday. Last week: Sweep @ Alaska-Anchorage (3-2, 2-1). This week: vs. Minnesota Duluth.
11. Wisconsin (Eleventh in WCHA, 16 points; Not ranked in PairWise) – The off week comes just before the Badgers will finish off the regular season with a trio of tough opponents, starting this weekend when Denver comes to Kohl Center. UW is only one point out of tenth, and you can bet it will be playing for points – and pride – the rest of the year. Last week: Off. This week: vs. Denver.
12. Alaska-Anchorage (Last in WCHA, 9 points; Not ranked in PairWise) – Much like Wisconsin, pride is going to be a huge factor in the next six games for UAA. However, one has to wonder how much pride there is up in Anchorage after a long, long season. Last week: Swept vs. Minnesota State (2-3, 1-2). This week: @ St. Cloud State.
1. Minnesota Duluth – (13-6-3 WCHA, 19-7-4) The Bulldogs split with the UND Fighting Sioux this past weekend (1-3 L, 5-4 W). This weekend the Bulldogs travel to Minnesota State to play the Mavericks in Mankato.
2. Denver – (12-6-4 WCHA, 17-9-4). The Denver Pioneers swept the Minnesota Gophers in Denver this past weekend (5-3 W, 4-3 W O.T.) This weekend the Pioneers travel to Wisconsin to take on the struggling Badgers who are winless in their last four games.
3. North Dakota – (12-10-0, 16-11-2) The University of North Dakota split with the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (3-1 W, 4-5 L). The Fighting Sioux return home to entertain the resurgent MTU Huskies at home this weekend.
4. Minnesota – (15-7-0 WCHA, 19-11-1). The Minnesota Gophers were swept by the Denver Pioneers this past weekend in Denver (3-5 L, 4-5 L O.T.) The Gophers entertain the smoking hot Bemidji State Beaversat Mariucci Arena this weekend.
5 Colorado College – (12-9-1 WCHA, 15-11-2) The Tigers were swept by the Bemidji State Beavers this past weekend in Bemidji (2-4 L, 1-4 L). The Tigers return home to play the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks.
6. Nebraska-Omaha – (10-7-5 WCHA, 13-11-6) The Mavericks took three point against the Michigan Tech Huskies (3-3 T, 4-0 W) in Houghton, Michigan this past weekend. The Mavericks travel to Colorado Springs to play the Tigers this weekend.
Tie – 7. Michigan Tech – (10-9-3 WCHA, 13-14-3) The Michigan Tech Huskies took one point this weekend against the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (3-3 T, 0-4 L). This weekend the Tech Huskies make the trek down highway 2 to play the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
Tie – 7. Bemidji State – (9-10-3 WCHA, 15-12-3) The Beavers swept the Colorado College Tigers this past weekend in Bemidji (4-2 W, 4-1 W). This weekend the Beavers travel to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Gophers. The Beavers are 4-1-1 in their last six games.
9. St. Cloud State – (9-10-3 WCHA, 12-14-4) The Huskies were Idle this past weekend. This weekend the Huskies make the long voyage to Anchorage Alaska to play the struggling Seawolves who have won one game in 11.
10. Wisconsin – (7-13-2 WCHA, 12-14-2) The Wisconsin Badgers were off this past weekend. Ironically, the idle Badgers actually fell to 11th place in the WCHA with the Minnesota State’s sweep of the Seawolves. That being said, the Badgers have two games in hand on the Mavericks and entertain the Denver Pioneers this weekend at the Kohl Center. The Badgers look to break a four game losing streak against the Pioneers.
11. Minnesota State – (8-15-1 WCHA, 12-19-1) The Minnesota State Mavericks swept the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves (3-2 W, 2-1 W). This weekend the Mavericks entertain the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in Mankato.
12. Alaska-Anchorage – (4-19-1 WCHA, 7-19-2) The Seawolves were swept by the Minnesota State Mavericks in Anchorage Alaska (2-3 L, 1-2 L). It would be an understatement to say that the Seawolves are struggling as they have lost 10 of 11 games and have one win since December 9th 2011. This weekend the Seawolves entertain the Saint Cloud State Huskies.