WCHA Power Rankings: March 8, 2012

Zack Friedli has a previous engagement this week, so here are the final WCHA Power Rankings.

1. Minnesota – (20-8-0 WCHA, 24-12-1) – This past weekend the Minnesota Gophers won  the MacNaughton Cup Champions with a split of their weekend series with the Wisconsin Badgers (1-4 L, 2-1 W) at Mariucci Arena. This weekend the Gophers entertain the last place University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Gophers will be looking to revenge last season’s early exit from the playoffs at the hands of the UAA Seawolves.  The Gophers are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. Series Prediction: Gophers win their series against the Seawolves in two games.

2. Minnesota Duluth – (16-7-5 WCHA, 22-8-6) – This past weekend the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs took one point (1-2 L, 3-3 T) in their weekend series against the Saint Cloud State Huskies. This weekend the Bulldogs entertain the Minnesota State Mavericks. The Bulldogs are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. Series Prediction: The Bulldogs win their series against the Mavericks in two games.

2. Denver – (16-8-4 WCHA, 21-11-4) – This past weekend the Denver Pioneers swept the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (3-0 W, 3-2 O.T. W) in Omaha. This weekend the Pioneers entertain the Wisconsin Badgers. The Denver Pioneers are 6-3-1 their last 10 games. Series Prediction: The Denver Pioneers win their series against the Badgers in two games.

4. North Dakota – (16-11-1 WCHA, 20-12-3) – The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux swept the Minnesota State Mavericks last weekend in Grand Forks, ND. This weekend the Fighting Sioux entertain the Bemidji State Beavers in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. The Fighting Sioux are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Series Prediction: The Fighting Sioux will win their series against the upstart Beavers in three games.

5. Colorado College – (15-12-1 WCHA, 18-14-2) – The Colorado College Tigers swept their weekend series with the Michigan Tech Huskies (5-2 W, 2-0 W). This weekend the Tigers again will entertain the Michigan Tech Huskies again, in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.  The Tigers are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.  The Tigers will gain momentum off of last weekend’s sweep against the Huskies. Series Prediction: The Tiger will win their series against the improved Michigan Tech Huskies in three games.

6. St. Cloud State – (12-12-4 WCHA, 15-16-4) – The Saint Cloud State Huskies “snuck” into the final home ice position when they took three out of four points in their weekend series against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (2-1 W, 3-3 T). This weekend the Huskies entertain the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks at the National Hockey Center. The Saint Cloud State Huskies are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. Series Prediction: The Huskies will end the UNO Mavericks season in three games.

7. Michigan Tech – (11-13-4 WCHA, 14-18-4) – This past weekend the Tech Huskies were swept in their weekend series against the Colorado College Tigers (2-5 L, 0-2 L). This weekend the Huskies travel to Colorado Springs to play the Tigers again. This season’s version of the Michigan Tech Huskies is a vastly improved hockey team; after winning 4 games the season before the Huskies managed to win 10 more games this season to finish in 8th place in the WCHA standings. The Huskies have cooled off a bit and are 2-6-1 in their last 10 games.  Series Prediction: The Colorado College Tigers will end the Tech Huskies season in three games.

8. Nebraska-Omaha – (11-12-5 WCHA, 14-16-6) The Nebraska Omaha were swept in their weekend series against the Denver Pioneer at Century Link Center (0-3 L, 2-3 O.T. L). The Nebraska Omaha Mavericks were 38 seconds away from securing home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs when Luke Salazar scored the game tying goal for the Denver Pioneers on the power play.  The Mavericks fate was sealed when the Pioneers Daniel Doremus’ goal 2:35 into overtime. The Mavericks are struggling as of late as they have lost four games in a row, five of their last six and they are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games. This weekend the Mavericks travel to Saint Cloud to play the Huskies. Series Prediction: The Mavericks will lose their series against the SCSU Huskies in three games.

9.  Bemidji State – (11-14-3 WCHA, 17-16-3) – The Bemidji State Beavers swept their weekend series with the UAA Seawolves (5-4 W, 2-1 W) in Anchorage, Alaska. Needing a win to move up in the WCHA standings, the Beavers overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the Seawolves 5-4. With the win the Beavers vaulted over the Wisconsin Badgers to finish ninth in the WCHA standings. This weekend the Beavers travel down Highway 2 to Grand Forks, ND play the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Beavers are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. Series Prediction: The Fighting Sioux will end the Beavers season in three games.

10. Wisconsin – (11-15-2 WCHA, 16-16-2) – The Wisconsin Badgers split their weekend Series with the MacNaugton Cup Champions; the Minnesota Golden Gophers. This weekend the Wisconsin Badgers will travel to Denver to play WCHA playoffs series against the Pioneers. The Badgers are 4-6 in their last 10 games. After starting out the season going a dismal 1-8-1 on the road, the Badges have improved down the stretch  and gone 3-1 in their last 4 games on the road, to improve their record of 4-9-1 away from the Kohl Center. Series Prediction: The Badgers will challenge the Denver Pioneers at home, but the Pioneers end the Badgers season in two games.

11. Minnesota State – (8-18-2 WCHA, 12-22-2) – The Minnesota State Mavericks were swept by the North Dakota Fighting Sioux (2-4 L, 0-3 L) at Ralph Englestad Arena. This weekend the Minnesota State Mavericks travel to Minnesota Duluth to play the Bulldogs. The Mavericks are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. The Bulldogs will end the Mavericks season in two games.

12.  Alaska-Anchorage – (5-22-1 WCHA, 9-23-2) – The Seawolves were swept in their weekend series against the (1-2 L, 4-5 L) in Anchorage, Alaska. This weekend the Seawolves travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota to play the MacNaughton Cup Champions, the Minnesota Gophers. The Seawolves have had a rough season and have gone 3-7-0 in their last 10 games. Series Prediction: There will be no upset this season as the Minnesota Gophers will end the Seawolves season in two games this weekend.

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