1. Minnesota Duluth – The Bulldogs begin a four-city, eight-game road swing this weekend in Houghton after going 8-0-2 in their last ten games. Staying hot away from home will do wonders for this team’s MacNaughton Cup chances. Last week: Off. This week: @ Michigan Tech.
2. Denver – The Pioneers still aren’t clicking on all cylinders, but they’re still within striking distance in the conference. With some impressive wins already this year and a roster full of talent, it’s scary to think about what will happen when they do get it going. Last week: Won vs. Princeton (3-0), lost vs. Miami (2-4). This week: @ Colorado College (Friday).
3. Minnesota – Since the Gophers started so hot, a lot of their flaws were overlooked. Hey, they were winning, right? Now, Minnesota is consistently inconsistent, and their biggest issues – trouble winning on the road and an average group of defensemen – are making things a little less comfortable in Dinkytown. Last week: Lost/tied @ Michigan State (3-4, 4-4). This week: vs. Minnesota State.
4. Nebraska-Omaha – UNO has quietly put themselves in a second-place tie with the Bulldogs in the conference standings after losing only twice in November. They’ve already given up four-or-more goals seven times this year, though, something Dean Blais will have to figure out down the stretch. Last week: Won/tied vs. St. Cloud State (4-3, 2-2). This week: @ Alabama-Huntsville.
5. Colorado College – Remember the days when Colorado College had the best goalie in the league? It seems like years ago. The Tigers have scored less than four goals ONLY TWICE this season, yet they’re 7-4 overall. They can score all the goals they want, but someone has to make some saves for them to do anything. Last week: Swept @ North Dakota (6-7, 3-4). This week: vs. Denver (Friday).
6. North Dakota – All the talk about the Sioux having trouble finding the back of the net must have made it’s way to the dressing room – UND put home 11 goals against CC. While North Dakota is pretty thankful for the change of pace offensively, the Sioux are still waiting for Aaron Dell or Brad Eidsness to realize the season has started. Last week: Sweep vs. Colorado College (7-6, 4-3). This week: @ Alaska-Anchorage.
7. St. Cloud State – If St. Cloud State was able to play every game at National Hockey Center, they might be one of the better teams in the conference. If St. Cloud State was able to play every game with a sense of urgency, they might be one of the better teams in the conference. Get the point? Last week: Lost/tied @ Nebraska-Omaha (3-4, 2-2). This week: vs. Bemidji State.
8. Wisconsin – Much like St. Cloud State, UW would be a much different team if they were able to play every game at home. This is a young team, and it shows pretty often. If Justin Schultz and Mark Zengerle can continue playing the way they are, the Badgers could be better and better as the rest of the team gains experience, making them a potentially tough out in the playoffs. Last week: Sweep vs. Mercyhurst (7-2, 5-2). This week: Off.
9. Michigan Tech – The Huskies have been in and out of the national polls all year, thanks largely to their fast start. This team has slowed down in recent weeks, and some questionable losses litter their results because of it. MTU has a huge chance to prove that they’re a legitimate threat for a home ice spot in the playoffs this weekend. Last week: Split @ St. Lawrence (2-3, 3-1). This week: vs. UMD.
10. Bemidji State – The Beavers had a couple weeks to celebrate finally beating North Dakota, the first time that’s happened in the school’s D-1 era. They beat the Sioux 1-0 that night, a fitting score for a team that is tied for 38th in the nation in scoring. Last week: Off. This week: @ St. Cloud State.
11. Alaska-Anchorage – Speaking of teams that can’t score, the Seawolves hadn’t done much of that at all before they got to Mankato. In a weird turn of events, UAA exploded for ten goals in a three-point weekend against the Mavericks. The weekend was still soured, though, because the Seawolves blew a huge lead on Saturday and settled for a tie. Last week: Won/tied @ Minnesota State (5-4, 5-5). This week: vs. North Dakota.
12. Minnesota State – The Mavericks peppered the Seawolves goalies this weekend, but came away with a disappointing single point. Poor play between the pipes is the reason – Phil Cook has started the last two Saturdays, and has given up nine goals on 18 shots. Last week: Lost/tied vs. Alaska-Anchorage (4-5, 5-5). This week: @ Minnesota.
3. Denver – (4-2-3 WCHA, 6-4-3) The Pioneers beat Princeton 3-0 and lost to Miami University 4-2 in the Denver Cup this past weekend. The Pioneers play a single game in Colorado Springs, CO, on Friday night against their cross-state rivals the Colorado College Tigers. The game will be on CBS College Sports @09:07 p.m. central standard time.
4. Colorado College – (5-4-0 WCHA, 7-4-0) The Tigers were swept the Fighting Sioux in Grand Forks, ND. Entertain their cross-state rivals the Denver Pioneersin a single game on Saturday night. The game will be on CBS College Sports @09:07 p.m. central standard time. Rylan Schwartz had 6g-0a—6 points on the weekend, yet his team was swept by the Fighting Sioux. According to Joe Paisley of the Colorado Spring Gazette, Tiger forward Jaden Schwartz now has a career-best 17-game point streak 9g-22a—31pts during that streak.
5. Nebraska-Omaha – (6-3-3 WCHA, 7-6-2) The Mavericks won 4-3 and tied 2-2, in their series against the SCSU Huskies 4-3. The Red Mavericks travel toNashville, TN to play University of Alabama Huntsville. The Mavericks hold a 3-1 all-time record against the Chargers and split their season series last season in Omaha.
6. North Dakota – (4-6-0, 6-7-1) The Fighting Sioux swept the 4th ranked Colorado College Tigers 7-6 and 4-3 at home this past weekend. This weekend, the Fighting Sioux head to the last frontier to play the UAA Seawolves, who took three of four points from Minnesota State in Mankato this past weekend. The Sioux have a 9-4-2 record the last 15 games against the Seawolves. With the sweep of the Tigers, the Fighting Sioux now have a 10-4-3 record against C.C. in the last 17 games at home against the Tigers. The Fighting Sioux also have an all-time record of 82-19-6 against the Tigers in Grand Forks, ND.
7. St. Cloud State – (4-4-2 WCHA, 6-7-3) The Huskies took one point 4-3 L, 2-2 T, from the UNO Mavericks this past weekend against the Red Mavericks inOmaha, Nebraska this weekend. This weekend the Huskies entertain the Bemidji State Beavers at the National Hockey Center. The Huskies have an 8-2-0 record against the Beavers in the last 10 games between the two teams.