Starting this week, Eric Burton and I will be submitting WCHA rankings every Monday. Here’s this week’s edition:
1. Colorado College – The Tigers didn’t play this weekend, so they’ll be good and rested for their trip to Rensselaer. If the Schwartz brothers have a weekend like they did against Bemidji State, RPI probably won’t schedule CC for a while. Last week: Off. This week: @ Rensselaer
2. Denver – Did we learn anything about Denver this weekend? Not really. Maybe we will after they travel to Houghton this weekend. Last week: Sweep vs. Minnesota State (4-2, 10-2). This week: @ Michigan Tech
3. Minnesota – Blowing a two-goal lead to Vermont isn’t what the Gophers had planned on Sunday, but people shouldn’t get used to seeing that team. If Minnesota plays inspired, fast hockey like they did Friday, the Gophs will be as tough as any team out there. Last week: Split vs. Vermont (6-0, 4-5). Next week: @ Alaska-Anchorage
4. UMD – Being able to rebound from a disappointing weekend with a win and tie on a long, long road trip is a promising change of pace for Bulldog fans. Another positive – Kenny Reiter played well both nights. Last week: Won/tied @ Providence (5-2, 2-2). This week: vs. Bemidji State
5. Bemidji State – Saturday night’s game is probably a better example of the way Bemidji will have to win games this year – effective special teams and great goaltending. The Beavers scored two PP goals, killed all four Tech power plays and got 31 saves from Andrew Walsh. This week: Sweep vs. Michigan Tech (6-5, 3-1). Next week: @ UMD
6. North Dakota – The Sioux were clearly the better team this weekend, and it showed everywhere but the scoreboard. The goaltending is not good enough right now, and Wisconsin was able to grab four points because of it. UND is still too talented, though, and there isn’t any reason to believe they won’t right the ship. Last week: Swept @ Wisconsin (3-5, 4-5). This week: vs. St. Cloud State
7. Nebraska-Omaha – The Mavs finally got to play in the lower-48, and they looked more like the team we expected them to be. UNO worked the Seawolves, put up seven goals on the weekend and allowed only 37 shots in two games. Last week: Sweep vs. Alaska-Anchorage (4-1, 3-1). This week: @ Wisconsin
8. Wisconsin – Why aren’t they higher? They aren’t good enough. Even with the sweep, this team isn’t on the same level as others in the conference. Friday night UW earned a win, but Saturday was a miracle. The Badgers are a ways away from a top-half team. Last week: Sweep vs. North Dakota (5-3, 5-4). This week: vs. Nebraska-Omaha
9. Alaska-Anchorage – Anchorage has shown that they will give everyone a fight at home, but away from Alaska, who knows. They stumbled this weekend, but will have the chance to make a statement against the Gophers this weekend in Anchorage. Last week: Swept @ Nebraska-Omaha (1-4, 1-3). This week: vs. Minnesota
10. Michigan Tech – The Huskies weren’t able to get anything out of their trip to Bemidji, points-wise. But Tech has played at or above the level of their opponent every weekend thus far, even when they lost. Can they stay with teams like Denver? I guess we’ll find out… Last week: Swept @ Bemidji State (5-6, 1-3). This week: vs. Denver
11. St. Cloud State – A win and tie against New Hampshire was impressive… if it would have happened in a past season. The Wildcats are way down, and SCSU did what they had to do to sneak out with three points. They won’t be that lucky in Grand Forks this weekend. Last week: Won/tied vs. New Hampshire (7-5, 3-3). This week: @ North Dakota
12. Minnesota State – As if it wasn’t bad enough that they had to travel to Colorado with absolutely zero reserve troops, they got embarrassed in an eight-goal loss. Luckily, a weekend off should help the Mavs get healthy and, hopefully, compete. Last week: Swept @ Denver (2-4, 2-10). This week: Off
The Badgers swept the Fighting Sioux in Madison (5-3, 5-4). The Badgers entertain the UNO Mavericks in Madison this upcoming weekend.
5. UMD – The Dogs took three of four points from the Providence Friars of Hockey East and will entertain the BSU Beavers 3-3-0 at Amsoil Arena.6. North Dakota –
The Fighting Sioux were swept by the Badgers in Madison (5-3, 5-4). The Fighting Sioux return home in a foul mood, to play the SCSU Huskies.
7. Bemidji – The BSU Beavers 3-3-0 swept the Tech Huskies this past weekend in Bemidji (6-5, 3-1). The Beavers travel to Duluth to play the Bulldog in Amsoil Arena.8. Nebraska-Omaha –
The Mavericks swept the UAA Seawovles in Omaha after losing the week before the Seawolves in the Alaska Goal Rush tourney. This week also marked the return Alex Hudson from his four game suspension. Hudson was held off the score sheet in both games by the Seawolves.9. Michigan Tech –
The Huskies 4-2-0 were swept in Bemidji by the Beavers (6-5, 3-1), this is after sweeping the Badgers the week prior in Houghton, Michigan. The Huskies play the Denver Pioneers at home this weekend.
10. Alaska-Anchorage – Swept by the UNO Mavericks in Omaha . Head home to play the Minnesota Gophers 5-1-0
11. St. Cloud State – A win and a tie against Hockey East team UNH (7-5, 3-3). Travel to REA to play the Fighting Sioux 2-3-1 who were swept by the Badgers.
12. Minnesota State – The Mavericks have been bit by the injury bug and were swept by the Denver Pioneers last weekend (10-2, 4-2). Off this weekend.