WCHA Power Rankings: Week 18

Here is the week 18 WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I have been doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel, who is a contributor for College Hockey Weekly.

1. Minnesota  – (19-5-4, WCHA 11-5-4) – This past week, the Minnesota Gophers split (4-2 W – 3-4 L) their weekend series with the Saint Cloud Huskies at the National Hockey Center. This weekend, the Gophers travel to Wisconsin to play the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center on Friday night, before making the trek south to Chicago, Illinois to play in the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field on Sunday. The game will air on the Big Ten Network at 3:30 p.m. CT.

2. Saint Cloud State – (18-11-1, WCHA 15-6-1) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (2-4 L – 4-3 W) their series with the Minnesota Gophers at the National Hockey Center. This weekend, the Huskies are off.

3University of North Dakota – (16-8-6, WCHA 11-5-6) – This past weekend, UND swept (2-1 W – 5-2 W) their weekend series with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in series that included a game at the CenturyLink Center on Friday night. Saturday’s game moved outdoors to the TD Ameritrade Park. This week, UND is off.

4. Minnesota State Mankato – (18-9-3, WCHA 12-9-1) – This past weekend, the Mavericks swept (4-2 W – 5-1 W) the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Mavericks entertain the Michigan Tech Huskies at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato.

5.   Denver University – (15-9-5, WCHA 10-7-5) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers took (1-1 T – 5-6 O.T. L) one point in a home and home series with the Colorado College Tigers. This weekend, the Pioneers are off.

6. Nebraska Omaha – (16-12-2, WCHA 12-8-2) – This past weekend, the Mavericks were swept (1-2 – 2-5) by North Dakota. Friday’s game was at the CenturyLink Center and Saturday’s game was outdoors at TD Ameritrade Park. This weekend, The Maverick travel north to Alaska to take on the last place Seawolves at Sullivan Arena.

7.  Wisconsin – (12-9-7, WCHA 9-6-7) – This past weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers took (2-2 T – 3-2 W) three points in their series with the Bemidji State Beavers at the Kohl Center. This weekend, the Badgers entertain the Minnesota Gophers at the Kohl Center on Friday night, before making the trek south to Chicago, Illinois to play in the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field on Sunday. The game will air on the Big Ten Network at 3:30 p.m. CT.

8.  Colorado College – (11-14-5, WCHA 8-10-4) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers took (1-1 T – 6-5 O.T. W) three points in a home and home series with the Denver Pioneers. This weekend, the Tigers are off.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (10-15-3, WCHA 8-11-3) – This past weekend, the Bulldogs were swept (2-4 L – 1-5 L) by the Minnesota State Mavericks at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Bemidji to play the Beavers at the Sanford Center. The Bulldogs have won one game in their last six games and have been swept two series in a row.

10. Michigan Tech – (9-14-4, WCHA 6-12-4) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (3-4 L – 2-1 W) their weekend series with the last place Alaska Anchorage Seawovles during the Winter Carnival. This week, the Huskies play the Northern Michigan Wildcats in Houghton, Michigan on Tuesday night and then the Huskies travel to Mankato, Minnesota to play the Minnesota State Mavericks at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato.

11. Bemidji State – (5-17-6, WCHA 4-13-5) – This past weekend, the Beavers took (2-2 T 2-3 L) one point from the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. This weekend, the Beavers entertain the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at the Sanford Center. The Beavers are winless in 12 games (0-9-3), and they have not won since December, 15, 2012. The Beavers are also, 0-7-1 all-time against the Badgers.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-17-7, WCHA 2-16-6) – This past weekend, Seawolves split (5-4 W – 1-6 L) their weekend series with the Huskies during the Winter Carnival in Houghton, Michigan. The Seawolves broke their horrid streak, wining for the first time since December 1, 2012. This weekend, the Seawolves entertain the Omaha Mavericks at the Sullivan arena.

Taylor WCHA Power Rankings

1. St. Cloud State – (18-11-1, 15-6-1 WCHA) – The Huskies managed a split against Minnesota at home. St. Cloud is in the driver’s seat heading down the stretch run, but will have to continue their great play to skate the MacNaughton around at the end of the season.

2. Minnesota – (19-5-4, 11-5-4 WCHA) – The Gophers continue to play very solid, but lost a tight game on Saturday in St. Cloud.  Nobody in the country is more consistent than Minnesota, and when the Gophers get good or better goaltending, they are nearly unbeatable.  That being said, when Wilcox plays average, Minnesota is highly susceptible.

3. North Dakota – (16-8-6, 11-5-6 WCHA) – This may have been North Dakota’s most complete weekend of hockey all season, earning their first weekend sweep in WCHA play since December.  UND is still in the hunt for the MacNaughton, but would likely need to win out.  Fortunately, North Dakota plays their best hockey in February and March under Hakstol.

4. Nebraska Omaha – (16-12-2, 12-8-2 WCHA) – A disappointing weekend for the Mavs, but UNO is still a talented squad that can beat anyone in the league.  Omaha should get home ice, and the Mavs will be a team to keep an eye to see how they rebound from this past weekend.

5. Denver – (15-9-5, 10-7-5 WCHA) – The Pioneers captured the Gold Pan this weekend but little else. Perhaps the most inconsistent team in the league, Denver has the ability to put up a half dozen goals on any night, shut you out on any night, or completely lay an egg on any night.  The Pios will need to be on top of their game in the next couple of weeks as they host UND and travel to Minnesota.

6. Minnesota State – (18-9-3, 12-9-1 WCHA) – An impressive weekend for Mankato, as the Mavs swept Duluth in Duluth.  Minnesota State has surprised many this season, and they are in position for home ice. With one win in their final 6 conference games, the Mavs will have won more league games than any other Mankato squad in a decade.

7. Wisconsin – (12-9-7, 9-6-7 WCHA) – The Badgers took 3 points at home against Bemidji, and are in the midst of a 8-1-5 run in WCHA play.  The test won’t get any more difficult than this weekend, as the Badgers square off against arch-rival Minnesota in what should be a dandy of a series.

8. Colorado College – (11-14-5, 8-10-4 WCHA) – The Tigers played very well, and with a hunger that has not been seen most weekends of late in the Springs.  CC has top-half talent, but with the talent in the WCHA this season, will unlikely get home ice without a tremendous run in the final 6 games of the season. Regardless, they’ll be a squad that nobody will want to see in the First Round of the WCHA Tournament.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (10-15-3, 8-11-3 WCHA) – The Bulldogs had a disappointing weekend, getting swept at home.  After starting 0-4-2 in WCHA play, the Bulldogs went on a run going 8-3-1 over their next 12 to get in the home ice picture.  Unfortunately for Duluth, they are 0-4-0 in their last two weekends, and are likely going to be on the road for the First Round of the WCHA Tourney.

10. Michigan Tech – (10-14-4, 6-12-4 WCHA) – The Huskies lost a heartbreaker to UAA on Friday, but did manage to salvage a split with a win on Saturday.  To make up for the disappointing loss on Friday, the Huskies also destroyed rival Northern Michigan 8-2 last night.  Tech is almost certainly going to be on the road for the First Round of the WCHA Tournament.

11. Bemidji State – (5-17-6, 4-13-5 WCHA) – The Beavers are a solid team, but that hasn’t shown on the scoreboard of late.  Bemidji has not won since December 15th against Denver, going 0-9-3 since Christmas Break.  Finishing against Duluth, North Dakota, and Minnesota could very well mean not winning a game in the 2nd half of the season.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-17-7, 2-16-6 WCHA) – The Seawolves made an impressive comeback on Friday to secure their first victory since December 1st, and only their 2nd WCHA victory of the season.  UAA will be on the road in the First Round of the WCHA Tournament, but they have played their best against the top teams in the league.

 

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