WCHA Power Rankings: Week 22

Wcha_newlogo_menHere is the week 22 WCHA Power Rankings. This season, I have been doing the WCHA Power Rankings with Taylor Seibel, who is a contributor for The Hockey Writers Combine.

This week is the final week of the WCHA Power Rankings.

1. Saint Cloud State – (21-14-1, WCHA 18-9-1) – This past weekend, the Huskies split (4-2 W – 2- 3 L) their weekend series with the Wisconsin Badgers. The Saint Cloud State Huskies have split the “last four” series they have played in. This weekend, the Huskies entertain last place Alaska Anchorage Seawolves in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Huskies have a 1-1-0 record against the Seawolves this season. Saint Cloud State Huskies Pairwise Ranking T-10.

2. Minnesota – (24-7-5, WCHA 16-7-5) – This past weekend, the Minnesota Gophers swept (4-3 W – 5-1 W) their weekend series with the Bemidji State Beavers at the Sanford Center. This weekend, the Bemidji State Beavers make the return trip to Minneapolis to play Minnesota Gophers in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. This was only the second league sweep of the season for the Gophers. The Gophers have a 2-0-0 record against the Beavers this season. Next season, the Gophers also will travel to the Sanford Center on October 18-19, 2013 for a non-conference series. Minnesota Gophers Pairwise Ranking 2.

3. University of North Dakota – (19-10-7, WCHA 14-7-7) – This past weekend, UND split (4-3 W – 1-2 O.T. L) their weekend series with the Minnesota State Mavericks at the Verizon Wireless Center. This weekend, the Green and White entertain the pesky Michigan Tech Huskies in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. UND has a 2-0-0 record against the Huskies this season. UND’s Pairwise Ranking T-5.

4. Wisconsin – (17-12-7, WCHA 13-8-7) – The Wisconsin Badgers split (2-4 L – 3-2 W) their weekend series with the Saint Cloud State Huskies at the Veterans Memorial (Dane Co.) Coliseum, in Madison, Wisconsin. This weekend, the Badgers entertain the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Badgers have a 1-0-1 record against the Bulldogs this season. The Badgers would probably have to win the Final Five to make the NCAA tourney, I don’t see that changing. Wisconsin Badgers Pairwise Ranking T-18.

5. Denver University – (19-11-5, WCHA 14-9-5) – This past weekend, the Denver Pioneers swept (7-1 W – 6-1 L) their weekend series with the last place Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at Magness Arena in Denver, Colorado. This weekend, the Pioneers entertain the Colorado College Tigers in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Pioneers have a 2-1-1 record against the Tigers this season. Denver Pioneers Pairwise Ranking T-5.

6. Minnesota State Mankato – (22-11-3, WCHA 16-11-1) – This past weekend, the Mavericks split (3-4 L – 2-1 W O.T.) their weekend series with North Dakota at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minnesota. This weekend, the Mavericks entertain former NCC Rival the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Purples Mavericks have a 1-1-0 record against Nebraska-Omaha this season. Minnesota State Mavericks Pairwise Ranking 9.

7. Nebraska-Omaha – (18-16-2, WCHA 14-12-2) – This past weekend, the Mavericks were swept (4-5 L – 0-6 L) by the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at Amsoil Arena, in Duluth, Minnesota. This weekend, the Red Mavericks travel to Mankato Minnesota to play their old NCC foe the Minnesota State Mavericks. Nebraska-Omaha went 1-1-0 against the Purple Mavericks this season. After ripping off seven straight wins earlier this season, the Mavericks are in a tail spin, losing five games in a row. Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks Pairwise Ranking 30.

8. Colorado College – (14-17-5, WCHA 11-13-4) – This past weekend, the Colorado College Tigers split (0-2 L – 4-3 W) their weekend series with the Michigan Tech Huskies at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. This weekend, the Tigers travel to Denver to play the Pioneers in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. The Tigers went 1-2-1 against the Pioneers this season. Colorado College Tigers Pairwise Ranking T-31.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (14-17-5, WCHA 10-13-5) – This past weekend, the Bulldogs swept (5-4 W – 6-0 W) the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at Amsoil Arena. This weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Madison, Wisconsin to play the Badgers in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Bulldogs are 0-1-1 against the Badgers this season.

10. Michigan Tech – (12-18-4, WCHA 8-16-4) – This past week, the Huskies split (0-2 L – 4-3 W) their weekend series with the Colorado College Tigers at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. This weekend, the Huskies travel to North Dakota to play UND in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. MTU is 0-2-0 against UND this season.

11. Bemidji State – (6-20-8, WCHA 5-16-7) – This past weekend, the Beavers were swept (3-4 L, 1-5 L) by the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota. This weekend, the Gophers travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota to play the Golden Gophers in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. This season, the Beavers have a 0-2-0 record against the Gophers. The Beavers will also play the Minnesota Gophers at the Sanford Center on October 18-19, 2013 for a non-conference series.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-23-7, WCHA 2-20-6) – This past weekend, the Seawolves were swept (1-7 L – 1-6 L) by the the Pioneers at Magness Arena. This weekend, the Seawolves travel to Saint Cloud, Minnesota where they will play the Saint Cloud State Huskies in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Seawolves have a 1-1-0 record against the Huskies this season. On paper this would appear to be a miss match.

Taylor Seibel’s WCHA Power Rankings

1. St. Cloud State – (21-14-1, 18-9-1 WCHA) – The Huskies clinched a share of the MacNaughton Cup on Friday with their come from behind victory against Wisconsin. The win also clinched the #1 overall seed for the WCHA Tournament. SCSU didn’t lose a single season series to anyone in the conference, and the Huskies are a worthy Champion. SCSU will look to advance to the WCHA Final Five Semifinals next weekend as they take on Alaska Anchorage.

2. Minnesota – (24-7-5, 16-7-5 WCHA) – The Gophers swept Bemidji State, and thanks to a little help from fellow Big Ten member Wisconsin, were able to sneak a share of the MacNaughton Cup. The Gophers were also able to clinch a #2 seed that will assure a bye into the Semifinals if Minnesota wins their First Round series with Bemidji State.

3. North Dakota – (19-10-7, 14-7-7 WCHA) – North Dakota split their series with Minnesota State, dropping the Saturday contest in overtime, where a North Dakota goal would have given them a share of the MacNaughton Cup as well. It was not to be for UND, the school that won more WCHA Regular Season championships than any other program. Regardless of the result, North Dakota was locked into the #3 seed, and they will square off against Michigan Tech for a birth in the Final Five.

4. Wisconsin – (17-12-7, 13-8-7 WCHA) – Wisconsin split with League Champion St. Cloud State this past weekend. Two points were enough to ensure home ice for the Badgers, who wound up in a three way tie with Minnesota State and Denver. Thanks to a tiebreaker victory, Wisconsin earned the #4 seed, and the Badgers will host Minnesota Duluth next weekend.

5. Minnesota State – (22-11-3, 16-11-1 WCHA) – The Mavericks fought off a hungry North Dakota squad in overtime on Saturday, to earn a series split, and two critical points. The Mavs did enough to earn home ice advantage as the #6 seed, although they actually finished in a three-way tie for fourth. That means that the other Mavs from Omaha will come into town next weekend for a trip to the Final Five.

6. Denver – (19-11-5, 14-9-5 WCHA) – The Pioneers swept Alaska Anchorage this weekend, earning four points, and home ice advantage for the tenth consecutive season. The Pioneers’ 33 points was good enough to finish in a three-way tie for fourth place, and due to tiebreakers, Denver winds up with the #5 seed. That results in arch-rival Colorado College making the short trek up I-25 next weekend to play for a trip to St. Paul.

7. Nebraska Omaha – (18-16-2, 14-12-2 WCHA) – It was a disappointing finish to the regular season for Omaha, as the Mavericks were swept by Minnesota Duluth. As a result, the Mavericks lost out on home ice, and will have to settle for being the #7 seed and a trip up to Mankato next weekend. It will be a homecoming of sorts for former Mankato coach Troy Jutting, who now serves as an assistant for Coach Dean Blais.

8. Colorado College – (14-17-5, 11-13-4 WCHA) – The Tigers rebounded on Saturday with a victory over Michigan Tech, following a disappointing loss on Friday. The two points assured CC of the #8 seed. Luck may have also been on their side, as the Tigers drew arch-rival Denver in the First Round. Nobody knows the Pioneers better than the Tigers, but it will take more consistent play to knock off Denver to advance to the Final Five.

9. Minnesota Duluth – (14-17-5, 10-13-5 WCHA) – The Bulldogs completed an unlikely sweep over Nebraska Omaha this weekend, pushing Minnesota Duluth to a four game winning streak. The Bulldogs are the #9 seed, and they are playing solid hockey at the right time of the season, but they will need to put together two quality games to advance to the Final Five. The Bulldogs will travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers next weekend.

10. Michigan Tech – (12-18-4, 8-16-4 WCHA) – The Huskies split their series with Colorado College this weekend, and clinched the #10 seed. Michigan Tech is a dangerous, young team. If they put together a quality 60 minutes, they can beat anyone in the country. They will look to string two of those performances together next weekend, as Tech travels to Grand Forks to take on North Dakota for a trip to the Final Five.

11. Bemidji State – (6-20-8, 5-16-7 WCHA) – The Beavers played well for large portions of the weekend against Minnesota, but the Gophers proved just too much for Bemidji State. Getting swept is not the best way to head into the playoffs, but Bemidji State should be able to take a lot of positives away from this weekend. Bemidji gets another round with Minnesota next weekend, as the Beavers travel to Mariucci, where they hope to have more success than this past weekend.

12. Alaska Anchorage – (4-23-7, 2-20-6 WCHA) – Perhaps it was the fact that they had to play a conference game at 11am on Sunday, or perhaps they just didn’t have anything to play, but UAA walked away from Denver with nothing to show for it but two losses. The Seawolves will have their shot at redemption next weekend, as they look to upset #1 seed St. Cloud State for a spot in the Final Five.

Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine.

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