The National Collegiate Hockey Conference Power Rankings returns for another season. This season, Inside Hockey’s Zach Hawkins @Siouxhockey33, and myself @goon48 will break down the NCHC power rankings. Feel free to send your comments to [email protected].

Also, this week, the inaugural Inside Hockey’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference Power Rankings Poll will make their first appearance. The NCHC Power Rankings Poll will be made up of NCHC new media members.

Eric Burton

1.) North Dakota (9-1-2, 4-0-0-0 NCHC) Corsi 61.9, USCHO Rank 4

This past weekend, the University of North Dakota swept the Miami University RedHawks (6-2 W, 4-3 O.T. W). This weekend, UND travels to St. Cloud, MN, to take on the St. Cloud State Huskies in a pivotal two-game conference series.

2.) Saint Cloud State (8-2-0, 4-0-0-0 NCHC) Corsi 53.6, USCHO Rank 7

This past weekend, St. Cloud State Huskies took the Western Michigan Broncos to the proverbial woodshed trouncing them (5-2 W, 11-1 W). Last weekend, the Huskies went 5/19 on the man advantage.

This weekend, the Huskies entertain UND in an important two-game conference series.

3.) Nebraska-Omaha (8-2-0, 2-2-0-0) Corsi 44.3, USCHO Rank 6

This past weekend, the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks were idle. This weekend, the Mavericks travel to Oxford, OH, to take on the Miami RedHawks in a two-game conference series. The Mavericks are 6-0-0 at home and 2-2-0 on the road.

4.) Denver (6-3-1, 3-0-1-0 NCHC) Corsi 56.7, USCHO 8

The Denver Pioneers took four points (3-0 W, 1-1 T) from the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. This weekend, the Pioneers travel to Madison, WI, to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in a two-game non-conference matchup.

5.) Miami (5-6-1, 2-4-0-0 NCHC) Corsi 48.4, USCHO Rank N/A

This past weekend, the Miami RedHawks were swept by UND (2-6, L 3-4 O.T. L). This weekend, the RedHawks will try to right the ship when they entertain the high flying UNO Mavericks.

6) Minnesota-Duluth, (3-5-3, 0-3-1-1 NCHC) Corsi 57.1, USCHO Rank 13

This past weekend the UMD Bulldogs took two points from the Pioneers (0-3 L, 1-1 T). The Bulldogs won the NCHC’s first ever 3-on-3 overtime. This weekend, the Bulldogs will travel to Colorado Springs, CO to take on the Colorado College Tigers. Bulldogs are struggling, and they will try to right the ship against the winless Tigers. So far, the Bulldogs and the Tigers are the only two teams in the NCHC that have yet to win a conference game.

7.) Western Michigan (4-6-1, 2-4-0-0 NCHC) Corsi 43.0, USCHO Rank N/A

This past weekend, the Western Michigan Broncos were embarrassed by the SCSU Huskies (2-5 L, 1-11 L). Currently, the Broncos are on a four-game losing streak.  During that streak, the Broncos have been outscored 21-5. This weekend, the Broncos are Idle.

8.) Colorado College (0-10-0, 0-4-0 NCHC) Corsi 43.4, USCHO Rank N/A

The good news for the Tigers, they weren’t beaten last weekend. This past weekend, the Tigers were idle. This weekend, the Tigers will entertain the UMD Bulldogs in a two-game conference series. Both teams are looking for their first conference win.

Zach Hawkins

1. North Dakota 9-1-2 NCHC 4-0-0 USCHO Rank 4

Back again at the top spot this week, North Dakota proved once again they will do whatever it takes to get the win in their Saturday night game against Miami where Junior, Luke Johnson, would net the overtime winner to seal the weekend sweep for UND. This weekend, North Dakota travels to St. Cloud to play the only other undefeated team in league play, the SCSU Huskies.

2. St. Cloud St. 8-2-0 NCHC 4-0-0 USCHO Rank 7
I am reluctant to put them at number two, especially after their beat down of Western Michigan this weekend. Senior Joey Benik recorded four goals in Saturday night’s 11-1 victory for the Huskies and became just the second NCHC player to accomplish the feat. This weekend they battle with the newly named North Dakota “Fighting Hawks” at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

3. Nebraska-Omaha 8-2-0 NCHC 2-2-0 USCHO rank 6

Omaha is coming off of their off weekend and looks to get back to their winning ways as they travel to play Miami this weekend. UNO is tough, but Oxford is a tough place to play. It should be a fun series to watch this weekend.

3. Denver 6-3-1 NCHC 3-0-1 USCHO rank 9

Denver has been a scrappy team this year and has gone 3-0-1 since losing two non-conference battles against BC and BU. However, they do travel to Wisconsin this weekend to face a Badger team that is much different than they were in their four-win season of last year. It should be interesting to see if Wisconsin can pull off a split against another NCHC opponent.

5. Miami 5-6-1 NCHC 2-4-0 USCHO rank N/R

Last Friday night, the RedHawks couldn’t seem to get anything right, allowing three first period goals, one in the first minute, to UND in their 6-2 loss. However, Saturday night, Miami played the style of hockey that we were used to seeing the past couple years in their overtime loss to UND. With Omaha coming to town, things don’t get any easier for Miami.

6. Minnesota Duluth3-5-3 NCHC 0-3-1-1 USCHO rank 17

For some reason, USCHO thinks this team is a lot better than what they are playing like to this point of the season. The inconsistency of their play makes me wonder if they are digging themselves too deep to make a run in the NCHC for the Penrose Cup. Or are they gonna pull a page from the UND book and make a spectacular second half run right into the playoffs? Well, they better start getting points fast and playing Colorado College this weekend is just the way to do it.

7. Western Michigan 4-6-1 NCHC 2-4-0 USCHO N/R

Well, one word comes to mind to describe the play of the Broncos this past weekend if I were a fan of them, and that word is embarrassing. Allowing 16 goals, 11 in one night, and only scoring 3 on the weekend is no way to play in the NCHC. The Broncos are off this weekend before a one game non-conference match up against RPI next weekend.

8. Colorado College 0-10-0 NCHC 0-4-0 USCHO Rank N/R

Hopefully the weekend off is just what the Tigers needed to crack the win column against Duluth at home this weekend. Both teams struggling to say the least, it is CC’s best chance for a win this season thus far. Can it happen? Well, I guess we will have to wait and see.

About The Author

College Hockey Writer, Contributing Editor

Eric Burton is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers college hockey and the University of North Dakota for Inside Hockey. Eric is the editor of the SIN BIN. Lastly, Eric was the college hockey writer for The Hockey Writers.

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