Tuesday, November 6, 2007

WCHA Blog Power Rankings - 11/6

To compliment the USCHO.com/CSTV Division I men's poll and the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings that are updated on a weekly basis, the WCHA Blog will establish its own weekly ranking system. The number in parenthesis to the right of the team's name shows the change in rank from last week's rankings.

1. Denver (+4)
Last Week: 5-1 and 4-1 wins at Minnesota
This Week: Idle

The Pioneers swept the Gophers at Mariucci Arena for the first time since 1994 this past weekend, and now have an impressive 7-2-0 record after playing arguably one of the toughest early-season schedules in the nation. They’ll take the weekend off before taking on Minnesota State at home on Nov. 16-17.

2. North Dakota (-1)
Last Week: 6-2 win and 4-1 loss versus Colorado College
This Week: Two games at Wisconsin

North Dakota has held their own over the last two weekends, splitting at Michigan Tech and then taking two points from Colorado College in Grand Forks. The competition won’t get any easier for the Fighting Sioux this weekend, as they travel to Madison to take on the Badgers.

3. Colorado College (-)
Last Week: 6-2 loss and 4-1 win at North Dakota
This Week: Two games versus Minnesota Duluth

After a pair of very tough roadtrips, the Colorado College Tigers return home this weekend to take on Minnesota Duluth. I’m sure CC head coach Scott Owens is very happy with his team’s 5-3-0 start when you consider the teams they have played so far (Minnesota, New Hampshire, and North Dakota).

4. Michigan Tech (-)
Last Week: 4-2 win and 4-2 loss at Wisconsin
This Week: Two games versus St. Cloud State

The Huskies performed very well in their first road series of the year in splitting with the Badgers in Madison. Michael-Lee Teslak was in goal both nights for Tech and played well. The Badgers scored three third period goals on Saturday night, which was Tech’s lone soft period of the weekend.

5. Minnesota Duluth (+1)
Last Week: Idle
This Week: Two games at Colorado College

The Bulldogs were off last week after taking two points from DU the prior weekend. They return to the state of Colorado to take on the CC Tigers this Friday and Saturday. These will be UMD’s first games on an Olympic-sized sheet of ice this season. Junior MacGregor Sharp leads the Bulldogs with five points in six games.

6. Wisconsin (-4)
Last Week: 4-2 loss and 4-2 win versus Michigan Tech
This Week: Two games vs. North Dakota

After suffering a tough 4-2 loss on Friday night, Wisconsin shook off the rust (they didn’t play the previous weekend) and bounced back nicely to defeat Michigan Tech by a 4-2 score on Saturday. The Badgers had 30-plus shots on net both nights, which is certainly a good sign. Super frosh Kyle Turris had just one point in his first two WCHA games.

7. St. Cloud State (+1)
Last Week: 5-3 win and 4-4 tie versus Alaska Anchorage
This Week: Two games at Michigan Tech

St. Cloud State extended their unbeaten streak to five games this weekend by taking three points from Alaska Anchorage at home. Sophomore Ryan Lasch and freshman Garrett Roe continued their strong play, and they lead the Huskies with 13 points each. It will be a battle of the Huskies this weekend as St. Cloud travels to Houghton to take on Michigan Tech.

8. Minnesota State (+1)
Last Week: 7-0 and 4-2 wins at Alabama-Huntsville
This Week: Home and home series with Minnesota

After dropping their first two games of the season at Michigan Tech, the Mavericks have now gone four games without a loss, including a two-game sweep of Alabama-Huntsville this past weekend. Junior Mike Zacharias appears to have emerged as “the guy” between the pipes, as he sports a .943 save percentage and a 1.47 goals against average. Sophomore Trevor Bruess leads the team with five points in six games.

9. Minnesota (-3)
Last Week: 5-1 and 4-1 losses versus Denver
This Week: Home and home series with Minnesota State

For the first time in league history, the Golden Gophers have started conference play by losing four straight games. Their power play hasn’t scored in 30 consecutive tries, which is a big reason why they have scored just four goals in those four conference games. They’ll look to right the ship versus Minnesota State this weekend.

10. Alaska Anchorage (-)
Last Week: 5-3 loss and 4-4 tie at St. Cloud State
This Week: Idle

After winning three of their first four games, the Seawolves are now winless in their last four contests, and continued their streak of never having won a game in St. Cloud at the National Hockey Center. They had the lead in the third period of Saturday’s game with the Huskies but couldn’t hang on for the win. They are off this week before traveling back to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers Nov. 16-17.