Commentary

Hockey power rankings barely move

Regular-season finales, conference tourneys mean teams nearly stand still

Updated: March 9, 2009, 3:03 PM ET
By Inside College Hockey

The regular season concluded in Hockey East and the WCHA, and eight teams in the latest INCH Power Rankings had byes as their conference playoffs got under way. That means there's little movement among the nation's top 20 teams.

Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation's top teams (along with a note for each team):

Notre Dame

1. Notre Dame

In Jeff Jackson's three-plus seasons behind the Notre Dame bench, the Fighting Irish are 7-1-2 against Nebraska-Omaha, this weekend's opponent in the CCHA quarterfinals.
Previous ranking: 1
Record: 27-5-3 (21-4-3 CCHA)
Last week: off
This week: versus Nebraska-Omaha (CCHA quarterfinal series)

BU

2. Boston University

How's this for confidence? Needing to win on Sunday to wrap up the team's eighth Hockey East regular-season title, the Terriers started backup goalie Grant Rollheiser. He made 16 saves and earned his first career shutout.
Previous ranking: 2
Record: 27-5-4 (18-5-4 Hockey East)
Last week: W at Providence, 8-2; W versus Providence, 3-0
This week: versus Maine (Hockey East quarterfinal series)

Michigan

3. Michigan

Western Michigan, the Wolverines' foe in a CCHA quarterfinal series this weekend, is one of three visiting teams to win at Yost Ice Arena this season, along with Bowling Green and Notre Dame.
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 26-10-0 (20-8-0 CCHA)
Last week: off
This week: versus Western Michigan (CCHA quarterfinal series)

Northeastern

4. Northeastern

Northeastern's 18 conference wins tie the school record in Hockey East that was set in 1985-86, when the Huskies played 34 league games.
Previous ranking: 3
Record: 23-9-4 (18-6-3 Hockey East)
Last week: W versus Boston College, 2-1 OT; L at Boston College, 4-1
This week: versus Massachusetts (Hockey East quarterfinal series)

North Dakota

5. North Dakota

On Dec. 28, the Fighting Sioux dropped a 2-1 decision to Michigan Tech in the Great Lakes Invitational consolation game. This weekend, the WCHA champs host the Huskies in a first-round playoff series. Would this be categorized as coming half circle?
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 22-12-4 (17-7-4 WCHA)
Last week: W at Wisconsin, 2-1; L at Wisconsin, 4-1
This week: versus Michigan Tech (WCHA first-round series)

Denver

6. Denver

Nine-seed Alaska Anchorage isn't as great a first-round draw as one might think. The Seawolves are 7-6-3 since mid-January and are the only WCHA team with a better record on the road than at home.
Previous ranking: 6
Record: 20-10-5 (16-8-4 WCHA)
Last week: T versus Colorado College, 1-1 OT
This week: versus Alaska Anchorage (WCHA first-round series)

Vermont

7. Vermont

Brian Roloff scored his first collegiate hat trick in Vermont's win Friday. "When I came to the rink, it seemed like another normal day, another game," Roloff said. "But it turned out to be something special."
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 20-9-5 (15-8-4 Hockey East)
Last week: W versus New Hampshire, 6-4; L versus New Hampshire, 6-5 OT
This week: versus UMass Lowell (Hockey East quarterfinal series)

Miami (OH)

8. Miami (Ohio)

The RedHawks' opening playoff series is against a Northern Michigan team that (a) won and tied in Oxford less than three weeks ago, (b) pounded Michigan State in its first-round playoff series and (c) has historically saved its best performances for the CCHA postseason.
Previous ranking: 8
Record: 19-10-5 (17-7-4 CCHA)
Last week: off
This week: versus Northern Michigan (CCHA quarterfinal series)

Yale

9. Yale

Yale scored 13 goals in its three regular-season wins over Brown but didn't face freshman goalie Mike Clemente, who made 86 saves in back-to-back shutouts of Harvard.
Previous ranking: 9
Record: 20-7-2 (15-5-2 ECAC Hockey)
Last week: off
This week: versus Brown (ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series)

Princeton

10. Princeton

Princeton and Union have never met in the ECAC Hockey playoffs and have split the two regular-season games in each of the past three seasons.
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 20-9-0 (14-8-0 ECAC Hockey)
Last week: off
This week: versus Union (ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series)

For the rest of the top 20 for this week's Power Rankings, check out Inside College Hockey.