Commentary

Tourneys play into Power Rankings

Updated: March 16, 2009, 11:41 AM ET
By Inside College Hockey

Two teams ranked in the top half of the INCH Power Rankings were eliminated from their league playoffs: Vermont and Miami (Ohio). Ranked teams New Hampshire and Ohio State shared the same fate. Their consolation prize is a spot in the rankings, and the hope for an NCAA tournament bid when the bracket is announced Sunday.

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

How about a little love for goalie Jordan Pearce? He pitched back-to-back shutouts against Nebraska-Omaha this weekend. In his past five starts (all wins), he has stopped all but one of the 112 shots he has faced.
Previous ranking: 1
Record: 29-5-3 (21-4-3 CCHA)
Last week: W versus Nebraska-Omaha, 5-0; W versus Nebraska-Omaha, 1-0
This week: CCHA semifinal versus Northern Michigan

BU

2. Boston University

BU's only current point of concern might be its penalty killing. The Terriers have conceded at least one power-play goal in five of their past six games. In the game in which they didn't give one up, they were never short-handed.
Previous ranking: 2
Record: 29-6-4 (18-5-4 Hockey East)
Last week: W versus Maine, 2-1; L versus Maine, 6-3; W versus Maine, 6-2
This week: Hockey East semifinal versus Boston College

Michigan

3. Michigan

Forward Aaron Palushaj had two goals and four assists in the Wolverines' weekend sweep of Western Michigan. As an aside, Michigan has outscored its foes by a 21-4 margin in its past four games.
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 28-10-0 (20-8-0 CCHA)
Last week: W versus Western Michigan, 5-2; W versus Western Michigan, 6-1
This week: CCHA semifinal versus Alaska

North Dakota

4. North Dakota

Big weekend for the Lamoureux family: The Fighting Sioux's Mario Lamoureux scored in his team's 5-1 win against Michigan Tech on Friday; Air Force's Jacques Lamoureux had three goals and an assist in the Falcons' series win against Sacred Heart; and twins Jocelyne and Monique helped Minnesota to a return trip to the women's Frozen Four in a 4-3 win over Boston College.
Previous ranking: 5
Record: 24-12-4 (17-7-4 WCHA)
Last week: W versus Michigan Tech, 5-1; W versus Michigan Tech, 4-3
This week: WCHA semifinal versus Minnesota or Minnesota Duluth

Denver

5. Denver

Pioneers fans can exhale after their team survived a harrowing weekend series against Alaska Anchorage. Now the hope is that the return of high-scoring forward Tyler Bozak will leave the opposition breathless.
Previous ranking: 6
Record: 22-10-5 (16-8-4 WCHA)
Last week: W versus Alaska Anchorage, 3-2; W versus Alaska Anchorage, 4-3
This week: WCHA semifinal versus Wisconsin

Northeastern

6. Northeastern

A nice weekend for freshman winger Alex Tuckerman, who had a big hit that was featured on TV highlight packages, a goal and an assist Saturday and two goals Sunday, including the overtime winner.
Previous ranking: 4
Record: 25-10-4 (18-6-3 Hockey East)
Last week: L versus Massachusetts, 2-1; W versus Massachusetts, 4-1; W versus Massachusetts, 3-2 OT
This week: Hockey East semifinal versus UMass Lowell

Yale

7. Yale

Yale actually trailed Brown 2-0 halfway through Friday's game, but six different players scored the last six goals of the weekend to send Yale to Albany for the ECAC semifinals for the first time.
Previous ranking: 9
Record: 22-7-2 (15-5-2 ECAC Hockey)
Last week: W versus Brown, 4-2; W versus Brown, 2-0
This week: ECAC Hockey semifinal versus St. Lawrence

Princeton

8. Princeton

Getting off to a good start is a great way to ruin the morale of an upset-minded opponent. That's exactly what the Tigers did Sunday night by scoring 58 seconds in and a total of three goals in the game's first seven minutes.
Previous ranking: 10
Record: 22-10-0 (14-8-0 ECAC Hockey)
Last week: W versus Union, 3-2; L versus Union, 5-2; W versus Union, 3-1
This week: ECAC Hockey semifinal versus Cornell

Vermont

9. Vermont

Tsongas West? UMass Lowell is 3-0-1 at Gutterson Fieldhouse in the past month following this past weekend's sweep of the Catamounts. The good news for UVM is that it's likely assured to play again in the NCAA tournament based on an excellent regular season.
Previous ranking: 7
Record: 20-11-5 (15-8-4 Hockey East)
Last week: L versus UMass Lowell, 4-3 OT; L versus UMass Lowell, 4-2.
This week: off

Miami (Ohio)

10. Miami (Ohio)

If you didn't see Northern Michigan's upset of Miami in this past weekend's CCHA quarterfinal series coming … well, maybe you need to read these slugs a little closer from now on.
Previous ranking: 8
Record: 20-12-5 (17-7-4 CCHA)
Last week: W versus Northern Michigan, 3-2; L versus Northern Michigan, 3-2 OT; L versus Northern Michigan, 3-1
This week: off

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