Week 9 hockey power rankings
The top two teams in the WCHA standings met over the weekend in the heights of the Rocky Mountains, and a three-point weekend allowed Denver to maintain the No. 1 position in the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings. Closer to sea level, Miami pitched two big shutouts, Yale and Quinnipiac went in opposite directions and Bemidji State kept on winning.
Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation's top teams:
The Pioneers managed to take three of four points from rival Colorado College, but squandering a two-goal, third-period lead Saturday and losing standout defenseman Patrick Wiercioch to an apparent knee injury will sting.
Last week's ranking: 1 Record: 10-4-2 (8-2-2 WCHA) Last week: W at Colorado College, 2-1; T vs. Colorado College, 4-4 (OT) This week: at Minnesota Duluth, at Minnesota Duluth
What's more impressive than putting up consecutive shutouts against Notre Dame? How about Miami's penalty killers successfully killing 15 Fighting Irish man-advantage opportunities on the weekend?
Last week's ranking: 3 Record: 11-2-5 (8-1-3 CCHA) Last week: W vs. Notre Dame, 1-0; W vs. Notre Dame, 4-0 This week: at Ohio State, vs. Ohio State
3. NORTH DAKOTA
Senior defenseman Chay Genoway has missed seven straight games due to injury. Now senior forward Chris VandeVelde could be joining him on the shelf; he missed Saturday's series finale at Minnesota Duluth with an undisclosed ailment.
Last week's ranking: 2 Record: 9-5-2 (6-5-1 WCHA) Last week: W at Minnesota Duluth, 4-2; L at Minnesota Duluth, 3-2 (OT) This week: vs. Wisconsin, vs. Wisconsin
After being scratched for Friday's win at Rensselaer by coach Mike Schafer for taking undisciplined penalties, senior defenseman Brendon Nash returned to the lineup and scored a goal against Union.
Last week's ranking: 5 Record: 7-2-2 (6-2-1 ECAC Hockey) Last week: W at Rensselaer, 2-1; T at Union, 2-2 (OT) This week: Off
5. BEMIDJI STATE
The Beavers got into the holiday spirit by hanging a snowman on visiting Niagara on Friday, the first time BSU scored eight goals in a game in four years and one day -- it last occurred on Dec. 3, 2005 in an 8-1 win against Niagara at John Glas Fieldhouse.
Last week's ranking: 6 Record: 13-2-1 (8-0-0 College Hockey America) Last week: W vs. Niagara, 8-2; W vs. Niagara, 3-2 This week: vs. Minnesota State, vs. Minnesota State
Yale scored the last four goals of the game in a 7-4 win over Quinnipiac that featured five lead changes. Denny Kearney and Sean Backman scored in a span of 63 seconds to break a 4-4 tie in the last five minutes of the third period.
Last week's ranking: 10 Record: 7-3-2 (4-1-2 ECAC Hockey) Last week: L vat Vermont, 1-0; W vs. Quinnipiac, 7-4; W vs. Princeton, 4-1 This week: Off
7. COLORADO COLLEGE
The Tigers left Denver's Magness Arena with a tie in the finale of the home-and-home series with Denver to improve their road mark this season to 3-0-2; each of the three wins were decided by one goal.
Last week's ranking: 7 Record: 10-4-2 (7-3-2 WCHA) Last week: L vs. Denver, 2-1; T at Denver, 4-4 (OT) This week: at St. Cloud State, at St. Cloud State
All three of Quinnipiac's losses this season have come on the road, and three of its next four are away from TD Banknorth Sports Center. The good news is that the Bobcats start January with eight of nine games at home, and they're 7-0-0 at home this season.
Last week's ranking: 4 Record: 12-3-0 (7-2-0 ECAC Hockey) Last week: L at Yale, 7-4; L at Brown, 2-1 This week: at Holy Cross, vs. American International
9. BOSTON COLLEGE
The Eagles won a pair of games against teams that consider Boston College their biggest rivals. Freshman goalie Parker Milner made 23 saves in the win at UMass and is 3-0-0 on the year.
Last week's ranking: 14 Record: 8-3-2 (6-3-2 Hockey East) Last week: W at Massachusetts, 3-1; W at Boston University, 4-1 This week: at Harvard, at Providence
10. UMASS LOWELL
After scoring a total of four goals in its previous three games (all losses), UMass Lowell scored five in a win over Massachusetts. David Vallorani had a hat trick and the River Hawks rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit.
Last week's ranking: 8 Record: 9-5-1 (5-4-1 Hockey East) Last week:L at New Hampshire, 2-1; W vs. Massachusetts, 5-3 This week: vs. Princeton, vs. Princeton
For the rest of the top 20 for this week's Inside College Hockey Power Rankings, click here.
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