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Week 14 hockey power rankings

1/25/2010

The stretch run of the season is set to begin and the following 20 teams have prominently placed themselves so far this season -- including Bemidji State and Ferris State, who lead the nation with 17 wins on the year.

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

1. MIAMI

Strange but true: The RedHawks last lost to a CCHA opponent on Oct. 24 when Michigan State beat them in overtime, but they've dropped three games to College Hockey America members Bemidji State and Robert Morris during that span.

2. WISCONSIN

Despite taking three points from Denver at the Kohl Center last weekend, the Badgers trail the Pioneers and two other teams in the WCHA standings. They can help their cause by taking out first-place Minnesota Duluth this weekend.

3. DENVER

Saturday's loss at Wisconsin was a rarity for the Pioneers, who entered the weekend with a 13-2-2 all-time mark at the Kohl Center. The defeat also snapped DU's six-game unbeaten streak against the Badgers.

4. NORTH DAKOTA

We mentioned it in this space last week, but it bears repeating: the Fighting Sioux have eight losses this season and all but one of them have been by one goal. The latest was a 1-0 loss at Cornell Friday, but NoDak salvaged the non-conference series with a 3-1 win Saturday.

5. CORNELL

Ben Scrivens' 28-save shutout of North Dakota was the 14th of his career and moved him into second place in Big Red history, one ahead of a fellow named Ken Dryden.

6. YALE

The Bulldogs' loss to St. Lawrence leaves Yale, St. Lawrence and Cornell in a second-place tie in ECAC Hockey, one point behind Union. Those four teams meet Friday when Yale hosts Union and St. Lawrence visits Cornell.

7. ST. CLOUD STATE

Sophomore forward Jared Festler scored three goals and added an assist as the Huskies, now in third place in the WCHA standings, swept Minnesota in a home-and-home series.

8. BEMIDJI STATE

"We didn't let up at all," Beaver goalie Dan Bakala told Duluth News Tribune scribe Kevin Pates following Saturday's come-from-behind OT win at Minnesota Duluth, giving BSU the non-conference sweep. "To get two wins will give us more confidence."

9. MICHIGAN STATE

Spartan fans have gotten used to going home happy this season; MSU hadn't lost a CCHA match at Munn Ice Arena until Saturday, when Ohio State scored twice in the last 1:07 of the third period to steal a 4-2 win.

10. MINNESOTA DULUTH

Think this is what Bill Simmons was talking about when describing the "Stomach Punch" in his legendary column on the 13 levels of losing? The Bulldogs led Bemidji State most of the way Saturday, but allowed the game-tying goal with two seconds left in regulation. The Beavers' Jordan George got the winner 36 seconds into OT.

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