Week 16 hockey power rankings
After a season of uncertainty, it appears that we're finally starting to see some consistency developing atop the INCH Power Rankings. Miami and Denver have been at or near the top since the beginning, and Wisconsin has been moored in the top three for a few weeks. Now it appears St. Cloud State is ready to take up residency in that lofty territory.
Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation's top teams (along with a note for each team).
The RedHawks, who ran their unbeaten streak against CCHA opponents to 20 straight with a weekend sweep of Lake Superior State, can clinch their third league regular-season title with a win, a shootout win, or a Ferris State loss.
|Last week's ranking: 1|
|Record: 20-4-6 (17-1-4 CCHA)|
|Last week: W vs. Lake Superior State, 2-0; W vs. Lake Superior State, 10-4.|
|This week: at Bowling Green, at Bowling Green|
Sophomore forward Joe Colborne had a goal in the Pioneers' win against Mercyhurst Friday and added an assist in DU's overtime win at Air Force Saturday to extend his current point streak to 10 games.
|Last week's ranking: 2|
|Record: 18-6-4 (12-4-4 WCHA)|
|Last week: W vs. Mercyhurst, 4-1; W at Air Force, 2-1 OT.|
|This week: vs. Minnesota, vs. Minnesota|
Indeed, Saturday was a great day for hockey. "The biggest outdoor celebration in Wisconsin history probably took place today at Camp Randall watching a hockey game and that's pretty cool," Badger coach Mike Eaves said after the game.
|Last week's ranking: 3|
|Record: 16-7-4 (11-6-3 WCHA)|
|Last week: W vs. Michigan, 3-2 (Camp Randall Classic).|
|This week: vs. Minnesota State, vs. Minnesota State|
4. ST. CLOUD STATE
Senior forward Ryan Lasch had three goals and three assists in the Huskies' tie and win against Alaska Anchorage, allowing him to pass Mark Hartigan and move into third place on the school's all-time scoring list with 167 career points.
|Last week's ranking: 5|
|Record: 18-8-4 (13-6-3 WCHA)|
|Last week: T vs. Alaska Anchorage, 4-4 ot; W vs. Alaska Anchorage, 6-0.|
|This week: vs. North Dakota, vs. North Dakota|
The Bulldogs saw an early 2-0 lead disappear against rival Harvard but scored three third-period goals in a six-minute span to get the win.
|Last week's ranking: 6|
|Record: 14-6-3 (10-4-2 ECAC Hockey)|
|Last week: W vs. Dartmouth, 4-2; W vs. Harvard, 6-3.|
|This week: at Colgate, at Cornell|
Justin Krueger is an all-league candidate on defense, but not for his offensive production. He scored his first goal of the year in Friday's win at Quinnipiac.
|Last week's ranking: 4|
|Record: 13-6-3 (10-3-2 ECAC Hockey)|
|Last week: W at Quinnipiac, 2-0; L at Princeton, 5-3.|
|This week: vs. Brown, vs. Yale|
7. COLORADO COLLEGE
After a stretch of 17 straight starts, freshman goaltender Joe Howe got Saturday night off. Fellow rookie Mike Shibrowski made 31 saves in his first career start, earning the win in the Tigers' 5-3 triumph over Mercyhurst.
|Last week's ranking: 10|
|Record: 17-10-3 (11-8-3 WCHA)|
|Last week: W vs. Air Force, 2-0; W vs. Mercyhurst, 5-3.|
|This week: Off.|
8. MICHIGAN STATE
After putting just 16 shots on goal in a shutout loss at Alaska Friday, the Spartans launched 14 first-period shots at Nanook goaltender Scott Greenham Saturday. Unfortunately for MSU, only one reached the back of the net as the two teams skated to a 1-1 draw.
|Last week's ranking: 7|
|Record: 17-10-5 (12-7-5 CCHA)|
|Last week: L at Alaska, 2-0; T at Alaska, 1-1 OT.|
|This week: Off.|
9. NORTH DAKOTA
The Sioux come out of last weekend's bye to embark on a three-week stretch that will likely define their season -- a series at St. Cloud State followed by two games against Minnesota Duluth in Grand Forks and a trip to Colorado College for a pair of games to close out the month.
|Last week's ranking: 9|
|Record: 13-10-5 (8-9-3 WCHA)|
|Last week: Off.|
|This week: at St. Cloud State, at St. Cloud State|
10. BEMIDJI STATE
Hope the Beavers used the bye weekend wisely, because they've got a lot of traveling to do before the end of the regular season. Three of BSU's final four series are on the road -- at Robert Morris, at Nebraska-Omaha, and at Alabama-Huntsville.
|Last week's ranking: 11|
|Record: 18-6-2 (10-2-0 CHA)|
|Last week: Off.|
|This week: at Robert Morris, at Robert Morris|
For the rest of the top 20 for this week's Inside College Hockey Power Rankings, click here.