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Week 16 hockey power rankings

2/8/2010

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).

1. MIAMI

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.

2. DENVER

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.

3. WISCONSIN

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.

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.

5. YALE

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.

6. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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