Week 20 hockey power rankings
The regular season is complete, and Miami moved back into the top spot in the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings. Our notes on the rest of the teams serves as a brief preview of what to expect in playoff action coming up this weekend.
Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation's top teams (along with a note for each team).
Is Ohio State an intra-state rival? Sure, but the RedHawks have owned the series in recent years. Since the start of the 2005-06 season, Miami is 15-3-4 against the Buckeyes.
Last week's ranking: 2 Record: 24-5-7 (21-2-5 CCHA) Last week: Off. This week: vs. Ohio State (CCHA quarterfinal series).
Colorado College snapped the Pioneers' 10-game winning streak with a 2-1 win at Magness Arena Friday, but DU ended the Tigers' four-year stranglehold on the Gold Pan, given to the winner of the season series between the two teams, with a 7-3 rout in Colorado Springs Saturday.
Last week's ranking: 1 Record: 25-7-4 (19-5-4 WCHA) Last week: L vs. Colorado College, 2-1; W at Colorado College, 7-3. This week: vs. Michigan Tech (WCHA First Round Series)
The Badgers have had some legendary playoff tussles with this weekend's first-round foe, Alaska Anchorage. In 2004, UAA upset Wisconsin in a three-game series in Madison. The next year, the Badgers and Seawolves again needed three games to determine a winner -- Wisconsin prevailed in the rubber match, 2-1, on goals by Joe Pavelski and Adam Burish.
Last week's ranking: 3 Record: 22-9-4 (17-8-3 WCHA) Last week: W at Minnesota, 3-2; L at Minnesota, 6-1. This week: vs. Alaska Anchorage (WCHA First Round Series)
4. NORTH DAKOTA
Could the Fighting Sioux's upcoming playoff series with Minnesota be any more even? Not only do both teams have identical 1-1-2 marks against one another this season, but both the goals for and against (11-11) are also mirror images.
Last week's ranking: 6 Record: 20-11-5 (15-10-3 WCHA) Last week: W vs. Michigan Tech, 5-1; W vs. Michigan Tech, 3-2. This week: vs. Minnesota (WCHA first round series)
When the week off doesn't go your way: Yale's Sean Backman suffered an injury and will likely miss the rest of the season.
Last week's ranking: 5 Record: 19-7-3 (15-5-2 ECAC Hockey) Last week: Off. This week: vs. Brown (ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series).
6. BOSTON COLLEGE
Freshman Parker Milner saw action in all three wins against UMass, this weekend's foe, and had a .955 save percentage. John Muse stopped all 16 Minutemen shots he faced in his only appearance in the series.
Last week's ranking: 8 Record: 21-10-3 (16-8-3 Hockey East) Last week: T at New Hampshire, 3-3 OT; W vs. New Hampshire, 3-2. This week: vs. Massachusetts (Hockey East quarterfinal series)
7. ST. CLOUD STATE
The Huskies' first-round playoff opponent, Minnesota State, may be a no. 8 seed, but the Mavericks, who took three of four points from SCSU last weekend, own a 12-5-3 advantage in the series since the start of the 2003-04 season.
Last week's ranking: 4 Record: 20-11-5 (15-9-4 WCHA) Last week: L at Minnesota State, 4-2; T vs. Minnesota State, 2-2 OT. This week: vs. Minnesota State (WCHA first round series)
This weekend will be the fourth time that Cornell has hosted Harvard in a quarterfinal series (1990, 1997, 2000) and the Big Red has advanced in two games every time.
Last week's ranking: 7 Record: 17-8-4 (14-5-3 ECAC Hockey) Last week: Off. This week: vs. Harvard (ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series)
9. MICHIGAN STATE
Spartan left wing Andrew Rowe, a junior from Muskegon, gets this rivalry thing. He's scored a goal in all four of Michigan State's games against Michigan this year, three of which were wins.
Last week's ranking: 9 Record: 19-11-6 (14-8-6 CCHA) Last week: Off. This week: vs. Michigan (CCHA quarterfinal series).
10. BEMIDJI STATE
Bemidji State's reward for winning College Hockey America is a "road" game against the Purple Eagles, as last-place Niagara hosts the league tournament at Dwyer Arena. They split the regular-season series at Niagara.
Last week's ranking: 10 Record: 23-8-3 (14-3-1 CHA) Last week: W at Alabama-Huntsville, 3-2; T at Alabama-Huntsville, 2-2 OT. This week: at Niagara (CHA semifinal at Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
For the rest of the top 20 for this week's Inside College Hockey Power Rankings, click here.
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