Commentary

Union, Ferris State gain ground

Updated: March 18, 2010, 11:52 AM ET
By Inside College Hockey

We always emphasize the importance of winning regular-season championships, and after being upset in their conference tournaments New Hampshire and Yale have that to fall back on. Their work in the regular season might be enough to get them into the NCAA Tournament.

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

1. DENVER

The Pioneers are like dandelions -- you think you've got them all taken care of, and then another pops up. This weekend's hero was forward Jesse Martin, who scored goals in both wins against Michigan Tech and assisted on Kyle Ostrow's insurance goal Saturday.

Last week's ranking: 2 Record: 27-7-4 Last week:W vs. Michigan Tech, 2-1; W vs. Michigan Tech, 4-2 (WCHA First Round Series). This week: vs. North Dakota or Minnesota Duluth (WCHA Final Five)

2. MIAMI

The RedHawks won their CCHA quarterfinal series against Ohio State last weekend, but it wasn't easy. The Buckeyes, who scored a total of four goals in four regular-season meetings against Miami, picked up eight in the three-game series at Goggin 2.0.

Last week's ranking: 1 Record: 26-6-7 Last week: W vs. Ohio State, 6-2; L vs. Ohio State, 5-4 ot; W vs. Ohio State, 2-1 (CCHA Quarterfinal Series). This week: vs. Michigan (CCHA Semifinal)

3. WISCONSIN

Senior forward Aaron Bendickson scored three goals in the Badgers' sweep of Alaska Anchorage, giving him eight goals in his last 13 games, a run that was preceded by a 10-game stretch during which he had no points.

Last week's ranking: 3 Record: 24-9-4 (17-8-3 WCHA) Last week: W vs. Alaska Anchorage, 4-1; W vs. Alaska Anchorage, 7-2 (WCHA First Round Series). This week: vs. St. Cloud State (WCHA Final Five)

4. BOSTON COLLEGE

The Eagles finished 14-2-0 at Kelley Rink, matching their most home wins in Jerry York's tenure.

Last week's ranking: 6 Record: 23-10-3 Last week: W vs. Massachusetts, 6-5; W vs. Massachusetts, 5-2 (Hockey East Quarterfinal Series). This week: vs. Vermont (Hockey East Semifinal)

5. NORTH DAKOTA

The favorite to win WCHA Rookie of the Year honors, forward Danny Kristo had a goal and two assists in the Fighting Sioux's series win against Minnesota to extend his current point streak to a season-high 10 games.

Last week's ranking: 4 Record: 22-12-5 Last week: W vs. Minnesota, 6-0; L vs. Minnesota, 4-2; W vs. Minnesota, 4-1 (WCHA First Round Series). This week: vs. Minnesota Duluth (WCHA Final Five)

6. CORNELL

Freshman Nick D'Agostino scored twice in Friday's win. He came into the weekend with two goals all year.

Last week's ranking: 7 Record: 19-8-4 Last week: W vs. Harvard, 5-1; W vs. Harvard, 3-0 (ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series). This week: vs. Brown (ECAC Hockey Semifinal)

7. ST. CLOUD STATE

Big finish to the weekend for junior forward Garrett Roe. He scored two goals and an assist Saturday as the Huskies avoided elimination from the WCHA playoffs with a 3-2 win against Minnesota State, then picked up a goal and an assist in SCSU's 3-2 OT win in Sunday's rubber match.

Last week's ranking: 7 Record: 22-12-5 Last week: L vs. Minnesota State, 5-4 ot; W vs. Minnesota State, 3-2; W vs. Minnesota State, 3-1 (WCHA First Round Series). This week: vs. Wisconsin (WCHA Final Five)

8. UNION

Union eased its dubious distinction of being the team that lost the two longest games in NCAA history by winning its quarterfinal series against Quinnipiac and advancing to the ECAC Hockey championship weekend for the first time.

Last week's ranking: 12 Record: 20-11-6 Last week: L vs. Quinnipiac, 3-2 5ot; W vs. Quinnipiac, 3-1; W vs. Quinnipiac, 2-1 (ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series). This week: vs. St. Lawrence (ECAC Hockey Semifinal)

9. FERRIS STATE

Ferris State completed its sweep of Nebraska-Omaha Saturday when senior forward Casey Haines scored 23 seconds into overtime, leading the Bulldogs to a 3-2 win. Haines leads Ferris with five game-winning goals, three of which were scored in OT.

Last week's ranking: 14 Record: 21-11-6 Last week:W vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 3-1; W vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 3-2 ot (CCHA Quarterfinal Series). This week: vs. Northern Michigan (CCHA semifinal)

10. YALE

Yale fired 44 shots and didn't capitalize on five power plays in Sunday's loss to Brown.

Last week's ranking: 5 Record: 20-9-3 Last week: L vs. Brown, 3-2; W vs. Brown, 6-3; L vs. Brown, 1-0 (ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series). This week: Off.