Commentary

Yale retains top spot in power rankings

Originally Published: January 3, 2011
By Inside College Hockey

The INCH Power Rankings return with moderate changes since we last published in mid-December. Denver, Rensselaer and Michigan made big strides forward, while Nebraska-Omaha, Maine and Union slid down the order.

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

1. Yale
Record: 12-1-0 (6-0-0 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: W vs. Holy Cross, 10-3.
This week: at Dartmouth, at Harvard
Note: Yale's 10-3 win over Holy Cross included hat tricks from Kenny Agostino and Broc Little. Agostino's third goal came with 3:32 remaining in the second period. Hope some fans saved their lids to adorn the ice when Little polished off his hatty in the third period.

2. North Dakota
Record: 14-5-2 (11-3-0 WCHA)
Recent scores: W at Minnesota Duluth, 5-0.
This week: vs. Robert Morris, vs. Robert Morris
Note: As if the Sioux needed any more offensive weaponry, previously slumbering sophomore forward Danny Kristo has a goal and six assists in his last four games.

3. New Hampshire
Record: 10-3-4 (8-1-2 Hockey East)
Recent scores: L vs. St. Lawrence, 2-1 OT.
This week: vs. UMass Lowell, at Massachusetts
Note: UNH and St. Lawrence usually play every season. They didn't meet last year and it was good news for the Wildcats, who saw the Saints win their third straight in the series Sunday with a 2-1 overtime victory.

4. Boston College
Record: 13-5-0 (9-4-0 Hockey East)
Recent scores: W vs. Colgate, 6-5; W vs. Mercyhurst, 4-1.
This week: vs. Providence, at Providence
Note: Brian Gibbons had a goal and two assists as the Eagles rallied for a win over Colgate in the opening game, then scored twice as BC won the title against Mercyhurst at the Ledyard Bank Classic, hosted by Dartmouth.

5. Minnesota Duluth
Record: 12-4-3 (9-3-2 WCHA)
Recent scores: L vs. North Dakota, 5-0.
This week: at Clarkson, at Clarkson, vs. US NTDP U-18s (Ex.)
Note: The Bulldogs, who scored six or more goals four times in their first 15 games, have scored a total of six goals in their last four outings.

6. Michigan
Record: 12-5-4 (9-3-1 CCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Michigan Tech, 4-2; W vs. Colorado College, 6-5.
This week: at Michigan State, vs. Michigan State
Note: Great Lakes Invitational MVP Luke Glendenning, who entered the tourney with two goals in 19 games this season, netted three goals in the Wolverines' wins against Michigan Tech and Colorado College last week.

7. Denver
Record: 13-5-4 (9-3-2 WCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Northern Michigan, 5-2; T vs. Northern Michigan, 2-2 OT.
This week: Off
Note: With leading scorers Drew Shore and Jason Zucker at the WJC, senior Kyle Ostrow led the Pioneers' offense with four points in a win and tie against visiting Northern Michigan.

8. Rensselaer
Record: 11-4-3 (3-3-0 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: W at Alabama-Huntsville, 2-1; W at Alabama-Huntsville, 2-1.
This week: vs. Clarkson, vs. St. Lawrence
Note: RPI's only loss in its last eight games is against No. 1 Yale, and the Engineers have five one-goal wins in that stretch.

9. Miami
Record: 11-6-3 (8-4-2 CCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Maine, 4-1; L vs. St. Cloud State, 4-3.
This week: at Ohio State, at Ohio State
Note: Mixed bag for the RedHawks at the Florida College Classic; after dominating Maine in a 4-1 opening-round win, goalie Connor Knapp allowed four goals on 11 shots in a 4-3 title-game loss to St. Cloud State.

10. Maine
Record: 9-5-4 (6-3-2 Hockey East)
Recent scores: L vs. Miami, 4-1; W vs. Cornell, 3-2 OT.
This week: at Merrimack
Note: Sophomore defenseman Matt Mangene scored his first goal of the year and second of his career in Maine's OT-win over Cornell in the Florida College Classic third-place game.

11. Nebraska-Omaha
Record: 12-7-1 (9-4-1 WCHA)
Recent scores: L at Colorado College, 5-2; W at Colorado College, 3-0; L at Quinnipiac, 4-3; L at Quinnipiac, 3-2.
This week: Off
Note: A bye weekend couldn't come at a better time for the Mavericks, who've lost three of four and six of 10 since getting out to an 8-1-1 start.

12. Union
Record: 11-6-3 (3-2-1 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: L at Western Michigan, 2-1; L at Western Michigan, 3-1; W at Minnesota, 3-2 ot; L vs. Bemidji State, 3-1.
This week: vs. St. Lawrence, vs. Clarkson
Note: Union's win over Minnesota was Nate Leaman's 123rd as head coach. He has the most head coaching wins in program history.

13. Wisconsin
Record: 12-7-3 (6-6-2 WCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Massachusetts, 5-1; W vs. Massachusetts, 4-2.
This week: vs. Canisius, vs. Canisius
Note: With its sweep of UMass, the Badgers improved to 11-1-0 this season against teams with sub-.500 records. You math majors out there have already extrapolated Bucky's 1-6-3 mark against teams better than .500.

14. Notre Dame
Record: 12-7-3 (9-4-1 CCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Canisius, 10-2; L vs. Minnesota State, 4-3; T vs. Boston University, 3-3 OT.
This week: at Northern Michigan, at Northern Michigan
Note: Four players -- Ryan Guentzel, Stephen Johns, Calle Ridderwall, and T.J. Tynan -- had four points in the Fighting Irish's 10-3 win against Canisius last week.

15. Merrimack
Record: 9-4-4 (5-4-3 Hockey East)
Recent scores: W at Army, 2-1 ot; W at RIT, 5-3.
This week: vs. Maine
Note: Merrimack leads all Hockey East teams with just 2.12 goals allowed per game. Their recipe is to maintain an early lead, as the Warriors have scored just 12 third-period goals in 17 games this year.

16. Boston University
Record: 8-5-6 (6-3-4 Hockey East)
Recent scores: L vs. Brown, 6-1; T vs. Notre Dame, 3-3 OT.
This week: at Vermont
Note: Charlie Coyle had five goals and 14 points in 17 games for the Terriers and leads the United States with six points in four games at the World Juniors.

17. Alaska
Record: 9-6-3 (6-5-3 CCHA)
Recent scores: None.
This week: vs. Western Michigan, vs. Western Michigan
Note: One thing the Nanooks aren't is streaky: they haven't won back-to-back games since Oct. 30 (vs. Bowling Green) and Nov. 5 (vs. Michigan) but haven't lost two in a row since Nov. 6 (vs. Michigan) and Nov. 12 (at Miami).

18. Robert Morris
Record: 12-5-2 (7-5-2 Atlantic Hockey)
Recent scores: W vs. Colgate, 3-2 ot; W vs. Colgate, 3-1; L vs. RIT, 4-3.
This week: at North Dakota, at North Dakota
Note: Robert Morris got in on the hoopla surrounding the NHL's Winter Classic with an outdoor practice last week. The Colonials then hosted RIT at the Penguins' CONSOL Energy Center and drew about 7,000 fans.

19. Colorado College
Record: 12-9-1 (8-6-0 WCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 5-2; L vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 3-0; W vs. Michigan State, 5-4; L vs. Michigan, 6-5.
This week: Off
Note: In five games without linemate and leading scorer Jaden Schwartz, who's playing for Canada at the WJC, senior forward Stephen Schultz has four goals, five assists, and a plus-minus rating of +3.

20. Clarkson
Record: 10-5-2 (4-2-1 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: None.
This week: vs. Minnesota Duluth, vs. Minnesota Duluth, at Rensselaer, at Union
Note: When the season began, many identified this week as one of the most difficult and important on the Golden Knights' slate. They host Minnesota Duluth Monday and Tuesday before visiting RPI and Union Friday and Saturday.

Dropped out: Ferris State

Bubble-licious: Dartmouth, Ferris State, Niagara, Princeton, Western Michigan