Commentary

Boston College takes over top spot

Originally Published: February 1, 2011
By Inside College Hockey

Yale faced its biggest test of the season and suffered back-to-back losses for just the third time in the last three seasons. Boston College moves into the top spot in the INCH Power Rankings this week, with three WCHA teams also stacked among our top five.

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

1. Boston College
Record: 18-6-0 (14-5-0 Hockey East)
Recent scores: W at UMass Lowell, 5-1
This week: vs. Massachusetts
Note: Don't let the score fool you. Saturday's victory at UMass Lowell was a 2-1 game in the third period, but BC salted things away with two goals in a 27-second span late in the game. Oh, and Cam Atkinson had two more goals, including one short-handed.

2. Yale
Record: 17-4-0 (11-3-0 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: L at Union, 3-2; L at Rensselaer, 5-2
This week: vs. Harvard, vs. Dartmouth
Note: The Bulldogs entered the weekend averaging 4.79 goals per game, but scored just four total goals in losses to Union and RPI. All four of those came on the power play.

3. Denver
Record: 16-5-5 (12-3-3 WCHA)
Recent scores: Off
This week: at Colorado College, vs. Colorado College
Note: He may be tied for fourth on the team in scoring, but keep close tabs on senior forward Kyle Ostrow, who has 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in the Pioneers' last six games.

4. North Dakota
Record: 19-8-2 (14-6-0 WCHA)
Recent scores: L at Colorado College, 4-2; W at Colorado College, 6-0
This week: vs. vs. Alaska Anchorage, vs. Alaska Anchorage
Note: Senior defenseman Chay Genoway was hurt in Friday's loss at Colorado College and didn't play Saturday; his replacement, sophomore Joe Gleason, scored his first career goal in Saturday's 6-0 rout.

5. Minnesota Duluth
Record: 17-5-3 (12-4-2 WCHA)
Recent scores: Off
This week: vs. Minnesota, vs. Minnesota
Note: Bulldog opponents would be wise to keep freshman J.T. Brown off the scoresheet; UMD is 7-0 in games in which he scores a goal and 12-1 when he records a point.

6. New Hampshire
Record: 15-5-4 (13-2-2 Hockey East)
Recent scores: W at Providence, 5-2; W vs. Providence, 5-1
This week: vs. Maine, vs. Maine
Note: Mike Sislo became the latest member of UNH's 100-career-point club with three points Friday at Providence. Bobby Butler was the previous member, and he also achieved that milestone at Providence's Schneider Arena.

7. Rensselaer
Record: 17-6-3 (9-5-0 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: W vs. Brown, 3-0; W vs. Yale, 5-2
This week: at Quinnipiac, at Princeton
Note: RPI scored three straight goals in a six-minute span over the final three minutes of the second period and first three minutes of the third period to take a 4-1 lead. That allowed the Freakout! fans to celebrate for the rest of the contest.

8. Union
Record: 18-7-3 (10-3-1 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: W vs. Yale, 3-2; W vs. Brown, 4-2
This week: at Princeton, at Quinnipiac
Note: Some of Union's younger players have bolstered the team's scoring this season, but senior Adam Presizniuk came through this weekend. He scored the game-winning goal against Yale and added two more tallies against Brown.

9. Michigan
Record: 17-7-4 (14-5-1 CCHA)
Recent scores: L vs. Michigan State, 2-1 (Joe Louis Arena, Detroit)
This week: at Miami, at Miami
Note: The Wolverines have scored a total of 10 goals in their seven losses this season; Michigan fired 35 shots at Michigan State goalie Will Yanakeff Saturday, but only beat him once in a 2-1 loss.

10. Merrimack
Record: 15-5-4 (9-5-3 Hockey East)
Recent scores: W vs. Vermont, 2-1; W vs. Vermont, 7-1
This week: at Northeastern, vs. Massachusetts
Note: Freshman Mike Collins had a hat trick Saturday. He has shown a knack for getting his points in bunches. The last five games in which he's recorded at least one point, four of those games have been multi-point efforts.

11. Wisconsin
Record: 19-8-3 (11-7-2 WCHA)
Recent scores: W at Michigan Tech, 4-2; W at Michigan Tech, 4-1
This week: Off
Note: The Badgers have applied the clamps to their opponents, and haven't allowed more than two goals against in their last six games. Wisconsin now owns the nation's best overall scoring defense, yielding just 2.00 goals per game.

12. Notre Dame
Record: 16-9-5 (13-6-3 CCHA)
Recent scores: T vs. Miami, 5-5 OT; T vs. Miami, 2-2 OT
This week: Off
Note: Freshmen Anders Lee and T.J. Tynan each scored two goals in the series against Miami; both now have 18 on the season. Dave Poulin (28 goals in 1978-79) is the school's leader in goals by a rookie.

13. Miami
Record: 14-9-3 (11-7-4 CCHA)
Recent scores: T at Notre Dame, 5-5 OT; T at Notre Dame, 2-2 OT
This week: vs. Michigan, vs. Michigan
Note: Senior forward Andy Miele is now the nation's leading scorer, surpassing teammate Carter Camper for that honor. Miele has 49 points, including 16 in the RedHawks' last seven games.

14. Western Michigan
Record: 14-6-8 (8-5-7 CCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Northern Michigan, 5-2; W vs. Northern Michigan, 6-1
This week: vs. Bowling Green, vs. Bowling Green
Note: The Broncos extended their unbeaten streak to 11 by sweeping Northern Michigan in Kalamazoo. During that run, WMU has outscored its foes by a 2-to-1 (36-18) margin.

15. Boston University
Record: 12-7-7 (9-5-5 Hockey East)
Recent scores: W at Maine, 4-3; T at Maine, 1-1 OT
This week: vs. UMass Lowell
Note: It doesn't quite match the 10-game unbeaten streak the Terriers posted to start the year, but BU has responded from back-to-back losses with two wins and a tie on the road to move into third place in Hockey East.

16. Dartmouth
Record: 12-6-3 (8-4-2 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores:T vs. Cornell, 2-2 OT; W vs. Colgate, 7-3
This week: at Brown, at Yale
Note: Dartmouth is all about balanced scoring as eight different players accounted for the nine Big Green goals this weekend. Eight players have 12 points or more this season in Dartmouth's 21 games.

17. Princeton
Record: 14-6-1 (9-4-1 ECAC Hockey)
Recent scores: W vs. Sacred Heart, 7-1; W at St. Lawrence, 5-3; W at Clarkson, 4-3 OT
This week: vs. Union, vs. Rensselaer
Note: Welcome back from break. Princeton returned to the ice after its January exam period and rattled off three straight wins. Kevin Lohry capped the week with the game-winner at Clarkson, just nine seconds into overtime.

18. Maine
Record: 11-7-6 (8-5-4 Hockey East)
Recent scores: L vs. Boston University, 4-3; T vs. Boston University, 1-1 OT
This week: at New Hampshire, at New Hampshire
Note: Maine hasn't been able to get on a roll since the start of November. The Black Bears' longest win streak in that time is just two games, and they're starting to jeopardize their NCAA tournament at-large chances.

19. Nebraska-Omaha
Record: 14-10-2 (10-6-2 WCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 4-0; L vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 2-1 OT
This week: vs. St. Cloud State, vs. St. Cloud State
Note: The Mavericks started the season by winning eight of their first nine. Since then, they've won seven of 17 and haven't posted consecutive wins in six weeks.

20. Colorado College
Record: 15-12-1 (9-9-0 WCHA)
Recent scores: W vs. North Dakota, 4-2; L vs. North Dakota, 6-0
This week: vs. Denver, at Denver
Note: Leading the Tigers in their 4-2 win against North Dakota Friday were four freshman goal scorers (Dakota Eveland, Alexander Krushelnyski, Jeff Collett, William Rapuzzi) and a sophomore goalie (Joe Howe matched a season high with 38 saves).

Dropped out: Ohio State

Bubble-licious: Minnesota, Niagara, RIT, Robert Morris