WCHA Power Rankings - 3 Weeks Down.


With 3 weeks under our belts, lets review WCHA teams and how they stand right now.

(Photo: Dave Harwig - http://viewthroughmylens.net/)


1) Denver 4-0-0

The University of Denver Pioneers are on fire.  They’re one of two teams left undefeated with 4 or more wins.  Last week the Pioneers swept Michigan Tech at home, outscoring the Huskies 10 to 3.  Over the course of the season Denver has scored 20 goals and only allowed 6.  Is this how the team is going to perform all year or is this just some streak?   Time can only tell.  But with arguably the toughest schedule in all of College Hockey, Denver is going to have to have some big wins in the near future.

2) Minnesota 4-1-0

Minnesota started off the season just as everyone expected.  They skated by Michigan State like Zach Parise would skate around me.  But since that weekend, the Gophs have slowed down a little bit.  In their last 4 games they’ve scored 9 goals, but also gave up 9.  The Gophers have everything they need to be the greatest, but everything just needs to click.  The recent tie to the US Under-18 Team and the narrow victory over Canisius scare me enough to bump them down to the number 2 spot, but I hope they prove me wrong.

3) North Dakota 2-1-1

I think it’s pretty hard to judge North Dakota right now because they’ve basically played only schools in Alaska.  Actually 3 out of their last 4 games have been against Alaska Anchorage, and that one that wasn’t?  That was against Alaska.   NoDak proved they can bury pucks with 5-0 and 4-1 wins over Anchorage, but they also lost to Alaska and tied Alaska Anchorage in OT one night.  They host Boston University at home this weekend, should be a tough series for team with no name, but will let us know where they really stand.

4) St. Cloud State 4-2-0

After being swept by New Hampshire, no one really knew what to think of the St. Cloud Huskies.  But now we know that New Hampshire is undefeated, and obviously talented.  And also SCSU can score.  In the last 4 games SCSU has buried 22 goals and only allowing 5!  What the heck right?  Given it was against Alabama Huntsville and Mankato State, but this is still college hockey.  SCSU’s true test is this weekend when they travel to Denver to take on a hot Pioneer team.

5) Minnesota Duluth 2-3-1

Inconsistency clouds the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs who after destroying Ohio State opening night, just cannot find a consistent scoring.  tUMD’s most recent series, a home series with Wisconsin, was very disheartening as they lost 0-2 the first night and let a 2 goal lead fall and walked away Saturday night with a 2-2 OT tie.  Goalie Matt McNeely has been playing stellar, but defense mistakes and lack of offensive drive are making the Puppies difficult to gauge.  If the dogs show up, they can skate with any program, but if they don’t, it just might be a longer season than most thought.

6) Wisconsin 1-2-1

Another team that is difficult to gauge.  Wisconsin is coming off a huge 3-point weekend at Duluth where they shutout and then came back to tie the Dogs on the road.  And after starting out with 2 losses to a mediocre team, I’d say they fixed something.  Goalie Joel Rumpel has been playing very good and the Badgers are still finding scoring outlets through upperclassmen without freshman Nik Kerdiles.

7) Michigan Tech 2-4-0

The whole middle of the pack in the WCHA is difficult, including Michigan Tech who people counted out after the first loss to Lake Superior, then counted back in after destroying Lake Superior the next day 8 to 4.  The following weekend MTU was able to outplay the Gophers, winning 5 to 3 but falling the second night 2 to 3 in still, a very well played game.  But Michigan Tech’s recent weekend at Denver is why I rank them so low.  Denver was able to outscore the Huskies 10 to 3 in a sweep against MTU.  This weekend Tech heads to Nebraska Omaha to look for a little redemption for what Denver did to them.  Watch out.

8) Colorado College 3-3-0

The Tigers started the season off very well, winning 3 in a row sweeping Clarkson and beating Air Force before losing to Mass-Lowell and then getting sweeped at Cornell.   Now, in CC’s defense Cornell and UMASS are very good teams that bring a lot to the table, but its hard to say exactly how good this CC team is.  They have potential, so only time will tell.  Colorado College opens their WCHA season up at Wisconsin this week.

9) Bemidji State 2-1-1

The Beavers have been on fire lately.  After starting the season with a loss to Lake Superior, they have been outscoring opponents 11-5.  Goalie Andrew Walsh has been recording fabulous numbers and keeping this team in many games.   The Beavers might surprise a lot of people this year, who counted them out after the loss of Brad Hunt.

10) Nebraska Omaha 2-3-1

I’m just not quite sure how to gauge this Nebraska Omaha team.  They’ve lost to Notre Dame, Northern Michigan and Bemidji State.  Now, it’s not quite like losing to Alabama Huntsville or Canisius but they’re still losses.  UNO should have what they need to be a successful team, they just need to all show up and play 3 periods if they’re going to pull out wins.

11) Alaska Anchorage 2-2-2

The Seawolves beat Canisius 2-0…  Does that make them better then the Gophers?  This is another team that is very hard to predict.  I mean they tied with North Dakota AT ND, they beat Merrimach 6 to 3 but then go ahead and lose to North Dakota 5 to 0.  So how good are you guys?  Huh?  They get a break off this weekend then venture to Minneapolis to play the Gophers.  That series will really help us out.

12) Minnesota State 2-2-2

The Mavericks have had a pretty depressing start in comparison to other teams given the difficulty of their opponents.  St. Cloud State just swept them 5 to 1 both nights and before that they managed ties with Rensselaer and Alabama Huntsville.  The Mavs need to turn it around soon if they plan on competing for home ice in what looks to be a very tough WCHA this year.  MSU takes on Minnesota this weekend in a home-home series.  I have my doubts about this weekend for the Mavs.

Disagree?  Tell me!  :)


GO DOGS!!


2 comments :

I think BSU should be 7 or 8. Maybe even 6. They had are rough first game agains Lake Superior State; not scoring on the PP and taking a bad 5 minute major near the end of the game which lead to their loss. Game 2 was way better. The Beavers converted way better on their PPs and Andrew Walsh had a stellar game. With one win and one tie in Omaha, the Beaver showed that they can stick in the middle of the best hockey conference in the country, the WCHA. With such a young roster, the Beavers will struggle later in the season while playing the top teams of the conference. On the bright side, I think the Beavers could be a surprise to get to the Final Five next year. With Fabian Sivnert playing well in the exhibitions, I feel he could take over for Walsh next year.

Right now, the 3 through 9 spots will not stay. The middle of the pack for the WCHA this year is going to be a battle, and I would have ranked BSU higher but I was just a little hesitant yet. I agree Andrew Walsh is playing amazing, as they need him to after Dan left. It'll be interesting to see how they do at CC. A sweep away from home isnt out of the question, but it would be tough! Thanks for your input!