POWAR!1ONE Rankings: MTU sparks back to life

Denver remains the best team in the WCHA after sweeping its hated in-state rival; Minnesota picked up three of four points at home in its border war with Wisconsin; and Michigan Tech is up after snapping a long losing streak.

1.) DENVER (9-1-0, 7-1-0 WCHA)
Last time: W at Colorado College 6-5, W v Colorado College 6-2
Next time: Vs Yale Friday, V New Hampshire Saturday

  • The second-ranked Pioneers further cemented themselves as the class of the WCHA so far this season in a home-and-home sweep of in-state rival Colorado College. DU had to grind out a win in an 11-goal thriller last Friday, but a 6-2 rout of the Tigers at Magness Arena the following night should leave head coach George Gwozdecky’s men feeling good ahead of this week’s home games against non-conference foes Yale and UNH.

2.) ST. CLOUD STATE (6-4-0, 4-2-0)
Last time: Idle last weekend; L v North Dakota 3-0 Nov. 9, W v North Dakota 5-2 Nov. 10
Next time: At Minnesota Duluth Friday and Saturday

  • The Huskies were off last weekend, which is just as well considering they had to face Denver and North Dakota back-to-back in the two weeks before that. Next up for SCSU is a trip north to face a Minnesota Duluth club that is a lot better than its record suggests.

3.) MINNESOTA (7-2-2, 4-2-2)
Last time: T v Wisconsin 2-2, W v Wisconsin 3-1
Next time: At Vermont Friday and Saturday

  • Fourth-ranked Goldy did what it had to do last weekend against arch-rival Wisconsin, eventually picking up three points from the series at Mariucci Arena. Freshman goaltender Adam Wilcox starred in both games, and, with his .924 save percentage and 1.55 goals against average through 10 games, appears to have taken the reins as Minnesota’s solid No. 1 netminder.

4.) NORTH DAKOTA (5-3-2, 3-1-2)
Last time: T v Minnesota Duluth 4-4, OTW v Minnesota Duluth 4-3
Next time: At Notre Dame Friday and Saturday

  • UND also stays put in the same spot it had last week after picking up a tie and overtime win at home against Minnesota Duluth. The Brad Schlossmans – a nod to all you podcast listeners out there – struggled against the Bulldogs, and UND will need to become a more consistent team the rest of the way if it wants to finish higher up the WCHA table.

5.) COLORADO COLLEGE (7-5-0, 4-2-0)
Last time: L v Denver 6-5, L at Denver 6-2
Next time: V New Hampshire Friday, v Yale Saturday

  • CC missed its best chance of beating Gold Pan rival Denver last weekend in Friday’s 6-5 loss in the friendly confines of the World Arena. The Tigers ended up losing the rematch at DU, as well, and CC is now in some danger of dropping to .500 by the end of this weekend after it welcomes third-ranked UNH and Yale to Colorado Springs.

6.) NEBRASKA OMAHA (6-3-1, 4-1-1)
Last time: W v Minnesota Duluth 3-2 Nov. 10, W v Minnesota Duluth 6-3 Nov. 11
Next time: V Alabama Huntsville Friday and Saturday

  • UNO was off last weekend, but the Mavericks are currently riding a four-game winning streak that, on paper, they ought to stretch to six this week against non-conference Alabama Huntsville. UNO is only 2-2-0 against the Chargers over the last two years, though, so perhaps a third consecutive sweep this week isn’t yet set in stone.

7.) MICHIGAN TECH (6-6-0, 5-5-0)
Last time: OTW at Bemidji State 5-4, OTW at Bemidji State 2-1
Next time: Idle this week; v Minnesota Duluth Friday and Saturday, at Northern Michigan Dec. 4

  • The Huskies snapped a five-game losing skid last Friday in their 5-4 overtime win at Bemidji State, and then MTU won again in the free hockey period the following night. Tech has this week off, though, and it’s a little unfortunate considering MTU will need all the momentum it can get next week when it welcomes Minnesota Duluth to Houghton, Mich..

8.) WISCONSIN (1-5-2, 1-3-2)
Last time: T at Minnesota 2-2, L at Minnesota 3-1
Next time: V Minnesota State Friday and Saturday

  • The Badgers played Minnesota close in both games last week, but UW only came away with one point from the four on offer. An easier test comes up this weekend, though, when Minnesota State comes to Madison.

9.) MINNESOTA DULUTH (2-6-1, 0-4-2)
Last time: T at North Dakota 4-4, OTL at North Dakota 4-3
Next time: V St. Cloud State Friday and Saturday

  • UMD didn’t have as much trouble scoring goals last weekend as it has for much of this season so far, but the Bulldogs had issues keeping the puck out of its own net at the other end of the ice. UMD won’t play teams of North Dakota’s caliber every week, mind, but giving up eight goals in two games isn’t a great way to go into what will be an important home series this week against 12th-ranked St. Cloud State.

10.) BEMIDJI STATE (2-5-1, 1-4-1)
Last time: OTL v Michigan Tech 5-4, OTL v Michigan Tech 2-1
Next time: V Alaska Anchorage Friday and Saturday

  • The Beavers needed to get something at home last weekend against a struggling Michigan Tech club, but BSU failed to pick up any points. They were perhaps unlucky, considering they lost both games to the Huskies in overtime, but now this week’s series against visiting Alaska Anchorage is much bigger than BSU head coach Tom Serratore would probably like it to be.

11.) MINNESOTA STATE (3-5-2, 1-5-0)
Last time: Idle last week; L v Denver 4-3 Nov. 9, L v Denver 3-2 Nov. 10
Next time: At Wisconsin Friday and Saturday

  • The purple Mavericks were off last weekend, thus giving themselves a chance to lick their wounds following a pair of hard-fought losses at home to Denver. Mike Hastings and his MSU team are traveling to Wisconsin this week, though, and the Mavericks should take heart in the fact that several issues have left the Badgers’ form so far this season below UW’s expectations at the start of the campaign.

12.) ALASKA ANCHORAGE (2-3-3, 0-2-2)
Last time: Idle last week; L v Minnesota 4-0 Nov. 9, T v Minnesota 2-2 Nov. 10
Next time: At Bemidji State Friday and Saturday

  • The Seawolves were off last weekend ahead of an important series coming up this Friday and Saturday at Bemidji State. This UAA team isn’t much better than it has been in recent years, but it would surely love nothing more than to pick up its first WCHA win of the season – maybe even its first league sweep – this week when it faces the Beavers on the mainland.
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