January 18, 2004
INCH Power Rankings

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When they started off 2-7-1, a lot of folks counted them out. But that might have been wishful thinking, as the two-time defending national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers are 11-1-2 since then, and the big movers in this week's INCH Power Rankings. They are officially back, and just in the nick of time to set up a fantastic WCHA showdown this weekend at Mariucci Arena.

Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff ranks the nation's top teams (along with movement since last week and a note). You can let us know what you think, including your name and hometown, and we'll share your thoughts below.

No. Team

Of Note
1. North Dakota The Sioux face the state's most hated rival – according to Sports Illustrated – this weekend at Mariucci.
17-2-2 (11-1-2 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Michigan Tech, 8-4; W at Michigan Tech, 4-0. THIS WEEK: at Minnesota, at Minnesota.
2. Boston College Why do we get the sense we'll hear this phrase at the FleetCenter in April: "If the Eaves brothers are healthy ..."
16-3-3 (9-1-2 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Boston University, 5-1, W at Boston University, 3-2. THIS WEEK: at Providence, at Northeastern.
3. Maine Jimmy Howard loses in his return, but the weekend produces typical numbers for Maine's goalies: 1 GA in 120 minutes.
16-5-1 (8-3-1 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Massachusetts, 3-0; L vs. Massachusetts, 1-0. THIS WEEK: at Boston University, at Boston University.
4. Minnesota 6 Don't think the Gophers should jump six spots? Did your team score 16 goals this weekend?
13-8-3 (8-7-1 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Minnesota State, 6-0; W at Minnesota State, 10-3. THIS WEEK: vs. North Dakota, vs. North Dakota.
5. Michigan If the Wolverines play anything like alum Ty Law did Sunday, they can visit him in Boston in April.
14-7-1 (9-4-1 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. U.S. Under-18 Team, 5-3 (Ex.). THIS WEEK: at Western Michigan, vs. Western Michigan.
6. Wisconsin 2 The Badgers are 2-3-2 since their 16-game unbeanten streak.
14-6-6 (8-3-5 WCHA). LAST WEEK: T vs. Notre Dame, 2-2 ot; L vs. Notre Dame, 3-1. THIS WEEK: at Colorado College, at Colorado College.
7. New Hampshire 4 New Hampshire is 6-2-0 against ECAC teams, which would be good for second place in the ECAC standings.
14-7-3 (6-3-3 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Dartmouth, 5-0; W vs. Brown, 3-0. THIS WEEK: at Merrimack.
8. Minnesota Duluth 5 Bulldogs are averaging 4.33 goals per game in their six-game winning streak.
15-8-2 (11-5-0 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Colorado College, 4-3; W vs. Colorado College, 4-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan Tech, vs. Michigan Tech.
9. Denver Pioneers (0-6-1 at home against WCHA teams) could be the first team ever that would rather play Anchorage on the road.
15-8-3 (5-8-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Alaska Anchorage, vs. Alaska Anchorage.
10. St. Cloud State 3 Balanced attack leads Huskies, with three co-leaders in goal scoring (8) and five players within four points of the team lead in points.
13-8-3 (9-6-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Alaska Anchorage, 4-1; L at Alaska Anchorage, 6-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota State, vs. Minnesota State.
11. Notre Dame 5 Rob Globke's game-winning goal Sunday was the 12th of his career, tying Brian Urick and head coach Dave Poulin for the Irish record.
12-7-3 (8-6-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: T at Wisconsin, 2-2 ot; W at Wisconsin, 3-1. THIS WEEK: at Northern Michigan, at Northern Michigan.
12. Colorado College 6 Tigers have lost six in a row in the WCHA. If you see some wheels lying on the side of the road in Anchorage, that's where they fell off.
11-8-3 (4-6-2 WCHA). LAST WEEK: L at Minnesota Duluth, 4-3; L at Minnesota Duluth, 4-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Wisconsin, vs. Wisconsin.
13. Cornell 5 This weekend marked the third home series this season in which Cornell hasn't gotten a win.
7-4-6 (5-2-3 ECAC). LAST WEEK: T vs. Union, 1-1 ot; L vs. Rensselaer, 2-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Vermont, vs. Dartmouth.
14. Miami 2 RedHawks are in first, but with a tough schedule ahead, they might need a sweep this weekend against struggling Nebraska-Omaha.
13-9-2 (10-5-1 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L at Ferris State, 5-4; W at Ferris State, 4-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Nebraska-Omaha, vs. Nebraska-Omaha.
15. Ohio State 2 The affliction: sweep at Michigan. The cure: host Lake Superior State for two.
15-10-0 (10-7-0 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Lake Superior, 5-0; W vs. Lake Superior, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan State, vs. Michigan State.
16. Brown 2 Not to worry, Yann Danis (0-1 this week). We had a little bit of an emotional letdown the week after our website was launched, too.
9-5-4 (9-3-1 ECAC). LAST WEEK: T vs. Connecticut, 1-1 ot; L at New Hampshire, 3-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Merrimack, at UMass Lowell.
17. Dartmouth 2 Lee Stempniak: "We don't play to tie." Could've fooled us.
7-4-6 (5-1-4 ECAC) LAST WEEK: L vs. New Hampshire, 5-0; T vs. Clarkson, 2-2 ot; W vs. St. Lawrence, 5-3. THIS WEEK: at Colgate, at Cornell.
18. Massachusetts 2 UMass and Maine combined for six shots in the third period of Saturday's 1-0 Minutemen win. Some fans had more than that at the bar afterwards.
11-7-5 (7-5-2 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: L at Maine, 3-0; W at Maine, 1-0. THIS WEEK: Off.
19. Western Michigan NR Broncos crack the top 20 with a sweep at UNO. Home-and-home with Michigan gives them a chance to show they belong.
13-12-1 (9-6-1 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Bowling Green, 1-0; L at Bowling Green, 3-2. THIS WEEK: at Ohio State, at Ohio State.
20. UMass Lowell The River Hawks got a win in overtime Friday night, but lost leading goal scorer Ben Walter to a knee sprain during the extra session. He's out 3-to-5 weeks.
12-10-3 (7-4-1 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W at Merrimack, 4-3 ot; L vs. Merrimack, 3-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Brown.

Dropped out: Michigan State

Bubble-licious: Michigan State, Rensselaer, Colgate, Bemidji State


How can Minnesota jump so far up the rankings? Sure, 16 goals helps to pad
the stats, but if you actually watched the game, the local high schoolers
could have beat Minnesota State too. We'll see who's the better team this
weekend when UND comes to visit. Go Sioux!

— Brian, Fargo, N.D.

Why are you complaining about the Gophers' jump in the rankings? Bring it
on, Sioux! Or, should I say, Sue!

— Bill, Chicago

Please, please, please don't tell me that the best insult a Gopher fan can come up with is a line stolen from a Johnny Cash song? Is that all you have, Bill?

I hope your team shows move imagination this weekend because I refuse to be insulted again as a hockey fan by the very poor showing the Gophers put on in Grand Forks earlier this year. Please ask Mr. Vanek to show up this time, as I'm tired of hearing from Gopher fans/bandwagon riders about how "down" Minnesota was last series. Do you seriously believe that anyone in the college hockey universe thinks that the Gophers and Sioux wouldn't be on high octane when playing each other, even if they were down to their fourth lines?? Come on!

The Gophers have folded all year against upper echelon (that would be "good teams" and not average to basement dwellers in their leagues) teams and make games against middle-of-the-pack teams look like epic struggles. I am a life-long Sioux fan who was forced to cheer for the Gophers at the Frozen Four in St. Paul a couple years back when there was no question they were the cream of the WCHA and its best hope for a national championship...but this just ain't your year (even with two North Dakota boys to help bring the trophy this time). So, in advance of the Sioux sweep, "Have a seat, thanks for playing".

P.S. Make sure you get the starting goalie some sun-block and shades 'cause that red light is going to be busy all night long!

— Mike, Grand Forks, N.D.

I think that you guys in the Power Rankings should consider UAA to be one of your top 20 teams. We've beaten Colorado College twice Minnesota, UMass Lowell, St. Cloud State, and weve tied North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Denver. Even though our record is 7-9-3 we havent played many non-confrence games and cosidering that the WCHA is probably the toughest confrence our overall record doesnt show how our team ends up with the top hockey schools arround the country.

Becquer, Anchorage

RPI has beaten St. Cloud State (twice), Cornell (first home shutout in 5 years), and UMass Lowell and they're bubble-licious?

Show some respect for the most improved team in college hockey!

Oh, by the way 6-2-0 in the ECAC would be good for 12 points, putting UNH in a tie for 7th place.

— Adam Dyer, Troy, N.Y.

UAA is ranked #12 nationally in the Pairwise Rankings, 11th in the RPI and 10th in the KRACH. If the NCAA selections were done today, they'd be
on the bubble for an at large bid. But for some reason, Inside College
Hockey fails to realize they exist. They spent a week on the bubble and
then after beating St. Cloud State and tying North Dakota on the road,
they have been non-existent. Why the bias against Alaska Anchorage?

— Mike Dingman, Anchorage

This is in responce to Mike from Grand Forks, Nort' Dakooda: Yeah, you betcha...Minnesota does have two boys from up dare. But take a look at your roster...if it weren't for the boys from Minnesota you wouldn't have a team. All said, we'll see who's the #1 team in the nation this weekend.

— Jim, St. Paul, Minn.

What's up with Massachusetts getting ZERO respect. They just split a series against Maine, not to mention they SHUT THEM OUT! You rank Maine #3 and UMass #18. I realize that UMass' offense has struggled while Stephen Werner was at the World Juniors, however he is now back and UMass should be recognized as a top 10 team.

— Michael Bishop, Boston

North Dakota: Let's talk after the Gophers win their third straight title, OK?

— Matt, Minneapolis

I'd would ask Mike of North Dakota to look at their own schedule before slinging shots at the Gophers schedule. Let's see, hummm, don't see Maine, New Hampshire or either Michigan there. Let me look again...nope just not there! Oh...but I do see Concordia, Yale, Wayne State and Findlay...now there's quality! Looks to me the only quality non-conference opponent you've played this season has been BC and that was a split. I would expect pretty much any WCHA to beat a Wayne State, Findlay, Yale and Concordia, I wouldn't call them quality wins though. I'll take Coach Lucia's schedule over Blais' any day. I'd rather have ties with BU than wins over your four, just kind of a hollow victory if you ask me. So let's see what UND has. The Gophs are back and may the team win that wants it most!

— Gabby, Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Let's start looking at the facts and stop talking all this smack.

1) The Gophers didn't have the best record last year when they won it all, or the year before. But if Iam correct, the best team wins, right?

2) The Gophers started the season 2-7-1, but please look at what they have done after that. 11-1-2 sounds about right, and that is against some quality opponents compared to what UND plays...nothing but bottom dwellers (no offense to those of you who read this). The only quality teams UND plays are from the WCHA and Boston College.

All of you from North Dakota, please just sit down and stop trying to act all tough.

— Josh, Lindstrom, Minn., but currently somewhere in Iraq

I think someone (Mike) is a little bitter that the Potulny brothers are playing across the border for the better team. Buddy, without the Minnesota boys playing year after year, NoDak would be the equivalent to a Findlay or Wayne State. Don't be a "Gopher Hater" because you're bitter. That's sad.

— A.J., St. Paul, Minn.

Hey, Minnesota and North Dakota fans, when did the Power Rankings Feedback become the USCHO message board?

— Will D., Ithaca, N.Y.

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