February 8, 2004
INCH Power Rankings

Related Links
Seeding speculation:
INCH 4x4
Last week's rankings
USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll
USCHO.com Poll

Boston College takes over the top spot, but they don't have a lot of time to enjoy it. If the Eagles soar against BU in Monday's Beanpot final, they will have captured all three tournaments that they've played so far this year, with Hockey East and the NCAAs still to come.

Speaking of tournaments, it's time to cast our gaze towards the NCAAs; thus the debut of the INCH 4x4, which projects what we think the field might look like once the season ends.

Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the rest of 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. Boston College 1 Earlier this year, Jack Parker said that he might be able to beat BC if a few more Eagles were hurt. As they limp out of a tie vs. Merrimack, he may get his wish.
20-3-4 (12-1-3 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Harvard, 4-1 (Beanpot); T at Merrimack, 4-4 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston University (Beanpot), at Massachusetts, vs. Massachusetts.
2. North Dakota 1 Dean Blais last week, on the standings beneath the Sioux: "There's some interesting races down there and I'm glad we're not in them." It just got more interesting in Grand Forks.
19-5-3 (13-4-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: L at Wisconsin, 4-3 ot; L at Wisconsin, 5-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Colorado College, vs. Colorado College.
3. Minnesota 2 The last time a Minnesota-Minnesota Duluth series meant this much, the guys behind the benches were named Woog and Sertich.
18-9-3 (11-8-1 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Bemidji State, 2-1; W vs. Bemidji State, 5-1. THIS WEEK: at Minnesota Duluth, at Minnesota Duluth.
4. Maine The Black Bears were 7-0-0 against Atlantic Hockey/MAAC and CHA teams the last two years until Huntsville's tie Saturday night.
20-6-2 (11-4-1 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 1-0; T vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: at Northeastern, at Northeastern.
5. Michigan 2 Remember the last time the Wolverines lost to Miami at home? Neither do we, so we looked it up: Nov. 18, 1994.
19-8-1 (14-5-1 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Alaska-Fairbanks, 4-1; L at Alaska-Fairbanks, 5-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Miami, vs. Miami.
6. Minnesota Duluth Junior Lessard had one assist in his team's eight-goal outburst. That's no way to win the Hobey.
18-8-3 (14-5-1 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Minnesota State, 8-1; T at Minnesota State, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota, vs. Minnesota.
7. Miami Miami moved last Saturday's game, originally scheduled for Cincinnati, back on campus. Bet they wish they could do the same for this weekend's set at Yost.
18-9-3 (15-5-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Notre Dame, 5-2; W vs. Notre Dame, 2-0. THIS WEEK: at Michigan, at Michigan.
8. Wisconsin 1 Has there been a more important goal than the one Robbie Earl scored in overtime against NoDak Friday? Well, maybe the one he scored with a minute left in regulation.
17-9-6 (11-6-5 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. North Dakota, 4-3 ot; W vs. North Dakota, 5-2. THIS WEEK: Off.
9. New Hampshire 1 By our count, Saturday was the fifth time this year UNH fans gave up on the season. One more and they get a free sandwich.
16-10-3 (8-6-3 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: L at Massachusetts, 4-1; W vs. Massachusetts, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: at UMass Lowell, vs. UMass Lowell.
10. Denver If the Pioneers want to stay home for the first round of the WCHA playoffs, they'd be wise to make hay the next two weekends against MSU-Mankato and Michigan Tech.
16-10-4 (6-10-4 WCHA). LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. Minnesota State, vs. Minnesota State.
11. St. Cloud State 1 The snow sculptures were impressive in Houghton. The home team wasn't.
16-9-3 (12-7-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Michigan Tech, 4-1; W at Michigan Tech, 3-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Bemidji State, vs. Bemidji State.
12. Massachusetts 1 They were rockin' at Mullins Center Friday night. And we're pretty sure we saw more than 1,000 mullets in the crowd, which is how many free wigs they gave out at the door.
16-6-5 (12-4-2 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. New Hampshire, 4-1; L at New Hampshire, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston College, at Boston College.
13. Brown 1 Not just the Yann Danis show, with the league's best scoring differential at +28. Mike Meech (three goals on the weekend) joins the right wing with Brent Robinson and Les Haggett.
14-5-4 (12-3-1 ECAC). LAST WEEK: W at Princeton, 5-2; W at Yale, 4-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Union, vs. Rensselaer.
14. Colgate 3 Six-game winning streak snapped, but two ties on the road keep the Raiders in the hunt for the ECAC crown.
15-8-5 (10-4-2 ECAC). LAST WEEK: T at Vermont, 3-3 ot; T at Dartmouth, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Yale, vs. Princeton.
15. Colorado College 1 Alaskan king Crabb – Anchorage native Joey Crabb scores with 4 seconds left in regulation Saturday as Tigers sweep UAA.
15-10-3 (8-8-2 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Alaska Anchorage, 3-2; W vs. Alaska Anchorage, 4-3. THIS WEEK: at North Dakota, at North Dakota.
16. Michigan State NR Not unusual: Spartans sweep Lake State. Unusual: MSU's Joe Markusen and the Lakers' Bo Cheesman tossed from Saturday's game after engaging in old-fashioned donnybrook.
17-14-1 (13-8-1 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W at Lake Superior State, 8-5; W vs. Lake Superior State, 2-1. THIS WEEK: at Alaska-Fairbanks, at Alaska-Fairbanks.
17. Cornell NR Lenny left? Rookie goalie David McKee has five shutouts this season.
10-7-6 (8-5-3 ECAC). LAST WEEK: W at Dartmouth, 4-2; W at Vermont, 1-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Princeton, vs. Yale.
18. Bemidji State Could any conference have a better winless showing than the CHA did last weekend, with Bemidji playing Minnesota tough and Alabama-Huntsville doing the same at Maine?
15-9-2 (12-2-0 CHA). LAST WEEK: L at Minnesota, 2-1; L at Minnesota, 5-1. THIS WEEK: at St. Cloud State, at St. Cloud State.
19. Ohio State NR Knapp time has just begun. Buckeyes' forward Dan Knapp gets his first career hat trick in 6-0 win at Ferris State Saturday.
17-13-0 (12-10-0 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L at Ferris State, 5-2; W at Ferris State, 6-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Nebraska-Omaha, vs. Nebraska-Omaha.
20. Providence NR After a 6-0-2 February last year, Friars start this one 2-0-0.
12-9-6 (4-8-5 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W at Boston University, 2-0; W at UMass Lowell, 4-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston University.

Dropped out: Notre Dame, Mercyhurst, Dartmouth, Rensselaer

Bubble-licious: Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Rensselaer, Dartmouth


Wisconsin moves up only one spot for sweeping the #1 team in the nation? Come on. If that's not a represntation of "power", i don't know what is.

Jed, Madison, Wisc.

Ed.: Rule No. 1: You live in Madison. You've got nothing to complain about.

Rankings.....What good are they really? You sweep the #1 team and you go from 9 to 8? What can you say other than what a joke.

Mark H., Stoughton, Wisc.

I'm a bit biased too, but I think UMass should be ahead of UNH. Even without the two UML forfeits, they have an equal record overall and better record in conference. And in the head to head contests this past weekend, they dominated UNH in Amherst, despite none of the stars scoring and then lost in OT. Since getting Werner and Mauldin back, they've been playing the best in the East outside of BC. Maybe if they get a couple points against BC this week they'll move into the Top 10.

And if you thought Mullet Night was rockin', wait until Friday when the Mullins Center will probably sell out for the first time for hockey.

Paul Chaisson, Concord, Mass.

Do the Badger fans think their team is better than Miami or Michigan? That's
why you're not higher than #8.

Mike, Grand Rapids, Mich.

So let me get this straight. North Dakota gets SWEPT this weekend and drops one.... ONE.... spot in the rankings. Michigan goes on the road TO ALASKA (who happens to be sitting in 4th place in the conference right now), and earns a split with a team who is now 11-3 in their own barn, and drops TWO ranking places!? And Maine doesn't get punished at all for tying a team from ALABAMA?!.... AT HOME no less....! I'm sure there is some kind of logical explanation for this whole thing, I'm just at a loss as to what it is... Perhaps you would be so kind as to enlighten me....?

Jon Sobel, Columbus, Ohio

Not an easy week for rankings as 5 of the top 6 lost or tied. BC backs into #1 with a tie with lowly Merrimack. North Dakota should fall lower than #2 after being swept by Wisconsin. Yes, the Sioux are very good, but are 2-3-1 in their last 6...not #2 caliber. Minnesota should be #2 and were the only top 6 team not to lose or tie last weekend. Wisconsin and Miami (OH) deserve more consideration after great weekends.

Mike, Woodbury, Minn.

Cornell's play revolves around a strong defense, McKee has them to thank for his 5 shutouts. Their offense fails to put up any strong numbers. Cornell is 4-4-1 since the start of the year; RPI is 7-3 including a 2 goal shutout win over the Big Red. How can you deny the Engineers a spot, and give Cornell #17?

Bryan Wezwick, Warren, N.J.

I am going to give Wisconsin all the credit in the world for beating the Sioux last weekend. They outplayed them in every aspect of the game. I think they should've been at least a top 5 team. What I don't understand is why you keep Michigan in the top 5 when they keep losing to crappy teams like Alaska-Fairbanks. Granted they still beat some good teams but losing to teams that don't play at their caliber has to bring them down. Also I hope the Sioux get back on track this weekend because they can't afford any more losses to WCHA teams if they want to win the WCHA.

Ryan, Grand Forks, N.D.

Seeing Wisconsin move up just one spot after a North Dakota sweep was
rather weak. After a performance like that, Wisconsin needs to be bumped
up at least 2 or 3 spots.

Nick, Madison, Wisc.

How does a team that sweeps the number one team in the country, only move up ONE spot in the power rankings. These rankings are obviously a joke.

Anand D., Madison, Wisc.

Minnesota goes up 2 spots for beating Bemidji State and Miami sweeps Notre Dame (who was ranked ahead of BSU) and stays at #7? What is that all about?

Adam, Oxford, OH

I just had to respond to the question from Mike in Grand Rapids. You asked if the Badgers fans think there better than Michigan or Miami... The answer to that is' with out a doubt. Michigan has to play teams (and beat them) other than Our Lady of the Holy Puck. And I can't see how Miami could even be ranked ahead of other WCHA teams. The WCHA is the upper echelon of College Hockey. We'll see how it all shakes out in the end, my moneys on Minnesota for the third time.

Jim, Woodbury, MN

Well come on Adam, neither Bemidji or Notre Dame are real power houses here, but at least Bemidji is at the top of their conference, that might have something to do with the Gophs jumping up 2 spots. Notre Dame is 8th in their league. That would be my guess as to the climb for Minnesota.

Gabby, Brooklyn Park, MN

I love this Midwestern smack-talk! The Cheddarheads must relax and understand that a) they swept the #1 team at HOME and b) they were swept in Minneapolis the week before. Considering the teams and arenas involved, I think these things even out. Be happy you’re in the top 10 and hope you don’t drop a spot during your off-week. We all hope you don’t slip, lest we will be subjected to more Wisconsin Whining.

On the positive side, BC proved on Monday night why they deserve #1. Beating a solid team with a hot goalie and Beanpot history on their side … the Eagles are primed for a Championship.

Joe, Boston

Why shouldn't Michigan be ranked atleast #5. They have a better record than #3 Minnesota, have played fewer gaems than Minnesota, and are 8-1-0 in the last nine games. The latest loss coming IN ALASKA where the nanooks (@home 11-3) play on an olympic-sized rink. Certainly the CCHA is not recieving its due credit. Firstly, remember that the CCHA has sent ten teams to the final four in the past nine years. Michigan was sent seven of these times (best in the NCAA). Secondly, Michigan is historically an even better season-closer than seaon-starter as it is also one of the consistently youngest teams in the ncaa. Therefore, please do not be surprised if after sweeping Miami at Yost (arguably the nation's most difficult rink to visit), Michigan goes on yet another "W" streak (perhaps beyond the frozen four).

Dave Dudek, Ann Arbor, MI

For the 4x4, you might have forgotten that now the RPI gives bonus points for quality wins. They give more for a road win than a neutral site win, and more for a neutral site win than a home win. If this is calcuated as .5 for road, .25 for neutral, and .15 for home, the team with the top RPI is Notre Dame(Thanks to wins @Boston College, @Wisconsin, and vs. Maine on neutral ice). If the Irish make it to the CCHA Semifinals, and have the #1 RPI in the nation, there is no way they don't make the NCAA Tournament.


Where is the love for UAF. Sure their road record isn't the greatest in the nation, but if you look at the recent scores and opponents you can see that they are playing much better on the road. Can you not see their home record (11-3), and the fact that they are 4th in the toughest conference in Div 1. They were close to sweeping the #4 team in the country in Michigan, and would have won Fridays game if not for a controversal call. I think they deserve some recognition, they are one of the highest scoring teams in the CCHA and are starting to learn to play some defense now too.

Andrew Martinez, Fairbanks, AK

Wisconsin, without a doubt, deserves to at least be in the top five teams. And yes, Wisconsin is better than Michigan and Miami. After all, I don't see those two teams sweeping the #1 team in the country!

Ed, Williamsville, IL

Yeah we might have gotten swept in Minneapolis last weekend but we showed the country what type of team Wisconsin really is down 3-1 to the best team in the nation come back and win in Ot . For all u naysayers out there just look at the projections for the NCAA's there is 6 WHCA teams there so dont crack our league

BJ, Belleville, Wisc.

This better be just a mean joke, so I expect to see the real rankings in a few days. And will you guys make sure that Wisconsin is ahead of Minnesota, it would be much appreciated.

Karl Galko, Oconomowoc, Wisc.

I am amazed by some of this weeks self-serving feedback. Wisconsin should be ranked above Minnesota? I guess, Karl, that you forgot that the Gophers swept the Badgers just last week. Notre Dame? Swept by Miami (OH) this past weekend! AK-Fairbanks needs love? 13-14-1. It takes more than a good home record and couldabeen sentiments. CCHA the best conference? I guess non-conf. records are a nuisance to consider. CCHA is 38-33-11 while the WCHA is 50-19-9 and Hockey East is 54-28-13 (ECAC is 37-51-25). Michigan is 1-4 vs. top 10 competition. Nuff said.

Why is everyone so impressed that BC beat BU for the Beanpot? As a former BC student I like them, but come on. BU is 8-12-6 and 8th in Hockey East. Are our expectations of #1 that low or was it a slow news day?

Mike, Woodbury, Minn.

Wisconsin really ought to be ranked higher than Michigan..Michigan plays in the weak CCHA (see only 2 CCHA teams in your top 15..compared to 7 from the WCHA) And more importantly...the Badgers beat Michigan 3-1...In Ann Arbor.

Noah, Eau Claire, Wisc.

I don't understand how some of you people can bash these teams when you've never seen them play, only read up on them. Something a lot of you don't get is that most of the college hockey teams might only play an opponent 1 or 2 times in a season as to the NHL where they may play 4 or even 6 times. Anyone can win on any given night. When Michigan lost to Wisconsin and Minnesota in the Showcase tourney a few months back, I don't believe Michigan played up to their full potential. I do believe WCHA is the toughest conference but I think Hockey East is 2nd and CCHA 3rd. The only way I would have no problem with everyone sayin what they want about certain teams they know nothing about is if the season was extended and there were more non-coference games scheduled so we could get a taste of college hockey before the playoffs.

Alex Wohl, Monroe, Mich.

I'd like to give an objective view to the whole controversy about Wisconsin only moving up one spot in the rankings. As I understand it, the power rankings are based on a teams overall performance throughout the season. This way, teams aren't thoroughly punished for having a bad series, or teams aren't rewarded to highly for an upset. This system rewards teams for their overall seasonal performance. All that matters in the end is who is peaking at tournament time.

Jimmy, Salt Lake City, UT

I feel a responsibility to inform Alex in Michigan of a few things: First, there is this thing called satellite TV, which affords the college hockey junkie an opportunity to get a look at the game in different parts of the country during the regular season. In addition, some cable packages include FOX regional sports channels, which frequently carry college hockey. (BTW, this webpage has a complete listing of programming.) This is how a guy in Boston can watch Minnesota play on a Friday or Saturday night AND go to FleetCenter on a Monday night for the BC/BU Beanpot final.

Second, I disagree with the assertion that schedules do not allow teams to play the same teams with enough frequency. For example, this season Minnesota plays five teams four times each. In a 38-game schedule, having more than 50 percent of their games split among five teams seems adequate.

Michigan didn’t play up to their potential against Minnesota and Wisconsin? Does any team ever play up to its potential? Did BC play up to their potential when they lost to Northeastern? The games are played for a reason. A logical observer would have to conclude that, since these three teams have comparable records, the two teams that beat the other team in its own building are better than that team.

Mid-October through early April isn’t long enough? Alex, you need to discover golf or fishing or something for when the snow melts and the ponds thaw.

Mike in Woodbury seems to be right on target, but I feel compelled to tell him that I am mystified as to why BU has such a poor record this season. I have watched them play three times: two 5-5 ties with Minnesota and an OT loss to BC. What made BC’s Beanpot victory impressive was that they overcame an incredibly hot goalkeeper (50 saves). This type of victory is something they can take with them to March and April, when all the best teams will have goalies with horseshoes in the right places.

Joe, Boston

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