April 12, 2004
INCH Power Rankings

Related Links
Most recent rankings
USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll
USCHO.com Poll

With another season wrapped up, we've still got one eye on 2003-04 and another focused on the future. That's why you get a little bit of a look back and a bit of a look ahead in this week's Power Rankings.

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 (some feedback may be edited).

No. Team

Of Note
1. Denver 3 A comment made to defenseman Ryan Caldwell after Saturday's championship game: "You just made yourself a lot of money."
27-12-5 (13-10-5 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Minnesota Duluth, 5-3; W vs. Maine, 1-0.
2. Maine 1 Remember when you thought you got hosed by the officials in 2002? Can't blame 'em this time.
33-8-3 (17-5-2 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Boston College, 2-1; L vs. Denver, 1-0.
3. Boston College 1 Was it just us, or did others see Tony Voce's picture on milk cartons following Thursday's game against Maine?
29-9-4 (17-4-3 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: L vs. Maine, 2-1.
4. Minnesota Duluth 1 Thursday's loss to Denver was disappointing, but Junior Lessard's Hobey win took some of the sting away.
28-13-4 (19-7-2 WCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Denver, 5-3.
5. North Dakota Another year, another talented team struck down by the curse of the MacNaughton Cup.
30-8-3 (20-5-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Holy Cross, 3-0; L vs. Denver, 1-0.
6. Minnesota We're not sure which is a longer shot – the Twins' chances of getting funding for a new baseball stadium or Thomas Vanek returning to the Gophers in the fall.
27-14-3 (15-12-1 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Notre Dame, 5-2; L vs. Minnesota Duluth, 3-1.
7. Michigan They'll go from the team that beat themselves in 2003-04 to the team to beat in 2004-05.
27-14-2 (18-8-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. New Hampshire, 4-1; L vs. Boston College, 3-2.
8. Wisconsin Remember those awful third jerseys with the giant Badger on the front? Ryan Suter could be wearing one just as hideous next season with the Nashville Predators.
22-13-8 (14-7-7 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Ohio State, 1-0 ot; L vs. Maine, 2-1 ot.
9. Miami They lost to the eventual national champions in the NCAA Tournament. But unlike North Dakota and Maine, they didn't get shut out in the process.
23-14-4 (17-8-3 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Denver, 3-2.
10. Ohio State After having the time of our lives in Boston, the Buckeyes bring the Frozen Four to Columbus next year. No pressure there.
26-16-0 (16-12-0 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Wisconsin, 1-0 ot.
11. New Hampshire Can Sean Collins make the leap that his long-time friend Steve Saviano did entering his senior season?
20-15-6 (10-8-6 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: L vs. Michigan, 4-1.
12. Massachusetts If the best team not to make this year's tournament is in it next year, they'll play at home in the regionals.
19-12-6 (12-9-3 Hockey East).
13. Colgate ECAC regular-season champs lose only one of their top-seven-scoring forwards.
22-12-5 (14-6-2 ECAC).
14. Notre Dame Dave Poulin successfully fought the NCAA on the opt-in rule. Next challenge should be keeping Paul Hornung quiet.
20-15-4 (14-11-3 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Minnesota, 5-2.
15. Harvard Highly-touted defenseman rebounds from disappointing year to sign with Pittsburgh. Based on Ryan Whitney's example, Noah Welch could be in for a good season.
16-10-9 (10-5-7 ECAC). LAST WEEK: L vs. Maine, 5-4.
16. Colorado College What's worse than just missing the NCAA Tournament? How about watching your archrival win the regional title in your barn, then going on to capture the national championship?
20-16-3 (11-15-2 WCHA).
17. Michigan State Who knows where the Spartans would be had they landed George Gwozdecky to be their head coach two years ago?
24-16-2 (17-9-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Minnesota Duluth, 5-0.
18. Niagara Speaking of Buffalo, we missed Big Shotz, Zig Fracassi, Jim's Steakout and Elizabeth from the Bradford this weekend.
21-15-3 (14-6-0 CHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Boston College, 5-2.
19. Holy Cross Could Holy Cross jump to the ECAC in 2005-06? The upcoming coaches meetings in Florida could hold the answer.
22-10-4 (17-4-3). LAST WEEK: L vs. North Dakota, 3-0.
20. Northern Michigan We missed Goofus at the Frozen Four this year. We expect to see the one-man-band in Columbus.
21-16-4 (13-13-2 CCHA).

Dropped out: None

Bubble-licious: Clarkson, Dartmouth, St. Cloud State, Bemidji State, Alaska Anchorage


First and foremost, congratulations to the Denver Pioneers, the new NCAA champions. They probably had the toughest road to win the whole thing and are quite deserving. And yes this does show the strength of the WCHA as a conference. When a team that finished tied for 4th in the conference, gets knocked out of the conference tourney on their home ice, then have spectacular showing in the NCAAs. It goes to show (and I am eating my words from last week) that defense does win championships. When you allow only 7 goals in a total of 4 games (actually 2, with 2 SO), that is pretty impressive, and Berkhoel was truly the MOP of the tourney. Congrats to Maine for making it to the finals again, and sucks you on disallowed goal, but that is part of the game. But, you did get outplayed in your own game. These were the two teams I didn't expect to be in the championship game, but did make it and were very deserving.

Next, Why don't they have a thrid place game anymore? I would have liked to see UMD and BC play in the championship game, but I truly believe you could have gotten a pretty good draw of a crowd to watch this game. I think it would have been a pretty exciting game, and probably very wide open. Oh well though. Again congrats to all of 4 teams that made the Frozen Four, and thank you to every other team in college hockey for making a very exciting year. I can't wait for next season to start.

One last note, Congrats to Hobey Baker winner Junior Lessard of UMD. I am glad that he didn't get screwed over by the committee doing something stupid like giving the award to Parise (nothing against him, he's a great player). The most deserving player won it, and as he improved so did the Bulldogs, his presence will be missed next year. Good luck to all of the Seniors in college hockey and to those who choose or have chosen to go to the NHL early.

See you all next year.

Mike - Duluth, MN

Congratulations to Denver! You definately deserved it with a great run
in the playoffs... I'm still in shock, but it was a fantastic postseason.

Way to keep the championship in the WCHA!

Tim, Madison WI

The WCHA has five of the top 8 teams in your poll, of the WCHA teams in the tournament, only Wisconsin lost to a non-WCHA opponent (in OT to Maine), and you put Maine and BC above all but national champion Denver? Maine surely belongs in the top four (I would say third), and BC was tough all season, but more than any other top team BC melted down when it counted (see collapse against New Hampshire after they clinched the regular season Hockey East crown, then an early exit in Hockey East Tourney, and dropping all of their last three against Maine - including the Frozen Four game). Based on strength of schedule in the WCHA (see above), I have to give NoDak the nod for number two (and no, I'm not a NoDak fan). Just like Maine, NoDak lost 1-0 to Denver during Denver's remarkable run. Unlike Maine, they won the regular season in the toughest conference in the country (this year). Finally, consider balance - [amazing] Jim Howard carried Maine through the Hockey East and NCAA tournaments; NoDak won the WCHA crown with great players on every line.

David Beach, San Francisco, California

Great Job DU! I mentioned a couple of months ago that Adam B. was heating up at the right time, but I did not expect the drama on the way. I feel a little redemption from a couple of years ago when DU had a great team and lost at Michigan. Thanks to the 2 Mikes for the exchange (if not always friendly) of team facts and spirit. Can't wait till next season!

Ron, Aptos, CA

I said it before, and I'll say it again: Defense wins championships. Regardless of the way you look at it, both Maine and Denver were deserving of getting into the championship game. Denver won because they had the momentum after beating two phenominal teams, and the fact that Maine continued to lack the killer instinct around the net. It must be because we are fresh out of Kariyas, Montgomerys and Pellerins eh?

Looking ahead...I see both teams back in the hunt next year. Even though Maine loses Colin Shields, Prestin Ryan, and others, we still have Michel Leveille...a freshman who scored 40 points this year, and of course, Jimmy Howard. Denver retains the core of their team, and I think they will have a more consistant regular season next year...especially with depleted North Dakota and Minnesota.

Another fantastic game between the two best conferences in college hockey. What a fantastic sport!

Eric, Orono, Me.

Send this to a friend

About Us | Advertiser Info | Site Map | Privacy Policy
© 2004 Inside College Hockey, Inc., All Rights Reserved