INCH Power Rankings
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
us know what you think, including your name and hometown, and
we'll share your thoughts below (some feedback may be edited).
made to defenseman Ryan Caldwell after Saturday's championship
game: "You just made yourself a lot of money."
(13-10-5 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Minnesota Duluth, 5-3; W vs.
when you thought you got hosed by the officials in 2002? Can't
blame 'em this time.
(17-5-2 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Boston College, 2-1;
L vs. Denver, 1-0.
just us, or did others see Tony Voce's picture on milk cartons
following Thursday's game against Maine?
(17-4-3 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: L vs. Maine, 2-1.
loss to Denver was disappointing, but Junior Lessard's Hobey
win took some of the sting away.
(19-7-2 WCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Denver, 5-3.
year, another talented team struck down by the curse of the
(20-5-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Holy Cross, 3-0; L vs. Denver,
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.
(15-12-1 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Notre Dame, 5-2; L vs. Minnesota
go from the team that beat themselves in 2003-04 to the team
to beat in 2004-05.
(18-8-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. New Hampshire, 4-1; L vs. Boston
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.
(14-7-7 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Ohio State, 1-0 ot; L vs. Maine,
to the eventual national champions in the NCAA Tournament. But
unlike North Dakota and Maine, they didn't get shut out in the
(17-8-3 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Denver, 3-2.
the time of our lives in Boston, the Buckeyes bring the Frozen
Four to Columbus next year. No pressure there.
(16-12-0 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Wisconsin, 1-0 ot.
Collins make the leap that his long-time friend Steve Saviano
did entering his senior season?
(10-8-6 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: L vs. Michigan, 4-1.
best team not to make this year's tournament is in it next year,
they'll play at home in the regionals.
(12-9-3 Hockey East).
champs lose only one of their top-seven-scoring forwards.
successfully fought the NCAA on
the opt-in rule. Next challenge should be keeping Paul Hornung
(14-11-3 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Minnesota, 5-2.
defenseman rebounds from disappointing year to sign with Pittsburgh.
Based on Ryan Whitney's example, Noah Welch could be in for
a good season.
(10-5-7 ECAC). LAST WEEK: L vs. Maine, 5-4.
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?
where the Spartans would be had they landed George Gwozdecky
to be their head coach two years ago?
(17-9-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Minnesota Duluth, 5-0.
of Buffalo, we missed Big Shotz, Zig Fracassi, Jim's Steakout
and Elizabeth from the Bradford this weekend.
(14-6-0 CHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Boston College, 5-2.
Cross jump to the ECAC in 2005-06? The upcoming coaches meetings
in Florida could hold the answer.
(17-4-3). LAST WEEK: L vs. North Dakota, 3-0.
Goofus at the Frozen Four this year. We expect to see the one-man-band
Clarkson, Dartmouth, St. Cloud State, Bemidji State, Alaska
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
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!
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.
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
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
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.
game between the two best conferences in college hockey. What a
this to a friend
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