March 27, 2006
INCH Power Rankings

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Last week's rankings
USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll Poll

Four teams are left in the NCAA Tournament field, but that's no reason not to rank 'em all. Or at least the top 20, as we do each week in the INCH Power Rankings.

Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation's top teams (along with a note for each team).

No. Team

Of Note
1. Wisconsin
Lest you think the Badgers are satisfied with merely advancing to the Frozen Four, consider captain Adam Burish's comments following Sunday's regional final win against Cornell: "In the locker room, all everyone was saying was 'Two more wins.'"
28-10-3 (17-8-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Bemidji State, 4-0; W vs. Cornell, 1-0 3ot. THIS WEEK: NCAA Semifinal vs. Maine.
2. North Dakota
Dave Hakstol is the fifth coach in NCAA history to advance to the Frozen Four in each of his first two seasons behind the bench. Only one of them – former Sioux pilot Gino Gasparini – won a national championship in his second turn.
29-15-1 (16-12-0 WCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. Michigan, 5-1; W vs. Holy Cross, 5-2. THIS WEEK: NCAA Semifinal vs. Boston College.
3. Minnesota
We're don't know what it feels like to be on the short end of one of the biggest upsets in college hockey history in the arena of your bitter rival, but we're guessing the Gophers feel like a lot like Jason Biggs' character in "American Pie" following the infamous web cam incident.
27-9-5 (20-5-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Holy Cross, 4-3 ot.
4. Boston College
If Cory Schneider and Brian Elliott both stay on a roll, we could be looking at a very long national title game.
25-12-3 (17-8-2 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Miami, 5-0; W vs. Boston University, 5-0. THIS WEEK: NCAA Semifinal vs. North Dakota.
5. Maine
Greg Moore's two goals this weekend were both empty-netters, but he was out there because he's an outstanding defensive forward, not to pad his stats.
28-11-2 (17-8-2 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Harvard, 6-1; W vs. Michigan State, 5-4. THIS WEEK: NCAA Semifinal vs. Wisconsin.
6. Boston University
When the Montreal Canadiens compare Chris Higgins to a young Jere Lehtinen, they’re actually talking about the former Yale star. But perhaps it fits here, too?
26-10-4 (17-7-3 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: W vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 9-2; L vs. Boston College, 5-0.
7. Michigan State

Only North Dakota (led by Oshie, Toews and Duncan) had better freshmen in the tournament than the Spartans.

25-12-8 (14-7-7 CCHA). LAST WEEK: W vs. New Hampshire, 1-0; L vs. Maine, 5-4.
8. Miami
After a consistently strong season, the RedHawks probably deserved better. But with Enrico Blasi at the helm and a new rink opening up, they’ll get better.
26-9-4 (20-6-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Boston College, 5-0.
9. Cornell
David McKee deserves a long, restful sleep. He will probably wake up to multiple NHL offers.
22-9-4 (13-6-3 ECACHL). LAST WEEK: W vs. Colorado College, 3-2; L vs. Wisconsin, 1-0 3ot.
10. Harvard
One has to believe the surprising Crimson will be the favorite in the ECACHL next season. Only five seniors – John Daigneault, Peter Hafner, Charlie Johnson, Dan Murphy and Tom Walsh – depart from this year's conference playoff championship team.
21-12-2 (13-8-1 ECACHL). LAST WEEK: L vs. Maine, 6-1.
11. Denver
Congrats to former Pioneer defenseman Matt Carle, who scored his first NHL goal in San Jose's 5-1 win at Minnesota on an assist from ex-Holy Cross standout Pat Rissmiller.
21-15-3 (17-8-3 WCHA). LAST WEEK: Off.
12. Colorado College
Of schools with at least one NCAA championship, the Tigers have the longest current title-less drought, which currently stands at 49 years and counting.
24-16-2 (15-11-2 WCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Cornell, 3-2.
13. New Hampshire
Brett "Yogi" Hemingway, summing up the 'Cats season in response to a question asked by Allan Lessels of the New Hampshire Union Leader: "We started out well and went down. We started to go up and went down. It was real up and down."
20-13-7 (14-7-6 Hockey East). LAST WEEK: L vs. Michigan State, 1-0.
14. Holy Cross
Overheard at the East Regional in Albany the day after the Crusaders stunned Minnesota: "There goes their invite to the Mariucci [holiday] Tournament."
25-10-2 (19-7-2 Atlantic Hockey). LAST WEEK: W vs. Minnesota, 4-3 ot; L vs. North Dakota, 5-2.
15. Michigan
There are three seasons for Wolverine hockey fans: regular season, postseason, and wait-to-see-which-underclassmen-depart season.
21-15-5 (13-10-5 CCHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. North Dakota, 5-1.
16. St. Cloud State
Five of the first-round games were decided by four or more goals, which had us longing for the Huskies' 8-7 overtime thriller vs. Minnesota.
22-16-4 (13-13-2 WCHA). LAST WEEK: Off.
17. Dartmouth
Who would you rather have returning – your top two assist men or your top two goal scorers? We'll take the guys who light the lamp, which is good news for the Big Green.
18-12-2 (14-6-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: Off.
18. Northern Michigan
We trust that if Darin Olver explores his options with the New York Rangers this offseason, it won't come as a shock to the NMU coaching staff, which includes his father, John.
22-16-2 (14-12-2 CCHA). LAST WEEK: Off.
19. Colgate
Raiders, who were unbeaten in overtime this season (3-0-6), must've felt like shouting advice to their travel partners Sunday night.
20-12-6 (14-6-2 ECACHL). LAST WEEK: Off.
20. Bemidji State
The Beavers had the misfortune of running into top seed Wisconsin less than 18 hours after the Badgers received a "anything can happen" wake-up call from Grand Forks.
20-14-3 (12-7-1 CHA). LAST WEEK: L vs. Wisconsin, 4-0.

Dropped out: Nebraska-Omaha

Bubble-licious: Nebraska-Omaha