January 22, 2012
INCH Power Rankings

Related Links
Last Week's INCH Power Rankings
USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll

In a year that teams are trying to establish themselves among the nation's elite, another weekend passes where split series prevail and a few teams raise their profile. It's going to be a crazy run down the stretch.

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. Minnesota Duluth
Including this past weekend’s non-conference wins against Alabama-Huntsville, the Bulldogs have played six one-goal games this season—all at home.
17-4-3 (11-3-2 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 2-1; W vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 4-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan Tech, vs. Michigan Tech
2. Boston University
Matt Nieto had six points on BU's 14 goals in a dominant weekend sweep of Providence. The Terriers have won five games in a row.
15-6-1 (12-4-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Providence, 6-1; W at Providence, 8-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Maine, vs. Maine
3. Minnesota
Playing in just his eighth game of the season, little-used senior forward Nico Sacchetti scored his first goal of the year Saturday, the game-winner in the Gophers’ 2-1 win against Colorado College.
17-9-1 (13-5-0 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L vs. Colorado College, 2-1; W vs. Colorado College, 2-1. THIS WEEK: vs. St. Cloud State, at St. Cloud State
4. Merrimack

Seldom-used forward John Heffernan slotted into the lineup Saturday night and paid dividends by scoring the OT winner at New Hampshire on Saturday night.

13-5-5 (9-4-3 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: L vs. New Hampshire, 2-1; W at New Hampshire, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Providence
5. Cornell
The Big Red held Harvard's nation-leading power play to just one goal in five opportunities in a 2-2 tie on Saturday night at Lynah Rink.
11-4-4 (8-1-3 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: W vs. Dartmouth, 4-3 ot; T vs. Harvard, 2-2 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Colgate, at Colgate
6. Notre Dame
Sophomore forward T.J. Tynan was held scoreless in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to visiting Michigan, snapping a five-game point streak during which he recorded three goals and five assists.
14-9-3 (9-6-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Michigan, 3-1; L vs. Michigan, 2-1. THIS WEEK: at Alaska, at Alaska
7. Union
The Dutchmen can't be hoping for a possible future matchup against Brown in the postseason, as Union dropped a 2-1 decision at home to the Bears on Nov. 11 and lost 3-2 at Brown this past weekend.
13-6-6 (7-3-3 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: W at Yale, 3-1; L at Brown, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Clarkson, vs. St. Lawrence
8. Ohio State
The Buckeyes, who lost and tied against Ferris State in Columbus this past weekend, are 0-3-3 in their last six games, their longest winless skid since going 0-10-1 between Oct. 19-Nov. 23, 2007.
14-7-4 (10-6-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: L vs. Ferris State, 4-3; T vs. Ferris State, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: at Lake Superior State, at Lake Superior State
9. Boston College
Almost two years to the date, Boston College lost back-to-back Hockey East games on the same weekend. The last time it happened was Jan. 22-23, 2010 against Boston University and UMass Lowell.
14-10-1 (10-7-1 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: L at Maine, 4-3 ot; L at Maine, 7-4. THIS WEEK: vs. New Hampshire, at New Hampshire
10. UMass Lowell
Derek Arnold, who had a goal in each game this past weekend, has 10 goals on the year as a sophomore. That ranks second on the team, and excessively surpasses his two-goal total as a freshman.
14-6-0 (9-5-0 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Northeastern, 4-0; W at Northeastern, 3-2 ot. THIS WEEK: at Providence, at Massachusetts, vs. Massachusetts
11. Colorado College
Even though he’s got a 2-1-0 record, sophomore goaltender Josh Thorimbert has been nearly perfect in his last three starts, stopping 104 of the 108 shots he’s faced, including 72 of 75 in the Tigers’ split at Minnesota this past weekend.
14-9-1 (11-7-0 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Minnesota, 2-1; L at Minnesota, 2-1. THIS WEEK: Off
12. Denver
Freshman defenseman Joey LaLeggia, whose 24 points leads NCAA rookie rearguards and ranks third among all newcomers, enters the Pioneers’ series at Alaska Anchorage with a six-game point streak—he’s scored three goals and eight assists during that span.
13-8-3 (8-5-3 WCHA) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: at Alaska Anchorage, at Alaska Anchorage
13. Michigan
Friday’s 3-1 loss at Notre Dame snapped the Wolverines’ nine-game unbeaten streak, their longest since winning 12 straight early in the 2007-08 season. Michigan has this weekend off to prepare for a suddenly monster series against Miami Feb. 3-4.
15-9-4 (9-7-4 CCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Notre Dame, 3-1; W at Notre Dame, 2-1. THIS WEEK: Off
14. Miami
Reilly Smith is officially on fire: the junior wing scored all of Miami’s goals in Friday’s 3-1 win against visiting Western Michigan and added another in Saturday’s 4-0 RedHawk win. Smith has six goals and two assists in his last five games.
14-10-2 (10-8-2 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W vs. Western Michigan, 3-1; W vs. Western Michigan, 4-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Northern Michigan, vs. Northern Michigan
15. Western Michigan
With 3-1 and 4-0 losses at Miami this past weekend, the Broncos fell to 1-9-3 this season in games in which they score fewer than two goals. The lone win was a 2-1 OT victory at St. Cloud State on Dec. 30.
12-9-5 (9-6-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: L at Miami, 3-1; L at Miami, 4-0. THIS WEEK: vs. Bowling Green, at Bowling Green
16. Ferris State
The Bulldogs extended their unbeaten streak to six games with a 4-3 win and 3-3 tie at Ohio State this past weekend. Ferris State is 13-0-2 this season in games in which it scores three or more goals.
15-8-3 (9-6-3 CCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Ohio State, 4-3; T at Ohio State, 3-3 ot. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan State, vs. Michigan State
17. Maine
Scoring 11 goals in a conference sweep over a weekend is rare ... unless you're Maine, which has pulled it off twice this year against Vermont (Dec. 2-3) and BC (this week).
12-8-3 (9-7-2 Hockey East) LAST WEEK: W vs. Boston College, 4-3 ot; W vs. Boston College, 7-4. THIS WEEK: at Boston University, at Boston University
18. North Dakota
With a 6-2 loss to Minnesota on Jan. 14 and Friday’s 3-1 loss at St. Cloud State, North Dakota dropped consecutive games for this first time since being swept by the Gophers in Minneapolis Nov. 4-5.
13-10-2 (9-9-0 WCHA) LAST WEEK: L at St. Cloud State, 3-1; W at St. Cloud State, 3-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Wisconsin, vs. Wisconsin
19. Nebraska-Omaha
Oh, there's something to be said for being slightly above average in America. Saturday’s OT loss at Minnesota State kept UNO from winning three in a row for the first time since late October, but the Mavs are fourth in the WCHA largely because they haven’t lost consecutive games since early October.
12-10-4 (9-6-3 WCHA) LAST WEEK: W at Minnesota State, 2-1 ot; L at Minnesota State, 5-4 ot. THIS WEEK: Off
20. Quinnipiac
How do you break up a two-week schedule gap in late January? Bust out of practice early for a bowling excursion organized by the head coach, as Quinnipiac did Friday night.
13-8-5 (5-5-4 ECAC Hockey) LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: Off

Dropped out: Colgate

Bubble-licious: Colgate, Michigan State, Wisconsin