Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011-2012 WCHA Power Rankings & Tiers: Week 3

After what can only be deemed as an interesting week in the WCHA, let's take a look at where the teams stack up in my Power Rankings and Tiers!

WCHA Results, Week 3:

Alaska-Anchorage - Loss, Loss @ Nebraska-Omaha
Bemidji State - Win, Win vs. Michigan Tech
Colorado College - Idle
Denver - Win, Win vs. Mankato
Michigan Tech - Loss, Loss @ Bemidji State
Minnesota - Win, Loss vs. Vermont
Minnesota-Duluth - Win, Tie @ Providence
Minnesota State - Loss, Loss @ Denver
Nebraska Omaha - Win, Win vs. Michigan Tech
North Dakota - Loss, Loss @ Wisconsin
St. Cloud State - Win, Win vs. New Hampshire
Wisconsin - Win, Win vs. North Dakota

Power Rankings:

1. Colorado College (No Change)
Last Ranking: #1
Last Week: Idle
2-0-0 Overall, 0-0-0 WCHA

Nothing new here. CC is a good team.

2. Denver University (No Change)
Last Ranking: #2
Last Week: Home Sweep vs. Minnesota State - Mankato
3-1-0 Overall, 2-0-0 WCHA

Denver is solid as a rock. DU and CC are the elite teams in the WCHA and they project to be two of the top four teams in the nation all season long.

3. Minnesota (No Change)
Last Ranking: #3
Last Week: Home Split vs. Vermont
5-1-0 Overall, 2-0-0 WCHA

The Gophers looked like two completely different teams this weekend, thrashing the Catamounts 6-0 Friday before losing 5-4 Sunday. Consistency will be key.

4. Nebraska-Omaha (UP 2)
Last Ranking: #6
Last Week: Home Sweep vs. Alaska-Anchorage
3-3-0 Overall, 2-0-0 WCHA

Omaha found its mojo last weekend in a sweep of UAA. The return of Alex Hudson to the Maverick lineup can only augur good things.

5. Minnesota-Duluth (No Change)
Last Ranking: #5
Last Week: Away Win & Tie vs. Providence
2-3-1 Overall, 0-2-0 WCHA

Duluth traveled East and took three points from a tough Providence squad. They'll be a solid WCHA team this season.

6. North Dakota (DOWN 2)
Last Ranking: #4
Last Week: Swept @ Wisconsin
2-3-1 Overall, 0-2-0 WCHA

North Dakota was swept by a seemingly down Wisconsin team last weekend. Could this be a down year for the Sioux, or is coach Dave Hakstol just preparing his squad for their annual second-half charge?

7. Bemidji State (UP 1)
Last Ranking: #8
Last Week: Home Sweep vs. Michigan Tech
3-3-0 Overall, 2-2-0 WCHA

The Beavers swept previously-hot Michigan Tech out of town last weekend. It appears that this Bemidji team could have a chance to sneak into the top six of the WCHA if a team above them falters.

8. Wisconsin (UP 1)
Last Ranking: #9
Last Week: Home Sweep vs. North Dakota
3-3-0 Overall, 2-2-0 WCHA

There are still serious questions to be raised about Bucky's goaltending and scoring offense, but they showed me that they can beat a good team last weekend.

9. Alaska-Anchorage (DOWN 2)
Last Ranking: #7
Last Week: Swept @ Nebraska-Omaha
3-2-1 Overall, 0-2-0 WCHA

The Seawolves had their momentum halted slightly in a road sweep at the hands of Nebraska-Omaha. They could heal quickly by taking at least two points at home against Minnesota this upcoming weekend.

10. St. Cloud State (UP 1)
Last Ranking: #11
Last Week: Sweep vs. New Hampshire
2-3-1 Overall, 0-0-0 WCHA

The Huskies ripped a New Hampshire team that was predicted to do well in the preseason. I'd like to see more from St. Cloud before moving them up farther in this ranking, though. A real WCHA test is first on the To-Do list, and they'll get it this week in a big rivalry series at North Dakota.

11. Michigan Tech (DOWN 1)
Last Ranking: #10
Last Week: Swept @ Bemidji State
4-2-0 Overall, 2-2-0 WCHA

I like what Mel Pearson has done so far in his limited time at Michigan Tech. However, it's a long climb out of the steep well that the Huskies were in prior to his arrival - the team only won four games all of last year. I think Tech is a team on the rise, but it might take a few years to get them to the middle of the pack.

12. Minnesota State - Mankato (No Change)
Last Ranking: #12
Last Week: Swept @ Denver
1-5-0 Overall, 0-2-0 WCHA

Not much to say here. Mankato put up a good fight against Denver in the Friday game despite playing with 18 skaters. This team is dinged up with injuries already. Let's hope they get healthy soon, or it could be a long season down in southern Minnesota.

Team Tiers:

Last Week

Tier 1 - Colorado College, Denver
Tier 2 - Minnesota
Tier 3 - North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha
Tier 4 - no teams
Tier 5 - Alaska-Anchorage
Tier 6 - Wisconsin, Bemidji State
Tier 7 - Michigan Tech, St. Cloud State
Tier 8 - Minnesota State

This Week

Tier 1 - Colorado College, Denver
Tier 2 - No Teams
Tier 3 - Minnesota
Tier 4 - Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota
Tier 5 - Bemidji State, Wisconsin
Tier 6 - Alaska-Anchorage, St. Cloud State
Tier 7 - Michigan Tech
Tier 8 - Minnesota State

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