Another interesting week has gone by in the WCHA. Here's a glimpse at where I think the teams stack up in my Power Rankings and Tiers!
WCHA Results, Week 4:
Alaska-Anchorage - Loss, Loss vs. Minnesota
Bemidji State - Loss, Loss @ Minnesota-Duluth
Colorado College - Win, Win @ RPI
Denver - Loss, Tie @ Michigan Tech
Michigan Tech - Win, Tie vs. Denver
Minnesota - Win, Win @ Alaska-Anchorage
Minnesota-Duluth - Win, Win vs. Bemidji State
Minnesota State - Idle
Nebraska Omaha - Win, Loss @ Wisconsin
North Dakota - Loss, Win vs. St. Cloud State
St. Cloud State - Win, Loss @ North Dakota
Wisconsin - Loss, Win vs. Nebraska-Omaha
1. Colorado College (No Change)
Last Ranking: #1
Last Week: Road Sweep vs. RPI
4-0-0 Overall, 2-0-0 WCHA
Another week of no change at the top of the WCHA. CC sweeps away at RPI. They still haven't played much in the league, so we'll see how they react when they face some of the meat of the WCHA.
2. Minnesota (UP 1)
Last Ranking: #3
Last Week: Road Sweep vs. Alaska-Anchorage
7-1-0 Overall, 4-0-0 WCHA
Minnesota moves up to #2 in the WCHA Power Rankings on the strength of another road sweep in the WCHA and Denver faltering in Houghton. Minnesota faces a tough test this weekend as the Fighting Sioux travel to Minneapolis. The Gophers sit atop the WCHA standings with 8 total points.
3. Denver University (DOWN 1)
Last Ranking: #2
Last Week: Road Loss & Tie vs. Michigan Tech
3-2-1 Overall, 2-1-1 WCHA
In a surprising turn of events, Denver went up to Houghton and struggled against a Michigan Tech team that is on the rise, but not yet in the elite of the WCHA. Denver is still a solid team, but perhaps there are more chinks in the armor than I had previously thought.
4. Minnesota-Duluth (UP 1)
Last Ranking: #5
Last Week: Home Sweep vs. Bemidji State
4-3-1 Overall, 2-2-0 WCHA
This Duluth team continues to play well, with their only losses on the season coming in close games versus a good Minnesota squad and a loss against then #1 ranked Notre Dame. The Bulldogs can play with the elite teams in the WCHA, but I think they'll fall short of that top three ranking come the end of the season.
5. Nebraska-Omaha (DOWN 1)
Last Ranking: #4
Last Week: Road Split vs. Wisconsin
4-4-0 Overall, 3-1-0 WCHA
Omaha came back from an early 3-0 deficit in Friday's game to win a barnburner 5-4. The WCHA has always been a "split on the road, sweep at home" league, so a split at a rising Wisconsin team is not a bad result. Expect to see this team in the top six of the league and hosting a first round playoff series.
6. North Dakota (No Change)
Last Ranking: #6
Last Week: Home Split vs. St. Cloud State
3-4-1 Overall, 1-3-0 WCHA
Another rough weekend for the Fighting Sioux as they have now dropped three of their last four games and head to Minnesota to face a tough Gopher squad. Could this big rivalry be the turning point the Sioux need to build some momentum? Rocco Grimaldi should be back and fully healthy come the weekend series with the Gophers.
7. Wisconsin (UP 1)
Last Ranking: #8
Last Week: Home Split vs. Nebraska-Omaha
4-4-0 Overall, 3-3-0 WCHA
The Badgers have shown that they can score goals in their past several games, with 10 goals in their last two games and 28 goals in their first eight (3.5 goals per game). The goaltending appears to be stabilizing in freshman Landon Peterson. This Wisconsin team could sneak up on the top six if North Dakota or Nebraska-Omaha struggles.
8. St. Cloud State (UP 2)
Last Ranking: #10
Last Week: Road Split vs. North Dakota
3-4-1 Overall, 1-1-0 WCHA
Don't look now, but here come the Huskies. St. Cloud stole a victory from the Sioux in Grand Forks and appear to be a team that can beat anyone in the league if you're not careful.
9. Michigan Tech (UP 2)
Last Ranking: #11
Last Week: Home Win & Tie vs. Denver
5-2-1 Overall, 3-2-1 WCHA
Just when I say Michigan Tech is a few years from competing for a home ice spot in the WCHA, they take three points from a good Denver team. Maybe they can compete this season?
10. Bemidji State (DOWN 3)
Last Ranking: #7
Last Week: Swept @ Minnesota Duluth
3-5-0 Overall, 2-4-0 WCHA
I don't think Bemidji is a bad team at all. However, the WCHA is pretty solid top to bottom and right now Bemidji is the tenth best team in the conference.
11. Alaska-Anchorage (DOWN 2)
Last Ranking: #9
Last Week: Swept vs. Minnesota
3-4-1 Overall, 0-4-0 WCHA
Another rough weekend for the Seawolves as they were swept at home by a good Minnesota team. Alaska-Anchorage is still looking for its first WCHA win, which might be tough to get this weekend when they travel to Duluth to take on the Bulldogs.
12. Minnesota State - Mankato (No Change)
Last Ranking: #12
Last Week: Idle
1-5-0 Overall, 0-2-0 WCHA
It was a good time for a bye week in Mankato. The team had only 18 healthy skaters in their tilt with Denver the previous weekend, so they needed the time to heal up. The Mavericks take on Michigan Tech in Houghton this weekend.
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
Tier 1 - Colorado College
Tier 2 - Minnesota, Denver
Tier 3 - No Teams
Tier 4 - Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha
Tier 5 - North Dakota, Wisconsin
Tier 6 - St. Cloud State, Michigan Tech
Tier 7 - Bemidji State, Alaska-Anchorage
Tier 8 - Minnesota State