Archive for the 'Rankings' Category

WCHA Power Rankings: Week 16

Friday, February 17th, 2012

**SELF-PROMOTION UPDATE: My Twitter handle has changed. It is now @MyersHockey. If you’re already following me, thank you, and you will not have to make any changes. But if you have told friends and family to follow me and they aren’t yet, well, you’ll have to let them know.**

A full slate of WCHA action this week, as things tighten up and only three weeks left until playoff time. I will be at Mariucci Arena tonight for Minnesota-Bemidji State. I will provide more commentary on the unusual situation the Gophers are in heading down the stretch.

For now, here are this week’s power rankings:

1 — Minnesota Duluth (Last week: 2)

The top of these power rankings are so close, you could really draw any team out of a hat for any spot and you wouldn’t be wrong. The Bulldogs are back on top thanks to a split with North Dakota. With a trip to Mankato this weekend and no J.T. Brown, it wouldn’t be a shocker to see UMD struggle, especially because the Mavericks have been flat out better in recent weeks.

2 — Denver (Last week: 4)

The Pioneers, courtesy of their sweep of Minnesota, move to No. 2. DU started slow and has flown under because of it. But the Pios, all alone in third place, are only two points back of first place Minnesota. And their sweep of the Gophers last weekend assured them of the tiebreaker advantage.

3 — Minnesota (Last week: 1)

The Gophers are still in good position. They are still in first place, they control their own destiny and they have 4 of their final 6 games at Mariucci Arena. This weekend’s contests against the Beavers should be interesting — BSU is one of the hottest teams in the league and just swept Colorado College last weekend.

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WCHA Power Rankings: Week 15 Edition

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Back to normal posting here on a Thursday… but because of a death in the family, I will not be able to watch much hockey this weekend. For any breaking news in the WCHA check out the main page — Adam and the gang are the best in the business.

Without further ado, here are this week’s rankings, including a new No. 1:

1 — Minnesota (Last week: 2)

The Gophers were idle last week but jump a spot because UMD split in Anchorage. The week off could do wonders for guys like Kyle Rau and Nick Bjugstad, who because of the World Junior tournament, have been going almost nonstop since mid-September. This bye week comes not too early, but not too late, and should allow the Gophers to get into quite a rhythm starting this weekend in Denver.

2 — Minnesota Duluth (Last week: 1)

Anchorage is never an easy place to play, but the Seawolves had gone two months without a victory. The Bulldogs are stuggling right now and if not for J.T. Brown last weekend, the Bulldogs might have been swept. His four-goal outburst in Friday’s win provided the entire margin of victory in a 4-1 victory. He added another goal Saturday to make things interesting but UAA scored just two minutes later to put things away. North Dakota comes to Amsoil this weekend in what could be a very entertaining series.

3 — North Dakota (Last week: 3)

The Fighting Sioux have their name back (at least until the next twist in this story) and are locked in a three-way tie for fifth in the WCHA entering this weekend. With the other two teams tied with UND set to play each other this weekend, North Dakota has a chance to pull ahead of both with three or four points in Duluth.

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WCHA Week 14 Power Rankings

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

A nearly-full slate of games on the WCHA docket this week, with only Minnesota and North Dakota with the week off. The other 10 teams will be in action against each other, so barring a whole bunch of splits, we could get some clarity to the playoff picture come Sunday morning.

1 — Minnesota Duluth (Last week: 1)

The Gophers have a solid lead in the WCHA standings and the Bulldogs had their worst weekend in a while against Tech. But I still give the edge to UMD, by a nose, because of the other factors — overall record, Pairwise ranking and KRACH ranking. The ‘Dogs are No. 1 in both sets of computer rankings and I think most teams would love to go through a “rough patch” consisting of a 2-2-1 record. Heck, that’s reason to celebrate in Anchorage.

2 — Minnesota (Last week: 2)

Despite leading the league and sweeping St. Cloud State, a feat not nearly as impressive with the Huskies being down SIX FORWARDS from the start of the year, the Gophers still sit perilously close to the Pairwise bubble, entering play this weekend ninth. That’s comfortable for now, but say the Gophs run into their own “rough patch” down the stretch. If they enter the WCHA playoffs in 11th or 12th, that will cause some nerves to be frayed in Minneapolis. And with games at Denver and at Nebraska-Omaha, a “rough patch” isn’t, you know, entirely out of the question.

3 — North Dakota (Last week: 3)

Sweeping Wisconsin in Grand Forks isn’t that great of an accomplishment, when you consider the Badgers have won just once on the road all season. But a sweep is a sweep and four points in late January, especially in a league as tightly contested as this one, will be huge come mid-March. The victories also moved UND onto the verge of the Pairwise bubble, but NoDak still has plenty of work to do in that area. UND enters the weekend tied for fourth, but could conceivably exit it in seventh place. And with the bye, there is nothing it can do about it.

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WCHA Week 12 Power Rankings

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Not much was decided last weekend in the first one back in a while for conference teams. All 12 teams were in action against each other and there were 4 splits among the 6 series.

The big movers were Michigan Tech and Denver, who secured home sweeps over Alaska-Anchorage and Bemidji State, respectively.

Four more conference series are on tap this weekend, with Minnesota Duluth looking to avoid the Alabama-Huntsville trap with a series in Duluth this weekend. Michigan Tech will also host Northern Michigan in a single game Saturday night in Houghton.

If you feel inclined, give my column on hits from behind a read. It is here or linked on the main homepage. I have received plenty of feedback on Twitter regarding the column (follow me @CHNDanMyers if you’re not already). Clearly this is an issue that is front and center right now in all of hockey, especially with the increase in the number and the severity of concussions. Hitting from behind and shots to the head are clearly “culture” things that need to be changed from the youth levels up. But we can’t afford to wait 20 years for the next generation of hockey players to work their way up. Some changes need to be made now, and I made my own suggestion for the college game in the column. Check it out…

I will be in Mankato this weekend reporting on one of the more unique — and forgotten — aspects of the UNO-MSU rivalry, the Spirit of the Maverick Trophy. I will try to get to Mariucci for a spell on Saturday as well…

Now, onto this week’s power rankings:

1 — Minnesota Duluth (Last week: 1)

UMD saw its 17-game unbeaten streak end in a 2-1 loss Saturday night at Nebraska-Omaha. It’s too bad because it would have been nice to see how far that thing could go. Had they won or tied, the Bulldogs host Huntsville this weekend, where they’d be favored. Next weekend, they host Michigan Tech, where they’d be favored. In two weeks, they play at Alaska-Anchorage, where they’d be favored. It’s quite possible Duluth could have brought a 24-game unbeaten streak into its series with North Dakota in mid-February. That would have been good stuff. Instead, UMD should have no trouble starting a new streak this weekend. But I’ve said that before…

2 — Minnesota (Last week: 2)

Kent Patterson was brilliant in a losing effort last Friday night at North Dakota and only a late goal by UND prevented Minnesota from pushing that game to overtime. A split at North Dakota is nice, but it doesn’t do much to silence those that feel the Gophers are slipping. Since a 9-1 start over the first month and a half, Minnesota is a .500 team.

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WCHA Week 11 Power Rankings

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Just under a month removed from our last WCHA Power Rankings, the true second half of the college hockey season kicks off tonight with the rare weekend where all six WCHA teams are in action against each other. This will only happen two more times the rest of the season.

There are an intriguing array of games set for this weekend, so enjoy!

1 — Minnesota Duluth (Dec. 16 — 1)

The Bulldogs enter the weekend unbeaten in 16 straight games. That includes their last six, which have all been on the road. UMD hasn’t played at AMSOIL Arena since before Thanksgiving, and it will spend one more weekend on the road tonight and Saturday at Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks have done their best to try and sell out tonight’s game at the CenturyLink Center, and at last check, are within 1,000 tickers of doing so. Regardless, it will be the largest crowd to ever see a UNO game in Omaha. In talking with Scott Sandelin earlier this week, the Bulldogs are looking forward to the challenge.

2 — Minnesota (Dec. 16 — 2)

Don Lucia’s bunch has been thoroughly underwhelming for the better part of six weeks now, and since sweeping North Dakota during the first weekend in November, Minnesota is just 6-6-1. They were unable to win their own holiday tournament, again, something that used to be routine for this team. They were asleep for much of their game against Notre Dame last Saturday night before finally waking up with under three minutes to play in a 4-3 loss. With North Dakota heating up and Minnesota cooling down, this could be a crossroads weekend for these two squads. The Gophers need at least 2 points to regain some momentum.

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Critical Weekend for WCHA

Friday, January 6th, 2012

I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and I’m excited for what promises to be another great second half of action in the WCHA.

I will jump back into the power rankings prior to next weekend, but I did want to stress how important the nonconference action this weekend should not be overlooked.

Because there are no WCHA games on the schedule, many will look at this weekend’s games and think “who cares?” Well, you shouldn’t care — if all you care about is winning the MacNaughton Cup. January means it’s time to start looking at those Pairwise Rankings a little closer, and for those of you who haven’t checked them out yet, you can find them here.

I am, by no means, a Pairwise expert — very few are. But I can tell you this with certainty: Only two WCHA teams are in good NCAA Tournament position as we head into the second half, as Minnesota Duluth (No.2) and Minnesota (tied for 4th) are the only two locks as of right now. Colorado College is square on the bubble, and would likely be one of the last one or two at-large teams in.

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Why Polls Don’t Matter and Shouldn’t

Monday, December 8th, 2008

I’ve always been pleased as punch with the fact that the NCAA doesn’t incorporate polls into the selection process for the NCAA Hockey Tournament.

Of course, it means that the polls are nothing but discussion fodder. But that’s a good thing. Polls should never be more than that. The opinions of human beings should mean nothing when you’re determining who the best hockey teams are. Same goes for football, basketball, baseball, tennis, volleyball, bowling, and any other sport.

We have tournaments and postseasons so we can decide these types of important things on the field of play.

This week, college hockey pollsters are faced with an interesting, difficult, and nearly-impossible dynamic when it comes to WCHA teams (and others, mind you, but I’m going to focus for a moment on the WCHA).

Minnesota State is now 8-5-3. They have impressive wins over Colorado College and North Dakota, but lost twice over the weekend to St. Cloud State, and they also have a loss and a tie against Minnesota.

St. Cloud State sits at 10-6, just swept MSU, but has lost twice to Minnesota-Duluth by matching 5-1 scores.

UMD is unbeaten in their last five. The Bulldogs, now 7-4-5 on the season, chased Colorado College star goalie Richard Bachman with a five-goal second period explosion Saturday. The 7-4 win follows a three-point weekend against North Dakota and a second four-goal win over St. Cloud State.

Who gets ranked where?

Thankfully, it doesn’t really matter. These three teams settle their differences and decide their rankings with their play on the ice. In January, various sites will start to publish their guesses on what the PWR looks like. CHN has already started publishing the KRACH ratings (waiting until everyone has lost one game).

The only day the PWR matters is on Selection Sunday, but it’s always interesting to watch the ebb and flow over the course of the season’s second half. While there are always quirks with logic involved, they aren’t nearly as bad as the quirks with logic that are involved in the polls.

Of course, it’s always easier to except the quirks when you realize the polls don’t matter one lick. It’s nothing but blog and message board fodder to keep us interested until another full slate of games on Friday night.

PUCK Rankings

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
March 14th, 2007

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Notre Dame 29-6-3 1
2 Minnesota 28-9-3 2
3 St. Cloud State 22-8-7 3
4 New Hampshire 25-9-2 4
5 Clarkson 23-8-5 5
6 Boston College 24-11-1 7
7 North Dakota 21-12-5 6
8 Boston University 20-8-9 8
9 Michigan 25-12-1 10
10 Michigan State 21-12-3 14
11 St. Lawrence 22-12-2 13
12 Massachusetts 20-11-5 15
13 Miami 23-13-4 9
14 Dartmouth 18-10-3 NR
15 Denver 21-15-4 11
16 Michigan Tech 18-16-5 NR

Bumped: Colorado College, Maine

PUCK RANKINGS

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
March 6th, 2007

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Notre Dame 27-6-3 2
2 Minnesota 26-8-3 3
3 St. Cloud State 20-7-7 1
4 New Hampshire 23-9-2 4
5 Clarkson 21-8-5 7
6 North Dakota 19-12-5 9
7 Boston College 22-11-1 10
8 Boston University 18-7-9 5
9 Miami 23-11-4 11
10 Michigan 23-12-1 12
11 Denver 21-13-4 6
12 Maine 21-12-2 8
13 St. Lawrence 20-12-2 14
14 Michigan State 19-12-3 13
15 Massachusetts 18-11-5 NR
16 Colorado College 17-15-4 16

Bumped: Vermont

PUCK Rankings

Monday, February 26th, 2007

CHN Blog “PUCK” Rankings
February 26th, 2007  

Rank Team Record Last Week
1 St. Cloud State 20-6-6 4
2 Notre Dame 27-6-3 2
3 Minnesota 25-7-3 1
4 New Hampshire 23-7-2 3
5 Boston University 18-6-9 5
6 Denver 21-12-3 7
7 Clarkson 21-8-5 6
8 Maine 21-10-2 8
9 North Dakota 18-12-4 9
10 Boston College 20-11-1 12
11 Miami 23-11-4 11
12 Michigan 23-12-1 10
13 Michigan State 19-12-3 13
14 St. Lawrence 20-12-2 14
15 Vermont 17-13-4 16
16 Colorado College 16-15-3 15