INCH Power Rankings: Great 58+1

When we compiled our first power rankings of the 2012-13 season—the Great 58+1 rankings of every Division I program—we put it together with the intention of releasing it on the old site in early October.

That, of course, didn’t happen, but there’s no use in wasting a perfectly good set of rankings, right?

Here, then, are the INCH Writers Great 58+1 Power Rankings. Please note these were put together a few weeks ago and between then and now, a few games have been played. Some teams look like they might be ranked a tad low; others appear to be spotted a bit high (we’re looking in your general direction, Maine.) We’re sticking with the original list, though—no revisionist history here.

As we ranked the nation’s top teams, we also highlight a key part of the schedule for each club.

No.
Team Circle The Dates
1.
Minnesota Not only do the Gophers have the top-ranked team heading into the season, but they’ve also got a favorable schedule—no trips to Denver, Duluth, or Grand Forks and just one game at Wisconsin.
2.
Boston College Odd scheduling quirk for the Eagles, whose three regular-season meetings with arch-rival Boston University fall during a 20-day stretch from Nov. 11-Dec. 1. Of course, the two could face one another on a February Monday …
3.
North Dakota During a six-week stretch of November and December, North Dakota has series vs. Boston University, at St. Cloud State, vs. Minnesota Duluth, at Notre Dame, at Colorado College, and vs. Denver.
4.
Cornell From Dec. 28-Jan. 19, the Big Red play six games, all away from Lynah Rink: vs. Ferris State and either Maine or UMD at the Florida College Classic, a series at Denver, and league road matches at Union and Rensselaer.
5.
Western Michigan The Broncos’ chances for winning the final regular-season title in CCHA history may hinge on a three-week stretch in late January and February that includes home series with Michigan and Miami and a series at Ferris State.
6.
Michigan Michigan’s first half is ferocious, with home series vs. Miami, Notre Dame, and Western; road trips to Northern and Ferris; a home-and-home with Michigan State; and single games vs. an improved Bowling Green and vs. Cornell at Madison Square Garden.
7.
Union A four-game homestand in late November and early December is flanked by a stretch during which the Dutchmen play six of eight on the road and a run of eight straight away from home between Dec. 7-Jan. 12.
8.
Wisconsin Balance is the best way to describe the Badgers’ slate: no more than four straight games at home and no more than four straight games on the road. Bucky also plays a rare Sunday-Monday home series against Penn State.
9.
UMass Lowell We’ll know whether or not the River Hawks are worthy of this lofty ranking in short order. Eight of UML’s first 13 games are against teams found among the top 20 of this list.
10.
Harvard The Crimson play seven of its first 10 games at home—one of those road dates is a visit to Lynah to face Cornell—then play seven in a row on the road, including trips to Quinnipiac, BU, Yale, and Union.
11.
Notre Dame November is an intense month for the Irish with a home series with Western Michigan, a single game at BC, a road series at Michigan, and a home series against North Dakota.
12.
Denver Toughest schedule in the country? In addition to the rigors of the WCHA, DU’s non-league slate includes UMass Lowell, Air Force, Yale, UNH, BU, and Cornell. At least all those opponents come to Magness Arena.
13.
Boston University Is every top team in the country obligated to play North Dakota? The Terriers make a trip to Grand Forks the first weekend in November, part of a stretch during which BU plays six of eight on the road.
14.
Miami From Oct. 26-Jan. 19, the RedHawks play 14 of 20 on the road, including back-to-back journeys to Michigan and Ferris State, a trek to Alaska, and a non-league series at Wisconsin.
15.
New Hampshire An Oct. 27 sojourn to Northeastern kicks off a run during which the Wildcats play 10 of 13 on the road. Between four-game homestands to open and close the season, UNH plays back-to-back games in Durham once.
16.
Providence You know you’re in the prototypical bus league when your longest road swing is three consecutive games (twice) and your most extensive homestand is also three games.
17.
St. Cloud State The Huskies’ schedule is highlighted by 10 straight home games between Dec. 7 and Jan. 19; it includes two-game sets with Nebraska-Omaha, Colorado College, Rensselaer, Northern Michigan, and Denver.
18.
Colorado College Throw out a series with Bemidji State and the sked from now to Christmas reads: series at Cornell and Wisconsin, home-and-home with DU, series vs. NoDak and Minnesota, and singles vs. Air Force, Lowell, UNH, and Yale.
19.
Air Force The farthest-flung Atlantic Hockey member, the Falcons don’t have back-to-back road series. Air Force does have consecutive series in November at Penn State and UConn, but they’re separated by a bye weekend.
20.
Quinnipiac The Bobcats cram six road games into a 16-day stretch of November and December, visiting Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Providence, Massachusetts, Union, and Rensselaer between Nov. 16-Dec. 1.
21.
Yale Of Yale’s four true non-conference road games, three are doozies—a Thanksgiving weekend jaunt to Denver and Colorado College and a Jan. 4 trip to Boston College.
22.
Dartmouth The Big Green open the year with the Ivy Shootout, playing Yale and either Brown or Princeton. Their first league dates? A Nov. 2 visit from Yale and a date with Brown on Nov. 3.
23.
Michigan Tech Someone in the scheduling department must like the Huskies: Tech’s WCHA dossier doesn’t include trips to Colorado College, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
24.
Northern Michigan The first three weekends of CCHA should bring the Wildcats’ fortunes into sharper focus with home series against Notre Dame and Michigan followed by a weekend trip to Miami.
25.
Nebraska-Omaha Following the IceBreaker Tournament in Kansas City, the Mavs play eight of their next 10 games at home. That stretch is followed immediately by a two-month run during which UNO plays 10 of 14 on the road.
26.
Maine The Black Bears’ schedule is remarkable in its, uhh, unremarkability; Maine’s longest homestand of the season is a whopping three games, while its longest stretch of true road contests is two games.
27.
Minnesota Duluth After a non-conference series with visiting Ohio State to open the season, the Bulldogs play eight of their next 12 games on the road, including trips to Notre Dame (Oct. 18-19) and North Dakota (Nov. 16-17).
28.
Northeastern Bud Selig must be handling the Hockey East scheduling. Need proof? The Huskies wrap up their season series with Merrimack on Nov. 3.—that’s more than two months before Northeastern opens its season series with BU.
29.
Bowling Green The Falcons join the new-look WCHA next season, but with home-and-home series with Michigan State and Western Michigan (twice each), it looks like they’re auditioning for a move to the Patrick Division.
30.
Ferris State Since their last trip to Florida went so well, the Bulldogs will head back to the Sunshine State in December, joining Cornell, Maine, and Minnesota Duluth in Estero for what should be an excellent Florida College Classic.
31.
Merrimack Yes, Hockey East’s three-game season series format makes for oddities. For example, the Warriors won’t see Northeastern after Nov. 3 and play their complete set with Maine during a seven-day stretch in January.
32.
Rensselaer The measuring stick for the Engineers is a three-game run between Jan. 19-Feb. 1, when RPI plays Cornell, Union, and Harvard in succession. The game with the Dutchmen takes place at Albany’s Times Union Center.
33.
Minnesota State The Mavericks deserve a little karma, a bounce, or a break during the course of season for being the only Division I team in the country to make a road trip to Alabama-Huntsville.
34.
Niagara Stakes could be high at Clune Arena on March 1-2 when the Purple Eagles close out the regular season with a series at Air Force. The Falcons play a single game at Niagara on Jan. 4.
35.
Ohio State The Buckeyes open the season by playing six straight and 10 of its first 14 games on the road. By contrast, Denver will have played a half-dozen games at Magness Arena before OSU gets to dawn the home whites.
36.
St. Lawrence In what has become a tradition in recent years, the Saints and North Country nemesis Clarkson will take their rivalry to Lake Placid on Dec. 8 for a single, non-league game at Herb Brooks Arena.
37.
Michigan State The Spartans don’t play a traditional weekend series against a CCHA opponent in East Lansing until Nov. 30-Dec. 1, when Ohio State visits Munn Ice Arena.
38.
Mercyhurst The Lakers have the most ambitious travel schedule this side of the UFC, starting the season with 11 straight road games including series at Ferris State, Sacred Heart, Rensselaer, and Bentley.
39.
RIT The Tigers’ annual one-off at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena has been a sellout each of the past two seasons, and a full house is watched RIT’s Oct. 20 tilt against Penn State at the home of the AHL’s Amerks.
40.
Colgate Someone on the Raiders’ hockey staff must be familiar with the CCHA; after all, Colgate wisely scheduled a road trip to Miami while inviting Bowling Green to visit Hamilton.
41.
Clarkson A Dec. 15 non-conference date with Mercyhurst in Potsdam kicks off the second half of the season for the Golden Knights, who close with 12 of their final 18 games at home.
42.
Princeton Nine of the Tigers’ 10 games between Veterans Day and New Year’s Day are on the road; the lone exception is a Dec. 8 visit from ECAC Hockey travel partner Quinnipiac.
43.
Alaska The Nanooks’ annual two-week January road trip to the Lower 48 is a bear this year (pun completely intended)—a series at Michigan followed by a two-game set at Notre Dame.
44.
Vermont Most expect the Catamounts to battle for one of the final playoff spots in Hockey East. With series against UNH, BU, and BC to close the regular season, making up ground late would be a tall order.
45.
Bemidji State The Beavers’ WCHA home slate doesn’t include visits from North Dakota or Wisconsin, but Western Michigan stops by Bemidji for a non-conference series in January.
46.
Robert Morris RMU has often played games at Pittsburgh’s NHL rink, but the Three Rivers Classic on Dec. 28-29—the field includes Penn State, Ohio State, and Miami—should give the 2013 Frozen Four host city a jolt.
47.
Bentley Life as a college hockey mid-major, so to speak, means playing five of six non-conference games on the road. Bentley’s only non-league home match? An Oct. 26 visit from Alabama-Huntsville.
48.
Massachusetts The early-season league schedule could crush a UMass team picked to finish toward the bottom of Hockey East—two games with BC and BU and single games with UNH, Providence, Maine (in Orono), and UMass Lowell.
49.
Brown The Bears have a chance to build momentum out of the gate with nine of their first 12 games at home, including five straight between Nov. 9-25 and seven of eight between Nov. 9-Dec. 8.
50.
Lake Superior State
The Lakers certainly don’t ease into the second half of their schedule, opening January with a non-league series vs. Union, traveling to Western Michigan for two games, then returning to the Soo for a pair with Michigan.
51.
Holy Cross Based on their memorable performance the last time they were in Grand Forks (for the 2006 NCAA West Regional), will the Crusaders get a rousing ovation from North Dakota fans when they visit the Ralph Jan. 4-5?
52.
Connecticut Home for the holidays: the Huskies don’t leave Storrs from Nov. 22-Jan. 5, a nine-game stretch that includes the UConn Hockey Classic tourney and a non-league series with Penn State.
53.
Alaska Anchorage How not to bounce back from a nine-win season? How about by playing five of your first eight games against NCAA Tournament teams (Air Force, Minnesota, North Dakota) from a year ago.
54.
Canisius The Golden Griffins pulled off a rare feat by getting Clarkson and Bowling Green to come to western New York for non-conference series. Canisius plays five of its last eight games on the road.
55.
Army Army welcomes the Royal Military College of Canada to Tate Rink on Jan. 26 for their annual clash. And in a bit of a throwback to the Cold War (or not), the Russian Red Stars visit West Point for a Dec. 27 exhibition.
56.
American International The Yellow Jackets play eight straight games away from home between Nov. 17 and Dec. 30—all but one of those matches is against an Atlantic Hockey foe.
57.
Penn State In their first season of varsity pucks, the Nittany Lions play an amalgam of Division I and club opponents. The biggest games on the schedule are series at future B1G foes Michigan State (Jan. 25-26) and Wisconsin (Feb. 24-25).
58.
Sacred Heart A seven-game road swing between Nov. 30-Jan. 5 includes Atlantic Hockey series against Niagara and RIT, a single game at Rensselaer, and a non-league set at Colgate.
59.
Alabama-Huntsville Because of opponents’ unwillingness to travel to Huntsville, UAH has just eight home games this season—two are exhibitions against the U.S. Under-18 team and four are against Division III programs Finlandia and Adrian.
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