Every Sunday night during the hockey season for 10 years, the INCH staff at rolled out the Power Rankings, our take on the nation’s top 20 (actually, we rated the top 16 teams our first year) and without a doubt the most popular feature of the old site. It’s not as easy as it seems, however. There were weeks we felt only 14 teams deserved to be ranked. Or 17. Some nights we’d get through about a dozen or so teams and declare, “Everyone stinks.”
Now that we’re at INCHWriters.com, we’re not going to rank a fixed number of teams. We’ll just go until we feel no one else deserves to be ranked. It’s a new era, people.
1. Boston College (8-1-0): Jerry York needs four victories to pass Ron Mason and become the winningest coach in college hockey history. If the Eagles can win their next three, York would break the record Dec. 1 at home against Boston University. Nice.
2. Denver (7-1-0): We figured the goaltending would be strong, but the offense has been unreal. Eight games into the season, the Pioneers have 33 goals and 12 different players have scored at least once.
3. New Hampshire (6-1-1): The Wildcats’ roster entered the year with a combined 131 career goals. Through eight games this season, they’ve banded together to score 26 goals.
4. Minnesota (6-2-1): Minnesota is, at worst, the second most-talented team in the nation. But losses to Michigan Tech and Minnesota State are a concern. Improved teams, sure, but if you’re the Gophers, you’ve got to be ready for your opponents’ best shot every night.
5. Miami (6-2-2): There aren’t Vegas odds for college hockey games but if there were, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the RedHawks would be favored in its next 18 games. Not saying they’ll win them all, but don’t be surprised if they reel off a few wins between now and the beginning of February.
6. Union (6-2-1): Saturday’s loss to Dartmouth snapped the Dutchmen’s seven-game unbeaten streak. Losing goalie Troy Grosenick, who was hurt in Friday’s win at Harvard, for an extended period of time would be a bigger blow; he’s listed as day-to-day.
7. Notre Dame (6-3-0): In our Great 58+1 rankings, we said the Irish would go as far as their goaltending allowed. In eight starts, Steve Summerhays has a 1.64 GAA and a .932 save percentage.
8. Western Michigan (5-2-1): In its five wins and one tie, the Broncos have given up a total of eight goals. In its two losses? Eight goals allowed. So, yeah, that pretty much sums it up right there.
9. Dartmouth (5-0-1): Nice start, Big Green, but noting you’re No. 1 in the computer rankings that shall not be mentioned in mid-November? Plenty of room for that next to the Matt Barkley for Heisman website.
10. Colorado College (7-3-0): Through 10 games, the Tigers have seven players with three or more goals; four players (Andrew Hamburg, Alex Krushelnyski, William Rapuzzi, and Scott Winkler) have combined for 21 of the team’s 36 goals.
11. North Dakota (4-3-1): Guess it’s been a bit of an uneven start for NoDak, but it seems like they’re still trying to find the right combinations. No need to worry, however.
12. Cornell (3-2-1): Last weekend wasn’t a great one for the Big Red, who allowed a total of nine goals in losses at Princeton and Quinnipiac. They’ll have to try to right the ship this weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth.
13. Nebraska-Omaha (6-3-1): Touted rookie goalie Anthony Stolarz has taken a back seat to senior John Faulkner, who’s 6-0-1 with a 2.03 GAA and a .915 save percentage in seven starts.
14. St. Cloud State (6-4-0): With Ben Hanowski sidelined due to injury for all but five games—coach Bob Motzko hopes he’ll be back before Christmas—Nic Dowd (6-8—14) and Drew LeBlanc (5-9—14) have picked up the offensive slack.
15. Boston University (5-3-0): According to my reasonably accurate calculations, the Terriers are 82-42-16 all-time at home since moving into Agganis Arena in Jan. 2005. Their record against BC in the new digs? 2-9-1.