INCH Power Rankings: The Top Whatever

When the full-out publication of Inside College Hockey transitioned here to INCHwriters.com, the policy on rankings became biased … against round numbers. Just because one can create a top 15 or top 20 doesn’t mean that many teams are worthy of mention. The end result, therefore, is the INCH Writers Top Whatever Power Rankings. We rank the teams until we feel like no one else deserves to be rated.

Here’s how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation’s top teams (along with a note for each team).

1. Quinnipiac (21-1-6, 12-0-4 ECAC Hockey)
LAST WEEK: T vs. Cornell 2-2 ot, W vs. Colgate 6-3. THIS WEEK: at St. Lawrence, at Clarkson

Sam Anas scored twice against Colgate on Saturday and has at least one goal in six straight games. Anas now has 20 goals on the year, the third-straight season that the junior has hit the 20-goal mark.

2. North Dakota (22-3-3, 13-2-1 NCHC)
LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: at Denver, at Denver

It’s easier to win when playing with a lead: North Dakota has outscored its foes by a 31-14 margin in the first period, including an 18-5 edge in NCHC play.

3. Boston College (19-4-4, 11-1-4 Hockey East)
LAST WEEK: W vs. Harvard 3-2 (Beanpot), W vs. New Hampshire 4-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston University (Beanpot Championship), vs. Merrimack, at Merrimack

A belated congratulations from INCH to head coach Jerry York on leading 1,000 career college hockey victories as head coach. The Eagles will play Monday night for their 20th all-time Beanpot championship and sixth in the last five seven years.

4. Providence (19-5-4, 10-3-3 Hockey East)
LAST WEEK: W at Maine 1-0 ot, W at Maine 4-2. THIS WEEK: vs. Connecticut, at Connecticut

After starting the season unbeaten in 15 games, a mid-season slump coincided with star defenseman Jake Walman being out of the lineup. The Friars have won six of their last eight games and Trevor Mingoia has five goals, six assists and a plus-6 rating in that stretch.

5. St. Cloud State (23-6-1, 13-4-1 NCHC)
LAST WEEK: W at Miami 5-1, L at Miami 3-2. THIS WEEK: Off

The Huskies average 4.33 goals per game and they get the production from different sources. Six different players have 10 goals or more on the season. No other team in the country can claim that distinction.

6. Notre Dame (16-5-7, 12-2-2 Hockey East)
LAST WEEK: W at Vermont 2-1, W at Vermont 3-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Maine, vs. Maine

After starting the year with a 5-4-4 mark, the Fighting Irish have gone 11-1-3 in their last 15 games. During that span, junior goalie Cal Peterson has posted a 1.67 GAA and a .946 save percentage.

7. Yale (14-5-4, 9-4-3 ECAC Hockey)
LAST WEEK: W vs. Dartmouth 5-1, W vs. Harvard 2-1. THIS WEEK: at Colgate, at Cornell

After three-straight losses left Yale with a 5-4-2 record in early December, the Bulldogs have gone 9-1-2 since. Goalie Alex Lyon has played all 12 of those games, and allowed just 16 goals (1.31 GAA) with a .949 save percentage and two shutouts.

8. Michigan (17-4-4, 8-2-2 B1G)
LAST WEEK: L vs. Michigan State 3-2 ot (Joe Louis Arena); W at Michigan State 4-1. THIS WEEK: at Wisconsin, at Wisconsin

The Wolverines have scored 49 third-period goals this season. That’s the same number of goals Princeton has scored in 23 games.

9. UMass Lowell (17-6-5, 10-4-4 Hockey East)
LAST WEEK: T vs. Northeastern 2-2 ot, L vs. New Hampshire 3-2. THIS WEEK: at Boston University, vs. Boston University

There’s a big divide between the top-five teams in Hockey East and the rest of the pack. Only four of those leaders will get the first week of the league tournament off. The River Hawks have four league games remaining – home-and-home series with Boston University and Boston College.

10. Denver (13-8-5, 9-5-2 NCHC)
LAST WEEK: Off. THIS WEEK: vs. North Dakota, vs. North Dakota

Chalking up a pair of wins for North Dakota when the Fighting Hawks visit Denver this weekend? Guess again. NoDak hasn’t swept a road series from the Pioneers since Nov. 21-22, 2003. That was so long ago, DU bounced back from those losses by beating Findlay six days later. We’re not making this up.

11. Boston University (16-7-4, 9-4-3 Hockey East)
LAST WEEK: W vs. Northeastern 3-1 (Beanpot), W at Massachusetts 6-3. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston College (Beanpot Championship), vs. UMass Lowell, at UMass Lowell

Hey Cam Newton, now that you’ve got some free time in the offseason, we encourage you to learn about Matt O’Connor – an example of how to conduct yourself with respect and perspective in difficult situations.

12. Harvard (13-6-3, 9-4-3 ECAC Hockey)
LAST WEEK: L vs. Boston College 3-2 (Beanpot), W at Brown 3-2, L at Yale 2-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Northeastern (Beanpot Third Place), vs. Rensselaer, vs. Union

At times this season Harvard has looked like a Frozen Four contender. Digging a little deeper shows five of the Crimson’s six losses are against Quinnipiac, BU, BC and Yale. That big game record is why we slot this team here.

13. Michigan Tech (16-7-5, 13-6-3 WCHA)
LAST WEEK: W vs. Lake Superior State 3-0, W vs. Lake Superior State 3-1. THIS WEEK: Off

Getting swept by visiting Alaska Anchorage in early December was an eye-opener for the Huskies. They’ve gone 7-1-4 since, with the only loss coming to Michigan in the Great Lakes Invitational title game in Detroit.

14. Minnesota State (15-10-5, 13-4-5 WCHA)
LAST WEEK: W vs. Bowling Green 5-1, L vs. Bowling Green 3-1. THIS WEEK: at Alabama-Huntsville, at Alabama-Huntsville

Safe to say the Mavericks are comfortable on home ice, especially in league play. Minnesota State is 10-2-0 against WCHA rivals in Mankato this season and in two-plus years in the revamped conference, the Mavs’ home mark in the circuit is a sparkling 34-4-2.

15. Penn State (17-8-3, 7-5-0 B1G)
LAST WEEK: L at Minnesota 4-1, W at Minnesota 5-3. THIS WEEK: at Michigan State, at Michigan State

The Nittany Lions snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Minnesota Saturday. They’ll have a good chance to build momentum heading into a season-ending series at Michigan. Prior to that Penn State has six games lined up against the bottom three teams in the Big Ten between now and March 11-12.

16. Bowling Green (16-9-6, 12-5-5 WCHA)
LAST WEEK: L at Minnesota State 5-1, W at Minnesota State 3-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Miami

You might want to have flexible postgame plans if you’re heading to a Falcons game. Bowling Green has played nine overtime games this season, seven of them at home.

17. Robert Morris (17-7-4, 14-4-4 Atlantic Hockey)
LAST WEEK: W at Sacred Heart 2-1, W at Sacred Heart 2-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Army West Point, vs. Army West Point

Senior forward Zac Lynch enters the Colonials’ weekend series vs. Army West Point with a nine-game point streak. The Pittsburgh native has at least one point in 26 of RMU’s 28 games to date this season.

Bubble-licious: Cornell, Omaha, Clarkson

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