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North Dakota gaining momentum

Editor's note: These rankings were released Jan. 8.

We headed into the weekend with the thought that it was one of the best of the season on the college hockey schedule and it didn't disappoint. That is, unless you were one of the teams ranked between sixth and 10th in last week's Power Rankings, as those teams went 1-7-2 on the weekend, with the lone win being the back-half of Denver's split against Alabama-Huntsville.

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

1. Minnesota Duluth (14-3-3, 10-2-2 WCHA)

Of note: The Bulldogs swept Western Michigan in Kalamazoo this past weekend, extending their road record this season to 7-0-3. Guess it's a good thing they're off to Omaha this weekend, eh?

2. Ohio State (14-4-3, 10-3-3 CCHA)

Of note: Half of the Buckeyes' 66 goals have been scored by four players -- Chris Crane (11), Danny Dries (10), Ryan Dzingel (five), and Derek Angeli (six). None of them scored at Bowling Green, which probably explains the total of three goals in the two ties with the Falcons.

4. Notre Dame (13-6-3, 8-3-3 CCHA)

Of note: Goaltender Steve Summerhays has been victorious in each of his last five appearances, the most recent coming this past Saturday at Minnesota. During the streak, he's stopped 114 of the 122 shots he's faced for a .934 save percentage and a 1.69 GAA.

4. Minnesota (15-7-1, 11-3-0 WCHA)

Of note: The Gophers have scored 38 third-period goals this season, including two in Saturday's loss to Notre Dame. As a point of comparison, seven NCAA teams have scored 38 or fewer goals all season.

5. Boston College (13-7-1, 9-4-1 Hockey East)

Of note: We're in the midst of another run of outdoor hockey games at Fenway Park, and Boston College will once again take the outfield ice Saturday against Northeastern. The Eagles dropped a 3-2 decision to BU two years ago.

6. Merrimack (11-4-4, 7-3-2 Hockey East)

Of note: Five of Merrimack's next six games are at home, where the Warriors are 5-2-1 on the year at Lawler Arena.

7. Colorado College (12-7-1, 9-5-0 WCHA)

Of note: Fresh off his stint as Canada's captain at the World Junior Championship, Jaden Schwartz scored twice in the Tigers' 3-3 tie with Cornell Saturday -- his first multi-goal game of the season and his first goals since Nov. 18.

8. Union (10-5-6, 4-2-3 ECAC)

Of note: Union's power play showed signs of last year's proficiency on the weekend by converting six of 10 opportunities against Harvard and Dartmouth.

9. Colgate (12-6-2, 6-2-0 ECAC Hockey)

Of note: After losing 28 games last year, Colgate suffered its first back-to-back losses all season on the road at Ferris State.

10. UMass Lowell (12-5-0, 7-4-0 Hockey East)

Of note: Lowell has a bit of a light schedule right now, with an exhibition game this past weekend and a single game at Vermont on Friday, but things will get cranked up in the following weeks with five games in nine days.

11. Boston University (11-6-1, 9-4-1 Hockey East)

Of note: Is it really a road game when you don't leave the city? The Terriers have a pair of "road" wins at crosstown rival Boston College and will get "away" this weekend at Northeastern and Harvard.

12. Cornell (9-4-2, 6-1-1 ECAC Hockey)

Of note: Greg Miller has scored a goal in four straight games for the Big Red, and has moved into the team lead in points with 16 through 15 games.

13. Western Michigan (10-7-5, 7-4-3 CCHA)

Of note: Fresh off a pair of losses to top-ranked UMD, the Broncos play a home-and-home series this weekend with No. 3 Notre Dame. WMU couldn't wedge a couple games against second-ranked Ohio State in there; those will have to wait until Feb. 10-11.

14. Denver (11-8-3, 6-5-3 WCHA)

Of note: Junior goalie Adam Murray, making his first start since a groin injury sidelined him Nov. 19, stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced in the Pioneers' 5-2 win Saturday against visiting Alabama-Huntsville.

15. Michigan (12-8-4, 6-6-4 CCHA)

Of note: Sophomore defenseman Jon Merrill, suspended for the Wolverines' first 22 games for a violation of team rules, returned to the lineup Friday against Lake Superior State and notched two assists in Michigan's 4-2 win.

16. Nebraska-Omaha (10-8-4, 7-4-3 WCHA)

Of note: Matt White and Terry Broadhurst are the Mavs' top scorers. UNO is 7-0-1 in games in which White scores a goal. In games in which Broadhurst scores, the Mavs are 5-4-1. When they both score, UNO is 3-0-0. They should probably do that more often.

17. North Dakota (11-8-2, 7-7-0 WCHA)

Of note: Is it another second-half surge for North Dakota? They've gone 7-1-1 in their last nine, since splitting a series with Bemidji State in November.

18. Northeastern (8-7-3, 4-7-2 Hockey East)

Of note: Northeastern started 0-4-1 against teams currently listed in these rankings (BC and Merrimack), but are 5-0-0 against ranked teams since then with victories over Notre Dame (2), Michigan, UMass Lowell and Minnesota.

19. Ferris State (13-8-1, 7-6-1 CCHA)

Of note: The Bulldogs earned weekend sweeps in four of its first five weekends to start the year, but hadn't pulled off the feat since Nov. 4-5 at Bowling Green. That changed this weekend with two wins over Colgate.

20. Miami (Ohio) (11-9-2, 7-7-2 CCHA)

Of note: The preseason No. 1 team in these INCH Power Rankings has had an up-and-down season, but they'll control their own destiny over the second half of the season with series against CCHA contenders Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Western Michigan and Lake Superior State.

Dropped out: Michigan State, Lake Superior State

Bubblelicious: Maine, Mercyhurst, Lake Superior State, Quinnipiac


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