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Minnesota Gophers take over No. 1

Editor's note: These rankings were released Feb. 6.

A common theme in this edition of the Inside College Hockey Power Rankings is evaluating some of the recent trends and results for the included teams and some of their players. Check out the latest report card, with a brandnew student at the head of the class.

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 (19-9-1, 15-5-0 WCHA)

Of note: The Gophers had the weekend off but still can be considered winners -- the WCHA leaders watched as second-place Minnesota Duluth only gained two points by splitting at Alaska Anchorage and then third-place Denver lost and tied with Colorado College.

2. Minnesota Duluth (18-6-4, 12-5-3 WCHA)

Of note: Splitting at Alaska Anchorage is disappointing, but sophomore forward J.T. Brown did his part, scoring all four goals in the Bulldogs' 4-1 win Friday and adding another goal in Saturday's 3-2 loss.

3. Boston University (16-8-1, 13-6-1 Hockey East)

Of note: It's Beanpot time, and that usually makes ears perk up around the BU Terriers. They roll into the tournament off the heels of a very good road win at Merrimack, which lifted Boston University into first place in Hockey East.

4. Union (16-6-7, 10-3-4 ECAC)

Of note: The Dutchmen are 7-1-2 in 10 games since the start of the New Year and have taken over first place in ECAC Hockey. They'll wrap the regular season Feb. 24-25 at Cornell and Colgate -- their two closest pursuers in the standings.

5. UMass Lowell (18-7-0, 13-6-0 Hockey East)

Of note: Talk about a home-ice advantage … since losing its first home game of the season to Boston College, UMass Lowell is 9-0-0 at Tsongas Arena. UML is in the midst of a six-game homestand. Five of the team's remaining eight games this season are at home.

6. Merrimack (15-6-5, 11-5-3 Hockey East)

Of note: Jeff Velleca scored with two seconds left in the third period to give the Warriors a 4-3 bounce-back win at UMass, after Merrimack lost at home to BU one night earlier. Velleca had two goals and an assist in the win at Massachusetts.

7. Michigan (17-9-4 , 11-7-4 CCHA)

Of note: In eight starts since Jan. 1, senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick is 6-1-1 with two shutouts, a 0.90 GAA, and a .973 save percentage. In this weekend's sweep of visiting Miami, he stopped all but one of the 54 shots he faced.

8. Ferris State (18-8-4, 12-6-4 CCHA)

Of note: The Bulldogs started the season with a 6-0-0 run and proceeded to go 5-8-1 over their next 14 games. Since Jan. 1, Ferris is 7-0-3, including a win and tie at Northern Michigan this past weekend. Add it all up and you've got the CCHA's first-place team.

9. Boston College (16-10-1, 12-7-1 Hockey East)

Of note: It's a favorable draw in the Beanpot opener for Boston College. The Eagles have had 40 all-time meetings against Northeastern in the annual event, and won 31 of those games.

10. Colorado College (15-9-2, 12-7-1 WCHA)

Of note: A win and tie against Denver sent the Gold Pan traveling trophy back to Colorado Springs for the first time in three seasons. More importantly, the Tigers move into third place in the WCHA standings, two points behind UMD and five behind Minnesota.

11. Notre Dame (16-11-3, 11-8-3 CCHA)

Of note: Since peaking at 10-2-3 with a Nov. 25 win at Lake Superior State, the Fighting Irish are 6-9-0 overall and 4-7-0 against CCHA opponents. The remaining regular-season schedule is tricky, with series against Ferris State, Miami, and Michigan State on deck.

12. Maine (16-8-3, 11-7-2 Hockey East)

Of note: The Black Bears were down 3-0 to Alabama-Huntsville after two periods Friday, then scored four straight to win the game, capped by Stu Higgins' overtime winner. Maine had no such trouble the next night in a 5-0 victory over the Chargers.

13. Denver (15-9-4, 10-6-4 WCHA)

Of note: Pioneers fans will admit Colorado College taking the Gold Pan is a case of losing the battle; they'll add that DU's seven NCAA titles since the Tigers last won one in 1957 constitutes winning the war.

14. Cornell (11-6-6, 8-3-5 ECAC Hockey)

Of note: Freshman Brian Ferlin had 15 points through his first 13 games, but has just four points in his last 10 outings. Cornell is 6-1-1 when he scores a goal, but he has scored in just three of Cornell's last 16 games.

15. North Dakota (15-10-2, 11-9-0 WCHA)

Of note: Sophomore defenseman Dillon Simpson, who was held scoreless in his first nine games this season, has 13 points in North Dakota's last 18 games. The team is 9-1-1 in games in which he has scored at least one point.

16. Colgate (15-10-3, 9-6-1 ECAC)

Of note: So this guy Austin Smith … four goals Saturday night at Rensselaer to ruin their annual Big Red Freakout! Pretty good player. Smith has 30 goals on the year. Yes, 30.

17. Miami (Ohio) (15-13-2, 11-11-2 CCHA)

Of note: The last time an opponent held the RedHawks to a single goal in a weekend series was Jan. 10-11, 2009, when Michigan handed Miami 5-1 and 4-0 defeats in Ann Arbor.

18. Harvard (7-6-9, 6-4-7 ECAC)

Of note: Harvard's week started with -- wait for it -- another tie. It was the Crimson's ninth deadlock of the season. The good news is that it's impossible for a tie to be the result Monday in a Beanpot semifinal against BU.

19. Michigan State (15-11-4, 10-9-3 WCHA)

Of note: Junior defenseman Torey Krug had two goals and three assists in the Spartans' sweep of Ohio State in Columbus this past weekend. In four games against the Buckeyes this season, he recorded three goals and four assists.

20. Western Michigan (14-11-5, 11-8-3 CCHA)

Of note: After scoring at least one goal in five straight games between Dec. 30-Jan. 14, sophomore forward Chase Balisy has one point (an assist) in his last six outings. The Broncos are 2-4-0 during that span, which includes this past weekend's split with Alaska.

Dropped out: Ohio State, Nebraska-Omaha

Bubblelicious: Air Force, Lake Superior State, Ohio State


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