College Hockey Rankings: Michigan Falls Hard; Gophers/Bulldogs On Top

Matt Christians

The Minnesota Gophers take all first-place votes after an idle week, but long-time top fiver Michigan falls 5 places, clinging to 9th place after losing to both Western Michigan and Michigan State in the Great Lakes Invitational.

First of all, happy holidays from the staff at SB Nation College Hockey!

After sitting in our top five, at least, for a strong majority of the season, the Michigan Wolverines have been unseated and fell five places in this week rankings after a winless outing at this year's Great Lakes Invitational.  Providence also fell but just three places, while Clarkson fell out to give way for Yale.

This holiday season proved to be very eventful, stirring up our staff power rankings a bit more than normal.  With just two exhibition games still left to be played this week, a great amount of teams will resume play next year (or January 2nd and beyond, whichever you prefer).

Feel free to give staff writers a follow on twitter by clicking on their individual pictures.

Ranking

Dilks_medium

Chris Dilks

Cox_medium

Jeff Cox

Wells_medium

Nate Wells

Christians_medium

Matt Christians

Sporer_medium

Evan Sporer

Sbn_medium

SBN FINAL RANK

1 Minnesota_medium Minnesota_medium Minnesota_medium Minnesota_medium Minnesota_medium
Minnesota_medium
2 Bglogo_medium Union_logo_medium Bglogo_medium Bglogo_medium Union_logo_medium Bglogo_medium
3 Union_logo_medium Bglogo_medium Providence_medium Union_logo_medium Bglogo_medium Union_logo_medium
4 Providence_medium Scsu_medium Scsu_medium Scsu_medium Scsu_medium Scsu_medium
5 Scsu_medium Qu_medium Union_logo_medium Providence_medium Providence_medium Providence_medium
6 Umass-lowell_medium Providence_medium Michigan_medium Bc_medium Umass-lowell_medium Qu_medium
7 Qu_medium Bc_medium Bc_medium Qu_medium Qu_medium Bc_medium
8 Michigan_medium Umass-lowell_medium Qu_medium Umass-lowell_medium Bc_medium Umass-lowell_medium
9 Bc_medium Michigan_medium Umass-lowell_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
10 Pwrrankings-clarkson_golden_knights Uvm-hockey_medium
Yale_medium
Wisconsinbadgers_medium
Yale_medium Yale_medium


1. Minnesota  12-2-2 (50)

The Golden Gophers remained idle as head coach Don Lucia and players Brady Skjei (New York Rangers) and Hudson Fasching (Los Angeles Kings) are overseas helping the United States in the 2014 World Junior Championships. Assistants Mike Guentzel and Grant Potulny will be in charge of a Minnesota team that hosts Colgate, Ferris State and RPI in the Mariucci Classic this Friday and Saturday. They will have their hands full as the Gophers are down to 5 defensemen.

- Nate Wells

2. Ferris State 14-2-3 (43)

The Bulldogs got the holiday week off, which allowed them time to prepare for what could be one of their more important games of the season. Next week, they'll travel to the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis, where everyone is hoping they'll run into the top-ranked host Gophers in the tournament final. To do so, they'll likely have to win their first game against a pesky RPI team.

- Chris Dilks

3. Union  12-3-3 (40)

The Dutchmen were off last weekend and will continue to be idle until a showdown with Quinnipiac on January 10th and Princeton the following day. While Union's victory and tie against St. Cloud State will be nearly a month old, the team is still 4th in the nation in team offense (averaging 3.89 goals/game)

- Nate Wells

4. St. Cloud State  11-2-3 (34)

The NCHC-leading Huskies were idle over the holidays. They'll get an opportunity to ease back into action next weekend when they host the NTDP U18 team in an exhibition game on Saturday, before heading out to Denver the following week to begin the second half of their season.

- Chris Dilks

5. Providence  13-3-3  (32)

After defeating Army and Dartmouth without star goaltender Jon Gillies, who is playing for USA in the World Junior Championships, the Friars tripped up in a 3-2 loss to Air Force in the Ledyard Bank Classic.  Junior Nick Ellis has been the puck-stopper for Providence while Gillies is away, and did a fine job until the final game of the tournament.  The Friars will play against Merrimack on January 4th, following a matchup against Northeastern on the 7th.

- Matt Christians

6. Quinnipiac  14-3-4 (21)

After three weeks of break, the Bobcats wrestled Massachusetts in a 2-2 draw on Sunday and shutout Sacred Heart the following day in a 5-0 outing during the UConn Hockey Classic.  Freshman forward Sam Anas leads Quinnipiac in points with 26, but found just one helper in between the two games, giving way to Kellen Jones who trails Anas in scoring with just a one point difference.  The Bobcats will host Maine in a non-conference game on January 3rd, followed by a trip to Harvard on January 6th.

- Matt Christians

t7. Boston College 12-4-2 (18)

With a 20-game break's rest, the Eagles soared over Bowling Green and Penn State during the Three Rivers Classic, outscoring those opponents 13-2.  Destry Straight scored a hat-trick in Boston College's dismantling of Penn State, 8-2, while netminder Brian Billett made 58 saves in the two outings.  The Eagles will ride the momentum of a four-game win streak against Notre Dame on January 4th.

- Matt Christians

t7. UMass-Lowell  13-5-0 (18)

In a rare stretch of three games against the same opponent, UMass-Lowell defeated Clarkson 3-1 Sunday in the Catamount Cup. (The team also defeated Canisius the day before.) Scott Wilson scored the game winning goal as 8 different River Hawks recorded points. UMass-Lowell continues playing the Golden Knights in a proper series in Lowell this weekend.

- Nate Wells

9. Michigan 10-4-2 (14)

The Wolverines got a couple early Christmas presents when forwards JT Compher and Tyler Motte were returned from the World Junior team over injury concerns that didn't keep them from playing for the Wolverines. But the outdoor Great Lakes Invitational was anything but a happy holiday for Michigan. A defensive breakdown late in overtime cost them against Western Michigan, and they followed it up with a listless performance in a 3-0 loss to Michigan State in the tournament's consolation game.

- Chris Dilks

10. Yale  7-3-3 (2)

After defeating the Russian Red Stars in an exhibition game on last Friday, the Bulldogs went on to defeat Holy Cross in a 4-1 triumph.  On January 4th, Yale will head to Vermont to play a single game in hopes of adding another "W" to their resume before they battle Harvard and Clarkson in weeks to come.

- Matt Christians

Friendship Awards

Clarkson (1 point), Vermont (1 point), Wisconsin (1 point)

Agree? Disagree? We want to hear what you think!

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