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CCHA Snipers

In what I think is a pretty impressive feat, the top 6 goal scorers in the country all play in the CCHA. Out of the top 20 goal scorers in the country, half of them play in the CCHA.

Here's a look at those scorers:

1. Kevin Porter, Michigan 13 goals in 12 games. Much has been made of Porter, who is looking like a front-runner for the Hobey Baker this year. People questioned if he could score at the same pace without T.J. Hensick, but Porter is already over halfway to surpassing the 24 goals he scored last year.

2. Derek Whitmore, Bowling Green 11 goals in 9 games. Whitmore has kind of flown under the radar, much like his Falcon team, who is quietly 5-2-0 in the CCHA this year. Whitmore has scored over a third of Bowling Green's goals this year, including hat tricks each of the past two weekends.

3. Tim Kennedy, Michigan State 10 goals in 11 games. Saturday night against Miami wasn't a great time for Kennedy's 8 game scoring streak to end, but Kennedy is always dangerous.

3. Justin Mercier, Miami 10 goals in 12 games. Mercier has been overshadowed by the senior duo of Ryan Jones and Nathan Davis, but has gotten off to a great start this year. He only scored 13 goals in his first two years, and is now one of the league's top scorers.

3. Nick Sirota, Northern Michigan 10 goals in 12 games. Sirota has picked up where Mike Santorelli left off by almost single-handedly carrying an otherwise offensively-challenged Wildcats team.

6. Ryan Jones, Miami 9 goals in 12 games. Miami has to be happy that the Minnesota Wild treat college players like lepers and Jones returned for his senior year. I'm sure the RedHawks would like a little more consistency from Jones this year, however. Four of his nine goals came in one game against Northern Michigan.

9. Mick Lawrence, Nebraska-Omaha 7 goals in 8 games. Lawrence has helped offset the loss of Scott Parse, by becoming a dangerous scoring threat for teammate Bryan Marshall to set up.

9. Nathan Perkovich, Lake Superior 7 goals in 10 games. It's been a long time since someone has talked about a Laker has a top scorer. As a team, the Lakers still don't score much, they've only got 21 goals on the season, but Perkovich has given LSSU consistent goal-scoring. He has yet to have a multi-goal game this year. He's also trying to win the Cy Young award with 7 goals and 0 assists.

9. Mark Van Guilder, Notre Dame 7 goals in 13 games. Van Guilder has a break year last season when he scored 18 goals, and should be able to reach that total again this year.

9. Ryan Thang, Notre Dame 7 goals in 13 games. Exactly the same as Perkovich in that he has no multi-goal games, 4 powerplay goals and no assists so far this year.

So what's the reason for all of these guys being so high on the scoring list? I think part of the reason is that there isn't a lot of depth in the CCHA this year. There are a lot of opportunities against weak teams for players to rack up a lot of points.

I think the main reason is something else though. All of the players on the list, with the exception of Thang and Perkovich, are upperclassmen. By comparison, the WCHA, which has been hit much harder by NHL defections, has very few upperclassmen atop their scoring list. The CCHA has more talented upperclassmen that have matured and are among the best in college hockey this year.