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Hockey East Power Rankings: Providence, Boston College and Notre Dame Occupy Top Three Spots

New Hampshire will bring its five-game winning streak to Schneider Arena this weekend for a two-game set against Providence in a rematch of the 2013 Hockey East Quarterfinals.

Notre Dame senior goaltender Steven Summerhays will lead his team into Tsongas Arena to face UMass-Lowell this weekend.
Notre Dame senior goaltender Steven Summerhays will lead his team into Tsongas Arena to face UMass-Lowell this weekend.
Matt Christians

Boston College is the only Hockey East team remaining without a loss in conference action, but it's Providence that has earned the top spot in this weeks's SBNation Hockey East Power Rankings compiled by Jeff Cox. The Friars have been consistent, and have the unquestioned best goaltender in the league.

1. Providence

The Friars have continued to win with all facets of the games. Sophomore goaltender Jon Gillies gets all the accolades, and deservedly so. The Calgary Flames prospect has three shutouts on the season and eight for his career. However, fans around Hockey East need to start taking notice of junior Ross Mauermann. The Hockey East Player of the Week now has 10 goals in the team's first 11 games.

Next up: New Hampshire (Fri 11/22 and Sat 11/23)

2. Boston College

The Eagles averted disaster twice this past week. Jerry York's club is by far the deepest and most talented team in the league, but it didn't exactly play up to par against UMass. When a team has Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes on its side, it's tough to get too worked up about a closer than expected weekend against an inferior opponent.

Up Next: at Harvard (Wed 11/20), at Maine (Sat 11/23)

3. Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish were less than two minutes away from a weekend sweep of Merrimack, but the Warriors scored a goal to tie the score and force a draw. Freshman and leading scorer Vince Hinostroza will be out for a few weeks with an injury, but the strength of this team is and always will be its defense.

Up Next: at UMass-Lowell (Fri 11/22 and Sat 11/23)

4. UMass-Lowell

The River Hawks won three nonconference games over the last week against inferior opponents, but this lofty ranking is more about what this team can be. We learned last season that UML can peak at the right time. Norm Bazin's team has a chance to prove it is once again a legitimate contender when Jeff Jackson's Fighting Irish come to town this weekend.

Up Next: Notre Dame (Fri 11/22 and Sat 11/23)

5. New Hampshire

The Wildcats have now won five in a row, albeit against lower echelon opponents, but wins are wins. Dick Umile's team faces a stern test this weekend with a pair of games at Providence. Casey DeSmith will have to play well between the pipes and the new line combinations that have worked so well will need to be in tip top shape to get pucks past Jon Gillies.

Up Next: at Providence (Fri 11/22 and Sat 11/23)

6. Maine

The Black Bears' offense has been very hit or miss, but has twice exploded for seven or more goals, including in last Friday's 7-0 shutout victory over BU. Devin Shore and Ben Hutton are terrific players, and there appears to be promise in the freshman class, but this team will go as far as senior goaltender Martin Ouellette will take it. He's made some key saves to bail the defense out and has been a major reason behind each win.

Up Next: Boston College (Sat 11/23)

7. Boston University

The Terriers were trounced by Maine, 7-0, in Orono, but according to coach David Quinn, his team didn't play that badly. BU played real well for two periods in a 4-1 win over UConn, but took the third period off. This team has two stellar goaltenders and a solid top two lines, but the question of depth remains its biggest issue.

Up Next: North Dakota (Fri 11/22 and Sat 11/23)

8. Northeastern

The Huskies have lost five of six after a 5-0 start. The early success was largely due to playing two teams that will finish at the bottom of their respective conferences. The Huskies still have a legitimate top two offensive lines that will have to contend with a solid Merrimack defensive core this weekend.

Up Next: at Merrimack (Fri 11/22), Merrimack (Sat 11/23)

9. Vermont

The Catamounts came close to garnering some points against a very good Providence team at home, but came up empty. The Catamounts play hard and try to bottle up the neutral zone, but don't have the horses to compete with the top teams in the league.

Up Next: at Massachusetts (Fri 11/22), Massachusetts (Sun 11/24)

10. Massachusetts

John Micheletto's squad battled hard against a Boston College team with superior skill, but could only muster one point on the weekend. Even more impressive was the fact that the close loss and tie came with the supposed third string goaltender in the crease. With Steven Mastalerz out with an injury the Minutemen turned to Mac Haight, a walk-on from Sammamish, Wash. He stopped 57 of 61 shots on the weekend. Branden Gracel had a nice weekend picking up two goals and an assist.

Up Next: Vermont (Fri 11/22, at Vermont (Sun 11/24)

11. Merrimack

Vinny Scotti saved the Warriors from returning to Boston from South Bend with an 0-4 conference record. His goal with 1:09 left in regulation forced a 2-2 tie in Saturday's series finale. The first four conference games were a tough task for any team - facing Providence and Notre Dame in back-to-back weekends. Things get easier for the Warriors this weekend with a home-and-home series against Northeastern. Star forward Mike Collins' status is unknown, but he missed Saturday's game with an upper body injury.

Up Next: Northeastern (Fri 11/22), at Northeastern (Sat 11/23)

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Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.