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College Hockey Rankings: SBN College Hockey Power Rankings for December 1st

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Matt Christians

The crown of being college hockey's top-ranked team has been heavy in recent weeks. It all began three weeks ago when Minnesota, who looked like they could go the whole season without relinquishing the top spot, was swept by in-state rival Minnesota Duluth. Though they didn't quite earn the top spot in our poll, Michigan Tech was next to take the mantle nationally, and they were promptly swept at home by Minnesota State. Last week, Boston University was a unanimous #1 in our poll and they took their second and third losses of the season this past week.

That means it's next team up, and this time, it is Minnesota State, who just barely edged out North Dakota for the top overall spot in our poll. The Mavericks have been atop the major computer polls since sweeping Michigan Tech two weeks ago, and by a fair margin. The Mavericks have the fourth-best winning percentage while playing what KRACH considers the second-toughest schedule in the country. In RPI, the gap between #1 Minnesota State and #2 Minnesota Duluth is slightly bigger than the gap between Minnesota Duluth and #14 Merrimack.

It's a good time to be Minnesota State right now, but as recent history has shown, fortunes can change very quickly for a team that ascends to the top spot.

Rank
Chris
Jeff
Nate
Matt
Ryan
Mary
Josh
SBN Rank
1 Minnesota Duluth Minnesota State Minnesota Duluth Minnesota Duluth Minnesota State North Dakota Minnesota State Minnesota State(65)
2 Minnesota State North Dakota North Dakota Minnesota State North Dakota Minnesota State North Dakota North Dakota (61)
3 Boston University Harvard Minnesota State North Dakota Boston University Boston University Boston University Minnesota Duluth (54)
4 North Dakota Boston University Boston University Boston University Minnesota Duluth Minnesota Duluth Minnesota Boston University (53)
5 Michigan Tech Minnesota Miami Miami Michigan Tech Minnesota Minnesota Duluth Minnesota (38)
6 Minnesota Michigan Tech Michigan Tech Minnesota Minnesota Michigan Tech Harvard Michigan Tech (35)
7 Miami Miami Minnesota Michigan Tech Miami Harvard Michigan Tech Miami (30)
8 Harvard Minnesota Duluth Harvard Omaha Harvard Miami Miami Harvard(28)
9 Vermont Vermont Vermont Harvard Vermont Vermont Vermont Vermont (12)
10 Omaha UMass Lowell Omaha Bowling Green Bowling Green UMass Lowell UMass Lowell Omaha(5)

1. Minnesota State 11-3-0 (65)

The Mavericks extended their winning streak to six games, and nine of their last 10 with back-to-back shutout victories at Lake Superior State to keep pace with Michigan Tech at the top of the WCHA standings. The two shutouts push goalie Stephon Williams towards the top of the national goaltending leaderboard with a 1.52 GAA and .931 save percentage. But Williams has been heavily aided by the fact that the Mavericks are only allowing 20.8 shots per game in conference play this year.

-Chris Dilks

2. North Dakota 10-3-2 (61)

North Dakota welcomed back former coach Dean Blais and his Omaha team to Grand Forks this past weekend. Star freshman Nick Schmaltz returned to the line-up on Friday night and scored the game-tying goal in a 2-2 tie. On Saturday, Stephane Pattyn scored a short-handed goal--North Dakota's 8th of the season, giving them three more than any other team in the country--that held up as the game-winner in a 3-2 victory.

-Chris Dilks

3. Minnesota Duluth 9-5-0 (54)

The Bulldogs got to enjoy their Thanksgiving turkey and catch some Black Friday deals with a weekend off. They'll return to the ice next weekend when they host a Colorado College team that is winless in five NCHC conference games.

-Chris Dilks

4. Boston University 9-3-1 (53)

The Terriers finished up a tough stretch with five games in ten days, going 1-2 in a trio of non-conference games against ECAC teams this week. Freshman phenom Jack Eichel was held off the scoreboard in both losses, for the first time this year in Tuesday's 3-2 overtime defeat to Harvard, and then Sunday at Dartmouth. Eichel scored the first of BU's four third-period goals and chipped in with an assist in Saturday's impressive 5-2 triumph over Colgate at Agganis Arena. Freshman Connor LaCouvee made 34 saves in the weekend finale in Hanover, N.H. but his effort was not enough for BU to finish off its first six-win November in 15 years. The Terriers look to match last season's win total of ten in a weekend home-and-home series with Merrimack beginning on the road Friday night.

-Josh Kummins

5. Minnesota 8-4-0 (38)

The Gophers made a rare trip out to the East Coast over the holiday weekend and had mixed results. They got off to a strong start to the weekend with a 6-3 win over Boston College. But they couldn't carry that momentum on to Saturday. Northeastern's Kevin Roy scored a late goal to lift the Huskies to their third win of the season in a 3-2 upset win over Minnesota. The Gophers begin Big Ten conference play next weekend when they travel to Michigan State.

-Chris Dilks

6. Michigan Tech 12-2-0 (35)

The final scores weren't pretty, but Michigan Tech used a huge edge in shots on goal to sweep a WCHA series at Alabama-Huntsville and maintain the best overall record in college hockey. The Huskies will get the week off to recuperate from the long road trip before hosting a very important non-conference series against Minnesota Duluth in two weeks.

-Chris Dilks

7. Miami 10-4-0 (30)

The RedHawks had a bye last weekend, but remained in sole possession of first place in the NCHC after North Dakota only took four of six possible points from Omaha last weekend. Next weekend, it will be Miami's turn to host the Mavericks in an NCHC conference series.

-Chris Dilks

8. Harvard 7-1-2 (28)

A very impressive start to the season continued for Ted Donato's squad as the Crimson knocked off two more heavyweights from Hockey East. Kyle Criscuolo's overtime tally sent Harvard past the No. 1 ranked Terriers on Tuesday night. Then it was off to Lowell on Saturday for a 4-2 win over the River Hawks. You'd be hard pressed to find a better first line outside of maybe crosstown rival BU than Harvard's Jimmy Vesey, Alexander Kerfoot and Kyle Criscuolo. Senior goaltender Steve Michalek is finally coming into his own with a .947 save percentage.

-Jeff Cox

9. Vermont 11-3-1 (12)

The Catamounts traveled to face Hockey East foe Maine in a pair of non-conference games this weekend and picked up their third and fourth straight wins with 6-3 and 4-1 decisions. Sophomore Mario Puskarich had an outstanding weekend against the Black Bears, scoring twice on Friday before another goal less than seven minutes into the series finale for his first goal-scoring streak of the season. Vermont is now 11-3-1, matching its best record through 15 games since 2005-06, and earned its first weekend sweep at Alfond Arena since Feb. 2009. UVM, which has sole possession of first place in the conference standings with 15 points in a league-high 11 games played, is idle this week and will close the first half with a home-and-home series against St. Lawrence Dec. 12-13.

-Josh Kummins

10. Omaha 7-3-2 (5)

The Mavericks earned a hard-fought tie on Friday night at North Dakota, and picked up an extra conference point by winning the shootout. On Saturday, they fell behind 3-1 and couldn't find a way to tie the game in the third period in a 3-2 loss. The schedule doesn't get any easier for Omaha as they travel to Miami next weekend.

-Chris Dilks