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College Hockey Rankings: SBN College Hockey Power Rankings December 15th

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Minnesota State is back in the top spot, despite having to cancel Saturday's game due to team illness.

Matt Christians

What better way to close out the last poll of 2014 than with one more change at the top of the poll? This week, it was Minnesota State benefiting from tough road trips for both North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth to regain the top spot a weak after losing it.

Elsewhere, it was a surprisingly quiet week in the polls, with nobody really taking a bad loss. Harvard keeps playing like a team that should be ranked in the top-3, but there just hasn't been room to move anybody out. Meanwhile, Minnesota and Miami both fell in the poll because they were idle, while everyone else around them won games.

Rank
Chris
Jeff
Nate
Matt
Ryan
Mary
Josh
SBN Rank
1 Minnesota State Harvard Minnesota State Minnesota Duluth Minnesota State Minnesota State Minnesota State Minnesota State(68)
2 Minnesota Duluth Minnesota State Minnesota Duluth Minnesota State Minnesota Duluth North Dakota Boston University Minnesota Duluth/North Dakota(tie)(55)
3 North Dakota North Dakota North Dakota North Dakota Boston University Minnesota Duluth Harvard
4 Boston University Boston University Boston University Boston University North Dakota Boston University North Dakota Boston University (52)
5 Harvard Minnesota Harvard Omaha Harvard Harvard Minnesota Harvard(44)
6 Michigan Tech Minnesota Duluth Miami Michigan Tech Michigan Tech Michigan Tech Minnesota Duluth Michigan Tech (31)
7 Vermont Michigan Tech Omaha Miami Minnesota Vermont Michigan Tech Minnesota(22)
8 Omaha UMass Lowell Michigan Tech Minnesota Vermont Omaha Vermont Omaha(20)
9 Miami Vermont Minnesota Harvard Omaha UMass Lowell UMass Lowell Vermont (17)
10 Minnesota Omaha Vermont Denver UMass Lowell Minnesota Omaha Miami(11)

1. Minnesota State 13-4-0 (68)

Ironically, the team in the best shape in the polls, may be in the worst shape right now. The Mavericks cruised to an easy 5-0 win over Princeton on Friday, in which they outshot the Tigers 34-6 in the final 50 minutes of play. But the next morning, more than half of the team had come down with a severe case of the flu. Unable to field a full team, Saturday's game had to be cancelled; officially ruled a 'no contest'. The good news is that the (non-)game closes out Minnesota State's first half of the season so the Mavericks will have until early January to recover.

-Chris Dilks

2. Minnesota Duluth/North Dakota(tied) (55)

Both Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota went on the road to face very tough opponents and both teams came away with a weekend split.

Minnesota Duluth went on the road to Michigan Tech for a non-conference series. Dominic Toninato's two goals on Friday night paced the Bulldogs in a 3-1 win. The following night, the Bulldogs came back from an early deficit, but gave up a late goal to fall 4-3.

North Dakota's results were the opposite. They fell 4-1 to Denver on Friday night, but came back on Saturday night by building a 3-0 lead in the first half of the game to earn a 3-1 victory.

-Chris Dilks

4. Boston University 11-3-2 (52)

The Terriers closed out the regular season portion of the first half on a high with a 5-1 win over Rensselaer. Five different players scored a goal and Jack Eichel notched two assists. The freshman sensation will line up on the opposing side from his college teammates when BU hosts the US World Junior Team on Friday night at Walter Brown Arena, the former home of Terrier hockey.

Once again Saturday night BU was unable to muster much offense in the first period. David Quinn's team has only scored five first period markers all season. BU heats up some in the second period, tallying 17 goals in the middle frame. The third period is when the Terriers really come alive, having posted 31 goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation during the first semester.

-Jeff Cox

5. Harvard 9-1-2 (44)

The Crimson were idle and Teddy Donato's team is off until a late December clash with RPI. It was a first semester to remember for Harvard, a team that has perennially underachieved in Donato's tenure at his alma mater. NHL Draft picks Jimmy Vesey, Alexander Kerfoot and Sean Malone along with free agent Kyle Criscuolo should continue to pace the offense in the second half. Senior Steve Michalek appears to be saving his best hockey for his last go around in a Crimson uniform.

-Jeff Cox

6. Michigan Tech 13-3-0 (31)

The Huskies fantastic start to the season seemed to be going up in smoke after a Friday night home loss to Minnesota Duluth. The Huskies dropped to 10th in the Pairwise Rankings, and another loss would have put them in a much more difficult spot in the second half of the season. But a Michael Neville goal with 19 seconds remaining in regulation in Saturday's game lifted Michigan Tech to a 4-3 Saturday victory. The win was Michigan Tech's first over a team ranked in the top-20 in the computer polls this season; something that is important, because they'll only have four more games against top-20 competition in the second half of the season.

-Chris Dilks

7. Minnesota 9-4-1 (22)

The Gophers had the week off and won't be playing again until January 2-3 when they host the Mariucci Classic. The Gophers will be short-handed for the tournament though, potentially losing Hudson Fasching, Ryan Collins and Leon Bristedt to the World Juniors, and Brady Skjei, who is out with an injury suffered two weeks ago against Michigan State.

-Chris Dilks

8. Omaha 10-4-2 (20)

Judging by their current records, it's perhaps no shock to see the Mavericks sweep St. Cloud State in Omaha. But given the success, or lack thereof, of each program the past two seasons, it's still a bit of a surprise that the Mavericks were able to take all six league points in the weekend series. The second half of the season has been troublesome for Omaha in recent years, but they head into the winter break in exceptional position, currently sitting at 2nd overall in the Pairwise Rankings.

-Chris Dilks

9. Vermont 13-3-1 (17)

The Catamounts swept St. Lawrence 2-1 and 2-0 in a home-and-home series against their former ECAC Hockey foe to close out the first half. Kevin Sneddon's team, picked by most observers to finish somewhere in the fifth through eighth range in Hockey East, enters the semester break with just three losses. UVM leads the nation in scoring defense and penalty kill percentage. The goaltending tandem of Brody Hoffman and Mike Santaguida are leading the charge. The biggest question mark is whether the offense can put up more production on a consistent basis.

-Jeff Cox

10. Miami 11-5-0 (11)

Miami had a bye this week, but did have a bit of a news when it was announced that little-used sophomore defenseman Matt Joyaux would be leaving the program and returning to the USHL. The RedHawks are off until just after Christmas when they travel to the Florida College Classic in Estero, Florida, which sounds delightful at this time of year.

-Chris Dilks