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College Hockey Rankings: SBN College Hockey Power Rankings December 8th

Matt Christians

Another week, and another team takes over the top ranking in our power rankings. Minnesota State held the spot for just one week before falling to Alaska-Fairbanks on Friday night and ceding the top spot to North Dakota in this week's poll.

So why all the chaos at the top? The truth is, it's just really hard to run off that many wins in a row in college hockey. Minnesota State got to the number one spot thanks to a national-best six game winning streak--which when you think about it, isn't even all that big of a number. Call it parity, call it high variance, call it whatever, but it's hard for even the best teams to win every night. Minnesota State didn't even play that poorly on Friday night--they had much better possession numbers and quality scoring chance numbers than Alaska. But they ran into a decent team that made a few nice plays at the right time and one overtime goal later, their winning streak was snapped.

That chaos may be frustrating for the teams that can't hold the top ranking, but it is definitely entertaining to follow.

Rank
Chris
Jeff
Nate
Matt
Ryan
Mary
Josh
SBN Rank
1 Minnesota Duluth North Dakota Minnesota Duluth Minnesota Duluth North Dakota North Dakota North Dakota North Dakota67)
2 North Dakota Harvard North Dakota North Dakota Minnesota Duluth Minnesota State Minnesota State Minnesota State (57)
3 Minnesota State Minnesota State Minnesota State Minnesota State Boston University Boston University Harvard Minnesota Duluth(53)
4 Boston University Boston University Boston University Boston University Minnesota State Minnesota Boston University Boston University (51)
5 Harvard Minnesota Miami Miami Harvard Harvard Minnesota Harvard(40)
6 Michigan Tech Michigan Tech Michigan Tech Minnesota Michigan Tech Minnesota Duluth Minnesota Duluth Minnesota (35)
7 Minnesota Minnesota Duluth Minnesota Michigan Tech Minnesota Michigan Tech Michigan Tech Michigan Tech(32)
8 Miami Miami Harvard Omaha Miami Miami Miami Miami(27)
9 Vermont UMass Lowell Vermont Harvard Vermont Vermont Vermont Vermont (11)
10 Omaha Vermont Omaha Bowling Green UMass Lowell UMass Lowell UMass Lowell Omaha/UMass Lowell(5)

1. North Dakota 12-3-2 (67)

North Dakota dug themselves into a big hole on Friday night when they went down 4-1 to lowly Lake Superior. But when a power play goal by Tucker Poolman got North Dakota going at 12:25 of the second period, it felt inevitable that North Dakota would come back. They had taken  5-4 lead by the end of the second period and earned a 7-4 victory. Saturday's game was much tighter throughout, but a late third period goal by Jordan Schmaltz iced a 3-1 victory and a sweep for North Dakota. The schedule gets much tougher next weekend when they travel to Denver, which will be North Dakota's most difficult road test to date.

-Chris Dilks

2. Minnesota State 12-4-0 (57)

The Mavericks looked like they might at least avoid a loss when Brad McClure scored at 3:20 of the third period to tie their game against Alaska-Fairbanks, but Alaska freshman Austin Vieth scored his second goal of the game in overtime to complete the Nanooks' upset bid. On Saturday night, the Mavericks went into the third period tied 2-2, but made a switch in goal for the third period, and got two goals from Dylan Margonari to complete a hat trick in a 5-2 victory. The Mavericks will close out their first half of the season with a home series against Princeton.

-Chris Dilks

3. Minnesota Duluth 11-5-0 (53)

The Bulldogs looked to be in serious trouble against last place Colorado College on Friday night. They trailed 2-0 in the second period, and trailed 2-1 with three minutes remaining in regulation. But they got a late goal from Alex Iafallo to tie the game, and Kyle Osterberg scored in overtime to give the Bulldogs a win. On Saturday, they had a much easier time with the Tigers, who remain winless in the NCHC, in a 7-2 rout.

-Chris Dilks

4.Boston University 10-3-2 (51)

The Terriers were bottled up on Merrimack's small ice surface Friday night, but rebounded from a tough stretch with a 4-2 win over the Warriors on Saturday at Agganis. Jack Eichel assisted on all four goals including three of the primary variety while linemate Danny O'Regan picked up the hat trick. This is a young team still finding its way and there will be some speed bumps along the road, but it's how the Terriers are playing in February and March that will count the most.

-Jeff Cox

5. Harvard 9-1-2 (40)

The Crimson continued their hot start with a four point weekend in ECAC Hockey. Saturday's 5-1 dismantling of Quinnipiac pushed Ted Donato's team into a first place tie with the Bobcats. It was concerning for Harvard fans to see New Jersey Devils prospect Alex Kerfoot miss the weekend with an injury, but another Crimson sophomore returned from the sidelines in a big way. Buffalo Sabres draft pick Sean Malone had two goals and two assists in his first two games of the season. Not to be forgotten, Jimmy Vesey kept his point streak alive, now up to 12, with at least a point in each game this season.

-Jeff Cox

6. Minnesota 9-4-1 (35)

The Gophers began Big Ten conference play, traveling to East Lansing to take on Michigan State and took four of six available points. Helped by the return of senior forward Travis Boyd (Washington Capitals), Minnesota defeated the Spartans 5-0 Friday before tying 3-3 Saturday. (Michigan State won the shootout 2-1 for Big Ten conference purposes.) The Gophers are idle until January 2-3, 2015 when the team hosts the annual Mariucci Classic with Merrimack, UMass-Lowell and RIT.

-Nate Wells

7. Michigan Tech 12-2-0 (32)

The Huskies had last weekend off, allowing them to keep the nation's best winning percentage for at least another week. They'll face their toughest non-conference test of the season next weekend when former conference foe Minnesota Duluth returns to Houghton for what is shaping up to be a fantastic series between two of college hockey's best teams.

-Chris Dilks

8. Miami 11-5-0 (27)

The RedHawks used a dominating five-goal second period, which included the second and third goals of the game for Cody Murphy to trounce Omaha 8-2 on Friday night. They couldn't keep that goal-scoring magic going on Saturday night, however, as they scored just twice in a 5-2 loss despite putting 42(home counted) shots on net.

-Chris Dilks

9.Vermont 11-3-1 (11)

Kevin Sneddon's team was idle this weekend before finishing the first half of the schedule with a home-and-home against former ECAC Hockey foe St. Lawrence next weekend. The Catamounts are getting it done with a stingy defense, good goaltending and a balanced offensive attack led by reigning Hockey East Rookie of the Year Mario Puskarich.

-Jeff Cox

10. Omaha/UMass Lowell (tie) (5)

I was all ready to make my "I guess Christmas came early" jokes about UNO after they were blown Friday at Miami, but they rebounded with a nice 5-2 win the following night for a very respectable road split against a team in first place in the NCHC. It's tough to know what to make of Omaha, they've had two really nice conference wins in recent weeks against Miami and Minnesota Duluth, but were very badly outshot in both games, something that doesn't seem sustainable in the long run.

-Chris Dilks

Norm Bazin's team won't get many style points for its two wins this week, but something has to be said for being the only team outside of Minnesota who has only played two conference games to be unbeaten in league play. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year the River Hawks are 7-0-2 in league play and enjoy a share of first place with BU heading into the semester break.

-Jeff Cox