For the first time in a very long time, the Boston College Eagles clinched first place in the SBN College Hockey Power Rankings, unseating the Minnesota Golden Gophers after shutting out the Providence Friars, 2-0.
The single point difference in between the top two teams and the point differences that separate the rest of the field only adds to the excitement that both this upcoming weekend and the Beanpot will bring.
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SBN FINAL RANK
1. Boston College 19-4-3 (48)
The Eagles traveled to Schneider Arena to take on the Friars in a tough road tuneup before the Eagles open up Beanpot play on Monday night. While Boston College didn’t find its usual offense, two goals were all the Eagles needed as freshman goalie Thatcher Demko continued his strong play, shutting out Providence 2-0 on the strength of 30 saves. BC faces archrival BU in the opening round of the Beanpot Monday night, and might have to do so without Ian McCoshen and Kevin Hayes who both suffered injuries against Providence. Johnny Gaudreau's goal late in the third period kept his 21-game point streak alive. Demko is now 6-0-0 in Hockey East play, with a save percentage of .953 and a goals against of 1.17. According to head coach Jerry York, Demko is now the go-to for the first place Eagles.
- Evan Sporer & Jeff Cox
2. Minnesota 19-2-5 (47)
After tying Michigan State 2-2 Friday with just 5 defensemen (and proceeding to lose the shootout 2-1), the Golden Gophers came back the next night and won a goaltending duel 1-0 on a Kyle Rau goal to take home the Mariucci-Bessone trophy. Minnesota, whose unbeaten streak is now at 14 games, has a 9 point lead in the Big Ten standings and the top two freshmen scorers in the conference with Justin Kloos and Hudson Fasching. The Gophers travel to Madison for a Thursday-Friday series with its rivals to the East.
- Nate Wells
3. Quinnipiac 19-4-5 (40)
Connor Jones needed 8 seconds to score the Bobcats' opening goal against Dartmouth and that was all it took as Quinnipiac put up 8 against the Big Green in an 8-1 win in the team's only game of the weekend. Jones scored twice, as did teammate Travis St. Denis, and the Bobcats put up more than five goals as a team for the third time in four goals. Quinnipiac hosts Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend.
- Nate Wells
4. Union 17-6-3 (33)
Short-handed as a result of suspensions from last week's fight against RPI, Union lost on Friday evening 2-1 at St. Lawrence, but were able to rebound the next night with a 4-3 win on the road against a good Clarkson team.
- Chris Dilks
5. Ferris State 18-6-3 (30)
The Bulldogs had their last bye week of the regular season last week. They'll head into the final ten games of the regular season with a 2-point lead and two games in hand on Minnesota State, putting them in very strong position to take home their first ever WCHA regular season title.
- Chris Dilks
6. UMass-Lowell 18-7-2 (26)
Connor Hellebuyck was spectacular in goal, turning away 56 of 58 total shots, to lead Lowell's sweep of Merrimack. Hellebuyck stopped 23 shots in the Riverhawks' 4-2 win on Friday, before closing out the series with a 33-save shutout, the ninth of his career, in Saturday's 4-0 win. For his efforts the sophomore was named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Freshman forward Evan Campbell led the way offensively with two goals and, in total, seven different players tallied for the Riverhawks in the sweep.
- Ryan Evans
7. St. Cloud State 14-6-4 (16)
The Huskies played a tough road series against a very unpredictable Nebraska-Omaha team, coming away with a Friday night win and a Saturday night loss. Friday's game ended in a 5-3 victory for St. Cloud State, but on Saturday night the Huskies Ryan Faragher and Charlie Lindgren managed to let eight pucks slide by in the 8-6 loss to the Mavericks. Due to the split, the top five NCHC teams are all separated by a single win (three points), providing plenty of entertainment for NCHC fans in it's first season as a conference.
- Matt Christians
8. Cornell 12-4-5 (14)
Cornell pushed its unbeaten streak to nine games with a pair of road wins, beating No. 13 Yale, 3-2, and Brown, 2-1. Against the Bulldogs, Big Red senior forward Brian Ferlin scored the game-winner, his team-leading 10th goal of the season, with 17.1 seconds left in OT to seal the 3-2 win. The win over Yale was Cornell's second-straight come-from-behind effort against a ranked opponent, having beaten Clarkson last Saturday. Against Brown, goals from Matt Buckles and Cole Bardreau, and 33 saves from senior goaltender Andy Iles, were enough to push the Big Red past the Bears. Iles made 71 stops in total on the weekend.
- Ryan Evans
9. Northeastern 15-8-3 (8)
The Huskies were idle this weekend, as Jim Madigan’s team prepares to open the Beanpot Monday night against Harvard, and attempt to bring the trophy to Huntington Ave. for the first time in 26 years. Last year, it was the heroics of Kevin Roy that emerged as the storyline for Northeastern at the Beanpot, as the then-freshman scored 5 goals in the tournaments two games. Both Roy and goalie Clay Witt will be the keys for the Huskies.
- Evan Sporer
10. Michigan 13-6-3 (7)
The Wolverines took five of six points from Wisconsin at Yost Arena. Friday night saw Michigan score the first three goals in a 3-1 win while, despite giving up this goal to Michael Mersch, came back to tie the Badgers 2-2. Michigan then proceeded to win the shootout for the extra league point. The Wolverines are currently 3-0-1 in Big Ten play after a stretch in December and January where the team went 0-4-1. Michigan next travels to Penn State and takes a Nittany Lions team searching for its first Big Ten win.
- Nate Wells
Minnesota Duluth (6 points)
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