Tuesday, November 13, 2012

College Hockey Rink Report NCAA Power Rankings, Week of November 12, 2012

1. Boston College (8-1-0) The Eagles are the defending national champion, only have one loss and look ready for another run into April. The top two lines are producing at a high rate while the defense has been stellar. Goaltender Parker Milner continues to dominate the crease. Jerry York is now just three wins away from the all-time coaching wins mark.

2. Denver (7-1-0) George Gwozdecky's program has been the standard in consistency since 2001, averaging 25.4 wins over the last 11 seasons. This year's club is led by junior Nick Shore who has 13 points in eight games. DU has had three goalies start, with the three combining for a .938 save percentage.

3. Minnesota (6-2-1) The Golden Gophers have two losses and a tie against teams they are much better than, but it's early in the season. Don Lucia's team has 15 NHL draft picks, led by Nick Bjugstad. It appears that freshman Adam Wilcox, a Tampa draft pick, will win the starting job in Minneapolis.

4. New Hampshire (6-1-1) Senior Austin Block is having a breakout first month of his senior campaign. The California native has seven goals in eight games after only ten in his first three seasons in a Wildcat uniform. Sophomore netminder Casey DeSmith has registered three shutouts, while posting a 1.36 GAA and .953 save percentage.

5. North Dakota (4-3-1) The Fighting Sioux have struggled out of the gate, but have tons of talent to turn things around. Dave Hakstol's clubs notoriously start off slow before playing well down the stretch. Danny Kristo will lead the way offensively, having registered seven points in six games, after having to sit out two games due to suspension.

6. Miami (6-2-2) Freshman Riley Barber has shown why Washington drafted him, notching 14 points in ten games. Two freshmen goaltenders have provided stability in the nets after two seniors graduated last year. Enrico Blasi's program has won 23 games or more seven years in a row now.

7. Western Michigan (5-2-1) Andy Murray's club has struggled to score, but have kept opponents to less than two goals per game. The Broncos travel to Fairbanks this weekend for a pair.

8. Dartmouth (5-0-1) Cornell, Harvard, Yale and Princeton have enjoyed success, all making the Frozen Four in recent years, from the Ivy League contingent in the ECAC. Dartmouth has had a few good seasons, but always stumbled or fell just short of a birth. If the early start is any indication, this might be the year in Hanover. Sophomore Tyler Sikura has 11 points in six games while goaltenders Cab Morris and Charles Grant have combined for a .942 save percentage.

9. Boston University (5-3-0) The Terriers top line looks very solid, with Florida draft pick Wade Megan already picking up five goals in eight games. Freshman Matt O'Connor has emerged as the number one goaltender. The Terriers have a tough weekend, traveling to UVM before hosting UNH.

10. Notre Dame (6-3-0) Jeff Jackson's club is looking like it will bounce back after a tough year in 2011-12. Junior goaltender Steven Summerhays is part of the reason, posting a 1.64 GAA and a .932 save percentage so far this season. Anders Lee is averaging a point per game, but TJ Tynan has yet to get on track, with only four points so far.

11. Union (6-2-1) The Dutchmen are averaging over four goals per game, led by seniors Kyle Bodie and Wayne Simpson. Union has two significant injuries, with defenseman Matt Bodie and goaltender Troy Groseneck both out for a while. Sophomore Colin Stevens should be able to fill in until Groseneck is ready to return.

12. Nebraska-Omaha (6-3-1) Dean Blais' squad should be very good all season as it is deep and talented. The Mavericks are averaging 3.4 goals per game, led by Pittsburgh draft pick Josh Archibald's six goals. Senior goaltender John Faulkner is 6-0-1 in net, while freshman goalie Anthony Stolarz has struggled going 0-3 with an .871 save percentage. If Faulner can carry the load or Stolarz can improve, this team has serious potential.

13. Colorado College (7-3-0) The Tigers have four players averaging a point per game, including Rylan Schwartz who has 116 points in three plus seasons in a CC uniform. The goaltending needs to be more steady if CC is to make the NCAA Tournament.

14. Cornell (3-2-1) The Big Red were swept by Quinnipiac and Princeton over the weekend, after going unbeaten in the first four. Junior goaltender Andy Iles will be the motor that runs the team, while the offense might have trouble scoring at times.

15. St. Lawrence (5-2-1) The Saints had a tough weekend, going 0-1-1 against Brown and Yale. Greg Carey and Kyle Flanagan will lead the way for SLU. Flanagan, a Canton native, is averaging two points per game with seven goals and nine assists in eight games.

16. St. Cloud (6-4-0) The Huskies have had a brutal early season schedule, having played two at UNH, two at Denver and hosting North Dakota for two. Junior Nic Dowd and senior Drew Leblanc have led the offense while Ryan Faragher looks to be the number one goaltender.