POWAR!1ONE Rankings: Denver jumps into first place

Led by head coach George Gwozdecky, the Denver Pioneers are Division I’s only remaining team without a loss so far this season. (Photo credit: Matthew Semisch)

The nation’s last remaining team without a loss is this week’s No. 1 in our poll; St. Cloud State’s offense was on fire again against Minnesota State; and Wisconsin is up big after taking three points at Minnesota Duluth.

1.) DENVER (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA)
Last time: W v Michigan Tech 5-1, W v Michigan Tech 5-2
Next time: V St. Cloud State Nov. 2-3

  • The Pioneers are already the only remaining undefeated and untied team in men’s Division I college hockey, and they had few problems last time out at home against a Michigan Tech team that’s better than its 1-3-0 start in WCHA play would suggest. DU’s early success might hit a roadblock this week, though, with St. Cloud State – which leads the country in scoring with 27 goals in its first six games – comes to Magness Arena.

2.) MINNESOTA (4-1-0, 1-1-0)
Last time: T v U.S. Under-18 Team 2-2, W v Canisius 1-0
Next time: V Minnesota State Nov. 2, at Minnesota State Nov. 3

  • The Gophers’ 4-1-0 overall record so far this season hides the fact that head coach Don Lucia’s men haven’t had the smoothest of starts to the season. Minnesota opened WCHA play with a split at Michigan Tech, and they weren’t terribly convincing this last weekend, either, drawing 2-2 with the U.S. Under-18 Team and then had to hold on against mid-table Atlantic Hockey club Canisius for a 1-0 win at home on Sunday. Kyle Rau scored 12 seconds into the game, though, and another bright spot came in the form of freshman goaltender Adam Wilcox, who stopped all 20 shots he faced and is now 3-0 in his first four appearances in the Minnesota maroon and gold.

3.) NORTH DAKOTA (2-1-1, 1-0-1)
Last time: W v Alaska Anchorage 4-1, T v Alaska Anchorage 3-3
Next time: V Boston University Nov. 2-3

  • UND rolled to an easy 4-1 win Friday night against visiting Alaska Anchorage, but UAA looked much improved the following night in a 3-3 tie at Ralph Engelstad Arena. It won’t get much easier next time out, either, with No. 13 Boston University coming to Grand Forks, N.D. for the nation’s marquee college hockey event of that weekend.

4.) ST. CLOUD STATE (4-2-0, 2-0-0)
Last time: W v St. Cloud State 5-1, W v St. Cloud State 5-1
Next time: At Denver Nov. 2-3

  • St. Cloud State hasn’t faced the toughest competition thus far this season (at Alabama Huntsville, at home against Minnesota State), but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Huskies can’t stop scoring right now. SCSU faces much stiffer competition this next weekend, though, when it travels to Denver to face the only team in Division I yet to lose this season.

5.) WISCONSIN (1-2-1, 1-0-1)
Last time: W at Minnesota Duluth 2-0, T at Minnesota Duluth 2-2
Next time: V Colorado College Nov. 2-3

  • The Badgers are the biggest movers in this week’s POWAR!1ONE Rankings, moving up three spots from eighth place after taking three points at Minnesota Duluth this last weekend. UW will hope to keep that momentum going when it finally opens play at Kohl Center on Nov. 2 against a decent Colorado College team.

6.) MINNESOTA DULUTH (2-3-1, 0-1-1)
Last time: L v Wisconsin 2-0, T v Wisconsin 2-2
Next time: Idle this week; at Nebraska Omaha Nov. 10-11

  • UMD is down one spot this week after only picking up one point from four against UW at AMSOIL Arena. The Bulldogs picked up a good split at Notre Dame a week ago, but UW deserved everything it got this last weekend. Duluth has this next week off before heading south to face Nebraska Omaha in a rare Saturday-Sunday series on Nov. 10-11.

7.) MICHIGAN TECH (2-4-0, 1-3-0)
Last time: L at Denver 5-1, L at Denver 5-2
Next time: V Nebraska Omaha Nov. 2-3

  • MTU was Denver’s latest victim last weekend, conceding ten goals in their two-game set against the homestanding Pioneers. The Huskies will be looking to regain some momentum next time out against a Nebraska Omaha team that took three points from Tech last February on MTU’s Winter Carnival weekend.

8.) COLORADO COLLEGE (3-3-0, 0-0-0)
Last time: L at Cornell 2-0, L at Cornell 3-2
Next time: At Wisconsin Nov. 2-3

  • The Tigers look set to leave the USCHO Top 20 Monday after getting swept at an admittedly very good Cornell this last weekend. CC has lost three of its last four, and things might not get better in a hurry with the Tigers heading to Madison, Wis. this week to face an upbeat Wisconsin squad.

9.) NEBRASKA OMAHA (2-3-1, 0-1-1)
Last time: T v Bemidji State 3-3, L v Bemidji State 3-2
Next time: At Michigan Tech Nov. 2-3

  • It’s very doubtful that UNO will be inviting Bemidji State back to Omaha for non-conference games after the Mavericks leave the WCHA for the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference at the end of this season. BSU is now unbeaten in its last eight games in Omaha, including a 3-2 win over UNO on Saturday, leaving the Mavericks in an interesting spot ahead of a long bus trip to Houghton, Mich. this week for a two-game set at Michigan Tech.

10.) BEMIDJI STATE (2-1-1, 1-0-1)
Last time: T at Nebraska Omaha 3-3, W at Nebraska Omaha 3-2
Next time: Idle this week; at Colorado College Nov. 9-10

  • Bemidji State has enjoyed a solid start to the season, and is now on a three-game unbeaten streak that includes a win each against Lake Superior State and UNO. It’s unfortunate that the Beavers have this next week off, considering it might have been more to BSU’s advantage to go play Colorado College this week instead of next.

11.) ALASKA ANCHORAGE (2-2-2, 0-1-1)
Last time: L at North Dakota 4-1, T at North Dakota 3-3
Next time: Idle this week; at Minnesota Nov. 9-10

  • The Seawolves showed a lot of character in bouncing back from a poor result at North Dakota on Friday by tying UND 3-3 the following night. A surprise result or two at Minnesoa next week could be in order if UAA can parlay its relative success on Saturday into something more.

12.) MINNESOTA STATE (2-2-2, 0-2-0)
Last time: L at St. Cloud State 5-1, L at St. Cloud State 5-1
Next time: At Minnesota Nov. 2, V Minnesota Nov. 3

  • MSU has struggled out of the gate this season, splitting at Alabama Huntsville and at home against Rensselaer before getting blown out twice at St. Cloud State last weekend by identical 5-1 scorelines. The Mavericks will need to be much improved in a home-and-home next time out against in-state rival Minnesota if the Gophers are to be brought down a peg.

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