POWAR!1ONE Rankings: UNO’s still streaking ahead of tough December tests

Nebraska Omaha extended its current winning streak to six games in a sweep of non-conference foe Alabama Huntsville this last weekend. (Photo credit: Matthew Semisch)

Denver remains the best team in the WCHA despite dropping two decisions at home last weekend against non-conference opponents; UNO is up again after extending its winning streak even further; and Wisconsin is nearing rock-bottom.

1.) DENVER (9-3-0, 7-1-0 WCHA)
Last time: OTL v Yale 2-1, L v New Hampshire 6-4
Next time: V Wisconsin Friday and Saturday

  • The Pioneers dropped a pair of close games at home last weekend against non-conference foes Yale and New Hampshire, although DU probably should have knocked off UNH after jumping out to a 3-0 lead in Saturday’s first period. There’s some good news this next week, though, in that the Pios are welcoming to Magness Arena a Wisconsin team that has been – in some part due to extenuating circumstances – provocatively poor so far this season.

2.) MINNESOTA (9-2-2, 4-2-2)
Last time: W at Vermont 5-1, W at Vermont 3-1
Next time: V Nebraska Omaha Friday and Saturday

  • The Golden Gophers picked up a sweep last weekend in their first-ever trip to UVM’s Gutterson Fieldhouse. We’ll learn a lot more about Goldy this week when it welcomes to Minneapolis Nebraska Omaha for a battle between two teams that are unbeaten in their last six games.

3.) ST. CLOUD STATE (7-5-0, 5-3-0)
Last time: L at Minnesota Duluth 2-1, W at Minnesota Duluth 5-1
Next time: At Alaska Anchorage Friday and Saturday

  • The Huskies are down one spot after splitting last week in Duluth, Minn. against an UMD team that, before last Friday, hadn’t won since knocking off Notre Dame on the road on Oct. 18. SCSU is on the road again this week to face another struggling squad in the form of Alaska Anchorage.

4.) NORTH DAKOTA (6-4-2, 3-1-2)
Last time: W at Notre Dame 2-1, L at Notre Dame 5-2
Next time: At Colorado College Friday and Saturday

  • UND is fourth yet again after splitting last weekend at Notre Dame. Getting a win at the home of the sixth-ranked Irish is nothing to sneeze at, though, and it should serve as good preparation for UND’s trip this next week to league rival Colorado College.

5.) NEBRASKA OMAHA (8-3-1, 4-1-1)
Last time: W v Alabama Huntsville 3-2, W v Alabama Huntsville 8-0
Next time: At Minnesota Friday and Saturday

  • UNO has yet to knock off any team currently in the country’s top 20, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you, and the Mavericks have done that in each of their last six outings. UNO’s schedule is about to get much tougher in a hurry, though: At No. 4 Minnesota this next week, then at No. 12 St. Cloud State, then at home to a Minnesota State team that just swept Wisconsin in Madison, and then at No. 18 Quinnipiac to round off the calendar year. Let’s all say it together: Wow.

6.) COLORADO COLLEGE (7-6-1, 4-2-0)
Last time: T v New Hampshire 4-4, OTL v Yale 6-5
Next time: V North Dakota Friday and Saturday

  • The Tigers proved themselves to be capable of playing with anybody in the country this weekend, and nobody should fear for CC having only picked up a tie and a loss against teams as good as Yale (which also won at second-ranked Denver this last weekend) and New Hampshire. Tiger head coach Scott Owens will have to prep his team for more tough tests this next Friday and Saturday at home to seventh-ranked North Dakota.

7.) MICHIGAN TECH (4-6-0, 3-5-0)
Last time: Idle last week; OTW at Bemidji State 5-4 Nov. 16, OTW at Bemidji State 2-1 Nov. 17
Next time: V Minnesota Duluth Friday and Saturday, at Northern Michigan Dec. 4

  • The Huskies were off last weekend, which is just as well considering they’ll be busy in the coming days. MTU welcomes WCHA foe Minnesota Duluth to Houghton, Mich. on Friday and Saturday, and the Huskies will follow that up by traveling to Upper Peninsula arch-rival Northern Michigan a week from Tuesday.

8.) MINNESOTA DULUTH (3-7-2, 1-5-2)
Last time: W v St. Cloud State 2-1, L v St. Cloud State 5-1
Next time: At Michigan Tech Friday and Saturday

  • For the first time since the opening night of the season, “Holiday Road” blared from the Amsoil Arena’s sound system following UMD’s 2-1 win over St. Cloud State on Friday. The Bulldogs were humbled the next night, however, and it will be interesting to see what they can do to redeem themselves next time out at Michigan Tech.

9.) BEMIDJI STATE (3-5-2, 2-4-2)
Last time: T v Alaska Anchorage 2-2, W v Alaska Anchorage 5-4
Next time: At Minnesota State Friday and Saturday

  • I’m beginning to regret somewhat overlooking the Beavers before the start of the season, because they’ve proved to be a very tough out for everyone it faces. BSU picked up three points at home this last weekend against Alaska Anchorage, and they’re hitting the road later this week to face in-state rival Minnesota State for a two-game set between very evenly-matched teams.

10.) MINNESOTA STATE (5-5-2, 3-5-0)
Last time: W at Wisconsin 4-2, W at Wisconsin 4-2
Next time: V Bemidji State Friday and Saturday

  • MSU took advantage this last weekend against a Wisconsin team that has played terribly thus far this season, but there can be no doubt that sweeping the Badgers in Madison at at any point is a newsworthy feat. Let’s see if the Mavericks can keep their currently modest winning streak going on Friday and Saturday when Bemidji State comes down to Mankato, Minn.

11.) WISCONSIN (1-7-2, 1-5-2)
Last time: L v Minnesota State 4-2, L v Minnesota State 4-2
Next time: At Denver Friday and Saturday

  • It blows my mind to have the Badgers so far down in my WCHA rankings, but the fact is we’re at a point in the season where your place on the ballot is determined entirely on merit. UW only has one win to its name so far, and although freshman Nic Kerdiles’s controversial suspension is now over, I’m not so sure I’d predict the Badgers to get a whole lot this next weekend at Denver, which has been the WCHA’s best team so far.

12.) ALASKA ANCHORAGE (2-3-3, 0-2-2)
Last time: T at Bemidji State 2-2, L at Bemidji State 5-4
Next time: V St. Cloud State Friday and Saturday

  • The Seawolves are still without a win in the WCHA after picking up one point of the four on offer this last weekend at Bemidji State. UAA is at home this next Friday and Saturday, which could help, but they’re facing the No. 12 team in the country, which probably won’t.
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