November 11, 2011

College power ratings: Merrimack ascends to top spot

Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy has the Warriors off to another banner start. (photo: Dave Arnold Photography)

Every Friday during the season, New England Hockey Journal will present its power ratings of the region's 20 Division 1 men's teams.

1. Merrimack (7-0-1, 5-0-1 Hockey East)

The Warriors vault over coach Mark Dennehy’s alma mater – Boston College -- this week after running their unbeaten streak to eight games to start the year, picking up the No. 4 national ranking and a first-place vote in the process.

2. Boston College (8-2-0, 6-1-0 Hockey East)

The Eagles’ uncharacteristic stumble in Amherst is mitigated somewhat by their solid 5-1 win over Maine at home the night before.

3. Dartmouth (3-1-0, 2-0-0 ECAC Hockey)

The Big Green have a tough test this weekend with home games against Colgate and Cornell.

4. Yale (2-1-1, 1-1-0 ECAC Hockey)

The Bulldogs even had cause for concern in their 2-0 victory over Colgate last weekend. They were outshot 39-22.

5. Quinnipiac (7-3-1, 1-1-1 ECAC Hockey)

The Bobcats appeared to hit a wall in a three-game week, blowing a third-period lead over Dartmouth and tying Harvard.

6. Providence (4-3-1, 4-2-0 Hockey East)

The Friars are doing an awful lot of things right, including being second in the league with a 3.75 goals per game average.

7. New Hampshire (4-4-1, 3-3-0 Hockey East)

The awakening is happening in Durham, where the Wildcats handily beat UMass Friday night and edged rival Maine the next evening to take their unbeaten streak to five games and improve their home record to 4-1-0.

8. Maine (3-4-1, 3-3-0 Hockey East)

A pair of losses to BC and UNH made for a sour weekend on the road for the Black Bears, who are eighth in the league in goals scored per game and getting by on their defense, fourth best in the league with three goals allowed per game.

9. Holy Cross (3-3-0, 2-2-0 Atlantic Hockey)

Thomas Tysowsky’s 43 saves paced a 4-3 win over Niagara.

10. Boston University (3-3-1, 2-2-1 Hockey East)

The good news: Saturday’s 7-1 loss to UMass-Lowell loss only knocked the Terriers down to a .500 record. The bad news: they’ve got a mountain to climb against No. 4 Merrimack and rival Boston College this weekend.

11. UConn (3-4-1, 2-2-0 Atlantic Hockey)

Lost weekend for the Huskies, who dropped two at Mercyhurst.

12. Brown (2-2-0, 1-1-0 ECAC Hockey)

Wins over Princeton and Cornell prove that Brown could be dangerous.

13. UMass-Lowell (3-3-0, 1-2-0 Hockey East)

Saturday’s win over BU was a definite early highlight for the River Hawks, particularly with the seven goals scored to match the previous three games combined haul, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – it’s their only league win so far, and two games at Maine and one at UNH are looming this week and next.

14. Harvard (0-1-1, 0-1-1 ECAC Hockey)

Harvard outshot Quinnipiac in the third period and overtime of a tie last weekend.

15. Northeastern (1-5-2, 1-5-2 Hockey East)

That 4-0 victory over UNH on Oct. 14 is looking more and more like a fluke every week, as the Huskies haven’t won another game since.

16. UMass (2-4-2, 1-4-2 Hockey East)

The Minutemen have a middle-of-the-pack offense, but have allowed an even four goals per game, putting them ahead of only Vermont. The win over BC was huge, but it’s still just one win, bringing a five-game winless streak to a close.

17. Bentley (2-6-1, 2-1-0 Atlantic Hockey)

Goalie Branden Komm’s first shutout helps the Falcons get a much-needed win against Canisius, 3-0.

18. Vermont (1-5-0, 0-4-0 Hockey East)

The Catamounts are last in the league in just about every meaningful category, including a woeful 65.6 percent success rate on the penalty kill, plus the worst goals scored average (1.83 per game) and goals against (4.67 per game).

19. AIC (2-7-0, 2-2-0 Atlantic Hockey)

Goalie Ben Meisner returned the favor against Robert Morris for fifth career shutout.

20. Sacred Heart (0-8-0, 0-4-0 Atlantic Hockey)

A pair of good efforts at Air Force come up short, 2-1 and 3-2.

Hockeyjournal.com’s weekly Division I power ratings are comprised by college hockey writers Andrew Merritt, Dan Guttenplan, Allen Lessels and Mike Zhe. They can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.