December 30, 2011

College power rankings: Time to make moves

Staff Report

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

1. Boston College (12-7-0, 9-4-0 Hockey East)

The Eagles play the stiffest holiday tournament competition of any league team. They dropped a 4-2 decision to Michigan Thursday night and then see Michigan Tech Friday.

2. Merrimack (10-3-2, 7-2-1 Hockey East)

Merrimack goalie Joe Cannata (photo: Dave Arnold Photography)

Merrimack goalie Joe Cannata (photo: Dave Arnold Photography)

The Warriors head to Hanover, N.H., for the Dartmouth-hosted Ledyard National Bank Classic, playing St. Lawrence Friday and either Dartmouth or Holy Cross on Saturday.

3. UMass-Lowell (11-5-0, 7-4-0 Hockey East)

UML smacked RPI in the UConn Hockey Classic Thursday, and squares off against the host Huskies on Friday.

4. Boston University (10-5-1, 8-4-1 Hockey East)

With a lot of figuring out to do following two major departures – Corey Trivino and Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass.) -- the Terriers head to South Bend for a New Year’s Eve date with Notre Dame.

5. Harvard (4-3-3, 3-3-2 ECAC Hockey)

Encouraging start after last year. But let's see what the Crimson have this weekend in their road set at North Dakota.

6. Yale (6-5-1, 4-2-0 ECAC Hockey)

The Elis have four winnable ECAC games upcoming before a home meeting with Union Jan. 20. Time to right the ship.

7. Quinnipiac (11-6-3, 3-4-3 ECAC Hockey)

The Bobcats are 8-1-2 at home, 3-5-1 on the road. Their next four games are on the road.

8. Northeastern (7-7-2, 4-7-2 Hockey East)

It’s the wilds of Minnesota for the Huskies, who play Princeton Friday in the first round of the Mariucci Classic, followed by either host Minnesota or Niagara on Saturday.

9. Providence (8-7-1, 6-4-0 Hockey East)

The Friars stick around for the weekend and, while their New Year’s Day game won’t help or hurt them in the standings, it’s all about local pride – and the Mayor’s Cup – against Brown on Sunday.

10. Holy Cross (8-7-0, 6-4-0 Atlantic Hockey)

Crusaders seem to have hit a stride, or sorts, and will get a good litmus test when they play at Dartmouth on Friday night.

11. Dartmouth (5-5-1, 3-3-1 ECAC Hockey)

Depending on how the Big Green fare in the Ledyard National Bank Classic this weekend, five of their next seven games could be against the likes of Merrimack, Union, New Hampshire, Colgate and Cornell.

12. Maine (7-7-2, 5-6-1 Hockey East)

The Black Bears head to sunny Florida for the Florida College Classic, a tournament they won just two years ago. They beat Clarkson Thursday, and play UMass Friday.

13. New Hampshire (6-9-2, 4-7-1 Hockey East)

UNH hosts Brown on Friday in one of the only non-tournament games of the weekend. They’re 20-13-2 all-time against the Bears, and tied them in the only meeting last year.

14. Brown (4-6-1, 3-3-0 ECAC Hockey)

The Jekyll and Hyde squad of the ECAC had first-semester wins over Cornell, Union and Yale, and losses against RPI and AIC.

15. UMass (6-7-4, 2-6-3 Hockey East)

The Minutemen were flawed in the first half, but got the second half started on an up note with a 5-2 win over Cornell in the Florida College Classic Thursday.

16. Bentley (5-8-3, 5-3-2 Atlantic Hockey)

Plays at Yale (6-5-1) on New Year’s Day. Welcome to 2012, Falcons.

17. UConn (6-9-2, 5-6-1 Atlantic Hockey)

Sophomores Cole Schneider (6-12-18) and Brant Harris (12-4-16) lead the Huskies in scoring.

18. Vermont (3-13-1, 1-9-1 Hockey East)

UVM took it on the chin from a talented Russian Red Stars team in an exhibition Tuesday, and fell tom Lake Superior State, 5-3, in the opener of the Catamount Cup Thursday.

19. AIC (3-14-2, 2-9-2 Atlantic Hockey)

AIC has been idle since losing 4-2 to RIT on Dec. 10, and won’t play again until it travels to Rensselaer on Jan. 10.

20. Sacred Heart (1-16-1, 0-10-1 Atlantic Hockey)

Pioneers off until Jan. 6-7 series at Mercyhurst. Their 5.14 goals allowed per game is nearly two goals higher than anyone else in the league.

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.