Denver Pioneers Top the College Hockey Power Rankings

Joe WatsonCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2011

DETROIT - APRIL 08:  Justin Schultz #6 of the Wisconsin Badgers tries to keep the puck from Dan Ringwald #6 of the RIT Tigers on April 8, 2010 during the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Wisconsin defeated RIT 8-1.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

It has been a wild first four weeks of college hockey.  We've seen UMD take down top-ranked Notre Dame.  Later, we saw Northern Michigan take down Michigan.  Last weekend, Wisconsin swept North Dakota.  Needless to say, there's been parity in college hockey thus far.

These power rankings will attempt to sort out the initial parity.  Also note I did not consider Yale because they haven't played a game yet.

15. Wisconsin (3-3-0): The Badgers have a young team and their play has shown it. Wisco has split a series with Northern Michigan, gotten swept by Michigan Tech and swept North Dakota.  However, Justin Schultz, arguably the best defenseman in college hockey, has continued to play well, notching eight points so far.

14. Minnesota-Duluth (2-3-1): The Bulldogs have shown signs of a championship hangover, but have the talent to make a playoff run.  They snapped a three game losing streak with a win and tie over Providence this past weekend. 

13. Northern Michigan (4-1-1): The Wildcats took three points from No. 1 ranked Michigan this weekend, after sweeping St. Cloud State the previous weekend.  

12. Boston University (2-2-0): The Terriers have shown some inconsistency thus far.  BU destroyed New Hampshire 5-0 and beat Denver 4-3, but lost to Providence and Holy Cross. However, the Terriers have a chance to right the ship against UMass this weekend.

11. North Dakota (2-3-1): The Fighting Sioux outplayed Wisconsin in Madison this weekend, but left with nothing to show for it, losing 5-3 and 5-4.  Regardless, NoDak still has the talent to compete with the elite teams of the WCHA.

10. Western Michigan (3-0-3): The Mustangs haven't lost yet, but struggled with a mediocre Alaska Nanook squad.  Western Michigan has a big series with Northern Michigan this weekend.

9. Union (2-0-3): Union has spent the early part of this season beating up on weaker teams (Army and Niagara) and tying their tougher opponents (Western Michigan).  Union doesn't have any major tests for the next couple weeks, so expect Union to start clicking.

8. Merrimack (4-0-0): Merrimack is undefeated, but hasn't had a real test yet.  So far, the Warriors have outscored their opponents 14 to 4.

7. Ferris State (6-0-0): Ferris State just swept a very good Miami team, beating them 4-2 and 2-0. However, they have a huge series against the Michigan Wolverines this weekend.  We might see who is the class of the CCHA after this weekend.

6. Notre Dame (3-2-0): I don't know how to feel about the Fighting Irish.  They received a preseason No. 1 ranking, but lost it after splitting their opening series with UMD.  Furthermore, the Irish struggled with a weak Ohio State team this past weekend, splitting the series.

5. Minnesota (5-1-0): Are the Gophers back? Minnesota blasted Sacred Heart 9-0 and 6-0 in their opening weekend and then went on to sweep UMD.  The Gophers have outscored their opponents 35-13 so far.  Don't expect that to change this weekend as the Gophers travel to Anchorage to take on the Seawolves.

4. Michigan (4-1-1): Northern Michigan took 3 points from Michigan last weekend, but prior to that the Wolverines were rolling.  Michigan has breezed through some weak teams, but struggled in their only test of the season.

3. Boston College (5-1-0): The Eagles have had a very tough schedule so far.  Boston College has played Michigan State, North Dakota, Denver, UNH, Northeastern, and UMass.  Their only loss has come at the hands of the Denver Pioneers.

2. Colorado College (2-0-0): The Tigers swept Bemidji State in their only series of the season.  However, the Tigers boast Jaden Schwartz, widely regarded as one of the nation's best forwards.

1. Denver (3-1-0): George Gwozdecky somehow has the Pioneers in the running for the WCHA title every year.  This year will be no different.  The Pioneers lone loss came at the hands of the Boston University Terriers.  Expect to see the Pioneers start clicking with an upcoming series against Michigan Tech in Houghton, Michigan.