College Hockey Power Rankings: UMD Bulldogs Squeak by Badgers, Remain No. 1

Joe WatsonCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2011

ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 09:  The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs celebrate the win after the championship game of the 2011 NCAA Men's Frozen Four on April 9, 2011 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs defeated the Michigan Wolverines 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

After taking three points from the Wisconsin Badgers, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs pushed their unbeaten streak to 14 games. 

A trip to Madison is difficult for any team, but especially difficult for Top 5 teams.  Earlier this season, Wisconsin (7-9-2) swept No. 5-ranked North Dakota and split with No. 1-ranked Minnesota when they visited the Badgers in Madison.

Furthermore, the Kohl Center is one of the toughest places to be in college hockey.  The Badgers lead the NCAA in attendance regularly.  This year UW leads the nation in attendance, averaging almost 11,200 per night.

Despite the great difficulty of playing the Badgers in Madison, UMD weathered the storm.  The Bulldogs managed a 3-3 tie on Friday, despite being dominated by UW's Justin Schultz.  

On Saturday, UMD dominated the game.  The Bulldogs jumped out to a four-goal lead.  The Badgers were able to muster two goals near the end of the game while on the powerplay.  At one point, UW had a six on three advantage.

Overall, the Bulldogs' performance solidified themselves as the nation's top team.

First Five Out: Lake Superior State, Denver, Quinnipiac, Michigan Tech, Michigan

Dropped Out: (12) Yale, (15) Denver

15. Cornell (7-3-1)

Cornell was idle this weekend and does not play until December 28 against UMass.  The Big Red will have over three weeks off between games.


14. Michigan State (10-6-2)

Sparty could only manage one point against rival Michigan.

13. Massachusetts-Lowell (10-5-0)

The Riverhawks knocked off BC 3-2 this weekend.

12. Colgate (11-4-2)

Colgate tied Merrimack 1-1 and does not play until December 30 against Canisius.

11. Ferris State (11-6-1)

The Bulldogs split with Notre Dame, each winning by a score of 4-1.

10. Boston University (10-5-1)

BU defeated rivals UNH and Maine this weekend by a combined score of 7-2.  The Terriers don't place until their New Year's Eve game against Notre Dame.

9. Western Michigan (9-4-5)

The Mustangs are riding a four-game unbeaten streak.

8. Ohio State (13-4-1)

Miami ended OSU's nine-game win streak on Friday.  The Buckeyes then squeaked out a 3-2 win in overtime on Saturday.


7. Notre Dame (11-6-3)

The Irish have three weeks until their next game against Boston University.

6. Union (8-3-5)

The Dutchmen have the pleasure of facing Merrimack (9-2-2) next weekend.  Union is coming off of a 5-2 win over RPI.

5. Colorado College (9-5-0)

The Tigers struggled with UAA, splitting the series.  However, the Tigers can look to right the ship against MSU-Mankato (5-12-1) this weekend in Mankato.

4. Minnesota (14-5-1)

Michigan Tech knocked off Minnesota 3-2 in overtime on Friday, but Minnesota bounced back to win 6-2 on Saturday.

3. Boston College (12-6-0)

The Eagles suffered a 3-2 loss to Massachusetts-Lowell.  BC does not play until the Great Lakes Invitational on December 28 against Michigan.

2. Merrimack (10-2-2)

Merrimack tied Colgate this weekend.  The Warriors face the Union Dutchmen (8-3-5) this weekend.

1. Minnesota Duluth (12-3-3)

The Bulldogs managed to take three points from the Badgers in Madison despite UW's Justin Schultz's two-goal effort on Friday.  However, UMD was unable to score a net empty goal, after the Badgers pulled their netminder with six minutes left in the third period.