College Hockey Power Rankings: Unbeaten Merrimack Claims the Top Spot

Joe WatsonCorrespondent INovember 15, 2011

DETROIT - APRIL 08:  Andy Miele #17 of the Miami Redhawks tries to get one past John Muse #1 of the Boston College Eagles on April 8, 2010 during the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Merrimack improved to 8-0-1 after beating Boston University 3-2 last Friday.  This was enough for Merrimack to move into the top spot in the power rankings as Minnesota, Colorado College and Boston College all lost this weekend.

Minnesota suffered a 3-1 defeat to Badgers on Friday.  Colorado College lost to Denver 5-4.  Boston College was defeated by BU 5-0.

Dropped Out: Dartmouth (15)

First 5 Out: Boston University, Nebraska-Omaha, Quinnipiac, Miami, Michigan State

Serie(s) of the Week: (15) Ohio State @ (8) Michigan, UNO @ (10) Denver, Wisconsin @ (4) Colorado College

15. Ohio State (8-3-1)

The Buckeyes are making great strides this season.  Are these improvements to prepare for the upcoming Big Ten Hockey Conference?  If OSU keeps playing like this, the Buckeyes could compete with the big boys (Wisco, Minny and Michigan) in Big Ten Conference play.

14. Union (5-3-3)

Union ranks fifth in team defense, allowing just 1.82 goals per game. 

13. Michigan Tech (6-3-1)

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The Huskies were off last weekend.  Luckily, they ease back into conference play as they travel to Anchorage to face the Seawolves.

12. Lake Superior State (8-3-1)

The Lakers could manage only one point against the Ferris State Bulldogs.  The Lakers rank 10th in team defense and fourth in penalty killing.

11. Western Michigan (6-3-3)

The Mustangs were swept by the Spartans from Michigan State last weekend and it is not going to get any easier with a series against Notre Dame this weekend.  WMU is riding a three-game losing streak.

10. Denver (5-3-3)

The Pioneers are 3-1-1 at home and 1-2-1 on the road this year.  This weekend, the UNO Mavericks travel to Denver to take on the Pioneers.

9. Yale (4-1-1)

The Bulldogs have won three games in a row, all of which were shutouts.  Netminder Jeff Malcolm boasts a 0.96 save percentage and a 1.3256 goals against average.  Yale faces UConn this weekend.

8. Michigan (7-3-2)

Wolverines salvaged one point from their series against Miami last weekend, making their road record 0-2-2.  However, the Wolverines are 7-0-1 at home in Ann Arbor.  This weekend, the Wolverines play the Buckeyes at home.

7. Notre Dame (7-2-2)

The Irish have two of the nation's top three scorers.  Forward T. J. Tynan leads the nation in scoring with 19 points and Anders Lee ranks third with 17 points.  The Irish have a tough weekend facing Western Michigan and Boston College.

6. Minnesota-Duluth (7-3-2)

UMD started the season 2-3-0, but in the last eight games the Bulldogs are 6-0-2.  In that same span, UMD has outscored their opponents 29-10, including three shutouts.  The Bulldogs are home against Minnesota State this weekend.

5. Ferris State (9-2-1)

The Bulldogs took three points from Lake Superior State last weekend.  In their last four games, FSU is 3-0-1 and has outscored their opponents 15-5.

4. Colorado College (5-2-0)

The Tigers lost a tough one to Denver 5-4 last weekend.  More troubling is the play of their goaltenders.  CC has allowed 18 goals in their last four games.  However, the Tigers do have the best team offense in the country at 4.43 goals per game.  Unfortunately for CC, it won't get any easier with Wisco visiting Colorado Springs.  Bucky has already knocked off a No. 1 ranked Minnesota team and a fifth ranked North Dakota squad this season.

3. Minnesota (10-2-0)

The Gophers split with the Badgers in Madison last weekend.  If it weren't for the play of netminder Kent Patterson, the Badgers could have easily swept Minnesota.  Patterson made big saves on numerous 2-on-1 rushes from UW forwards Mark Zengerle and Tyler Barnes.  The Gophers have another tough challenge this weekend against the St. Cloud State Huskies in St. Cloud.

2. Boston College (9-3-0)

The Eagles lost to BU on Sunday in a 5-0 slaughter.  Their next four games include two more against BU, one against Yale, and one against Notre Dame.  Head coach Jerry York will find out if the Eagles are true NCAA Championship contenders in the next two weeks.

1. Merrimack (8-0-1)

It is nearly impossible to score against Merrimack.  The Warriors boast the best team defense in the country, allowing just 1.33 goals per game.  Furthermore, Merrimack has the fifth best penalty kill in the country and netminder Joe Cannata ranks third in the nation with a 1.4795 goals against average.   The Warriors are off this weekend and then play Alabama-Huntsville.  Merrimack could easily enter December undefeated.