College Hockey Power Rankings: UMD Bulldogs Take over No. 1 Spot

Joe WatsonCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2011

ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 07:  The North Dakota Fighting Sioux watch as the Michigan Wolverines celebrate the win after the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Men's Frozen Four on April 7, 2011 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Michigan Wolverines defeated the North Dakota Fighting Sioux 2-0.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Arguably the most important story of the past week was North Dakota officially retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname. 

The impact of losing the Sioux nickname should not hurt the program.  However, it will be difficult for college hockey fans to adjust to watching UND play without their iconic Sioux logo.

The change will be effective Jan 1, 2012.  Until a new nickname is chosen, the Sioux will be called the University of North Dakota.

First Five Out: Lake Superior State, Providence, Massachusetts-Lowell, North Dakota, Cornell

Series of the Weekend: (8) Michigan State vs. Michigan, (1) Minnesota-Duluth @ Wisconsin, Northern Michigan @ Lake Superior State, (7) Ohio State vs. Miami, Nebraska-Omaha @ North Dakota

15. Denver (6-5-3)

The Pioneers suffered a tough loss against Colorado College last weekend.  They welcome Alaska-Anchorage (5-9-2) to Denver this weekend.

14. Colgate (11-4-1)

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Sophomore forward Austin Smith leads the nation in goals (18) and points (27).  

13. Ferris State (10-5-1)

The Bulldogs were outscored 6-2 by Western Michigan as the Mustangs swept FSU.  However, netminder C.J. Motte still ranks second in the nation with a 1.5531 goals against average.

12. Yale (6-4-1)

The Bulldogs are coming off of a split against Brown.  In that series, Yale netminders allowed nine goals.  The Bulldogs look to rebound this weekend against UMass (4-7-4).

11. Boston University (8-5-1)

After a split with BC, BU will continue to face its rivals.  The Terriers face UNH (6-8-2) and Maine (6-6-2).

10. Western Michigan (8-4-4)

The Mustangs boast the eighth-best team defense and 10th-best penalty kill.  WMU faces Bowling Green (6-10-2), which is currently in a six-game winless streak.

9. Union (7-3-5)

The Dutchmen lead the nation in ties with five.  

8. Michigan State (10-5-1)

The Spartans are riding a four-game unbeaten streak into their series with Michigan (7-8-2) this weekend.

7. Notre Dame (10-5-3)

The Irish were dominated by Northeastern, losing 9-2 and 2-1.  

6. Ohio State (12-3-1)

After sweeping Lake Superior State 5-2 and 2-1, the Buckeyes pushed their winning streak to nine games.  However, OSU has the pleasure of facing Miami (8-8-2) this weekend.  

5. Colorado College (8-4-0)

The Tigers scratched out a victory against arch rival Denver.  CC looks to continue rolling against Alaska-Anchorage (5-8-2) next weekend.

4. Minnesota (13-4-1)

The Maroon and Gold swept the Minnesota State Mavericks this weekend.  Minnesota will have another tough test next weekend against Michigan Tech (8-7-1).

3. Merrimack (9-2-1)

The Warriors suffered their first loss in the season on Friday losing to Providence in overtime, 2-1. Saturday, Merrimack started their first losing streak of the season.  The Warriors face Vermont (3-10-1) on Wednesday and Colgate (11-4-1) on Saturday.

2. Boston College (11-5-0)

The Eagles split with the BU Terriers in a home-and-home series.  BC faces the Providence Friars (8-6-1) on Tuesday and Massachusetts-Lowell (9-4-0) on Friday.

1. Minnesota-Duluth (11-3-2)

The defending national champions pushed their unbeaten streak to 12 games after sweeping the Michigan Tech Huskies in Houghton, Mich.  The Bulldogs travel to face the Badgers in Madison next weekend.  Bucky knocked off the number one ranked Gophers earlier this season at the Kohl Center.

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