BC carries streak into postseason

Originally Published: March 5, 2012
Inside College Hockey

Editor's note: These rankings were released March 4.

It was a quiet week for most of the teams in the INCH Power Rankings, as the top teams in the CCHA, ECAC Hockey and Atlantic Hockey had a playoff bye week. The regular season wrapped up in Hockey East and the WCHA, and most things went according to script. There's not much movement in the latest edition of the INCH Power Rankings.

Here's how the Inside College Hockey editors and staff rank the nation's top teams (along with a note for each team).

1. Boston College (25-10-1, 19-7-1 Hockey East)

Of note: As hot as Boston College is right now, with 11 wins in a row and a 19-1 aggregate score over the past four games, a first-round playoff series against UMass might give the Eagles some hesitation. The Minutemen won two of the three regular-season meetings, but both of them came at the Mullins Center.

2. Union (20-7-7, 14-4-4 ECAC)

Of note: It's a rivalry weekend for the Dutchmen, as travel-partner RPI will visit Messa Rink for a three-game series. Union's had the upper hand in this matchup recently, with a 15-4-4 record in the last 23 games.

3. Minnesota (24-12-1, 20-8-0 WCHA)

Of note: Forwards Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula have combined for 78 points, the most by a pair of Gopher sophomores since Danny Irmen and Ryan Potulny teamed up for 84 points in 2004-05.

4. Minnesota Duluth (22-8-6, 16-7-5 WCHA)

Of note:After posting a 10-2-2 WCHA record prior to Jan. 1, the Bulldogs' second-half record against league opponents was just 6-5-3. That said, this weekend's foe, Minnesota State, is just 2-9-3 against UMD since the start of the 2007-08 season.

5. Ferris State (22-9-5, 16-7-5 CCHA)

Of note: Bowling Green, this weekend's CCHA quarterfinal series opponent, hasn't beaten the Bulldogs since Feb. 14, 2009. Since that date, Ferris State has taken eight in a row from the Falcons.

6. Michigan (21-11-4 , 15-9-4 CCHA)

Of note: If recent results are an indicator, the Wolverines' quarterfinal playoff series with Notre Dame is going three games. These teams have split five straight regular season series; the last sweep was Jan. 18-19, 2008, when Michigan took a pair from the Irish.

7. Boston University (21-12-1, 17-9-1 Hockey East)

Of note: Don't tell the Terriers that goals get tougher to come by as the season comes to an end. They're averaging 4.33 goals per game over their last six contests, and totaled 11 goals in three regular-season wins over UNH./p>

8. Miami (Ohio) (21-13-2, 15-11-2 CCHA)

Of note: The RedHawks welcome Michigan State to Oxford this weekend having won eight of their last nine home games. The lone blemish during that span was a 2-1 loss to Northern Michigan on Jan. 27, which was also the only time during that stretch Miami gave up more than one goal at home.

9. Denver (21-11-4, 16-8-4 WCHA)

Of note: Forward Jason Zucker had his streak of six games with a goal snapped Saturday at Nebraska-Omaha, but he assisted on the game-tying and game-winning goals to help DU to a 3-2 OT win and a series sweep of the Mavs.

10. North Dakota (20-12-3, 16-11-2 WCHA)

Of note: North Dakota was a season-worst three games under .500 after Bemidji State, this weekend's WCHA first-round playoff opponent, shut them out Nov. 20 in Bemidji. Since that afternoon, NoDak has gone 16-5-2.

11. UMass Lowell (22-10-1, 17-9-1 Hockey East)

Of note: UMass Lowell got back on track with a sweep of Providence after winning just one of its previous five games. The River Hawks' reward? More games against Providence. The Friars will visit Tsongas Arena for a playoff series, UML's first home playoff series since 2002.

12. Cornell (15-7-7, 12-4-6 ECAC Hockey)

Of note: Don't make plans for Sunday. Three of Cornell's past four home-ice playoff series have gone to a decisive third game, including a series against Dartmouth in 2008.

13. Maine (20-11-3, 15-10-2 Hockey East)

Of note: Maine pulled out home ice in the Hockey East series by finishing fourth, but lost twice and tied during the regular season against fifth-place Merrimack, this weekend's visitors.

14. Michigan State (19-13-4, 14-11-3 WCHA)

Of note: How long has it been since the Spartans have won a CCHA playoff series? Long enough that the team they beat in the league quarterfinals back in 2007 (Nebraska-Omaha) is no longer part of the conference.

15. Merrimack (17-10-7, 13-9-5 Hockey East)

Of note: We don't think there's anyone who is looking forward to the Hockey East playoff series between Merrimack and Maine as much as Merrimack's Jesse Todd. He had four goals in the regular-season games against the Black Bears, scoring at least once in each of the three games.

16. Colorado College (18-14-2, 15-12-1 WCHA)

Of note: For the second straight year, the Tigers open the playoffs against the same team in played in its last regular-season series. In 2011, CC split at Wisconsin, then took two of three from the Badgers in the Springs. Now, they'll try to duplicate this past weekend's results and sweep Michigan Tech.

17. Western Michigan (17-13-6, 14-10-4 CCHA)

Of note: At least the scouting report is fresh: The Broncos' lone regular-season series with Lake Superior State was Feb. 17-18, four-plus months after the season started. Three weeks later, Western hosts the Lakers in a CCHA quarterfinal series.

18. Harvard (10-8-11, 8-5-9 ECAC)

Of note: Harvard's ancient rival visits Bright Hockey Center for a playoff series. The Crimson beat Yale 4-3 at home in the regular season behind two goals from Alex Killorn.

19. Air Force (17-9-7, 15-6-6 ECAC)

Of note: The Falcons own an 11-game (7-0-4) unbeaten streak against Connecticut, this weekend's opponent; the Huskies last beat Air Force on Nov. 17, 2007, earning a 3-2 OT decision at Cadet Ice Arena.

20. Notre Dame (19-16-3, 12-13-3 CCHA)

Of note: Big weekend for senior forward Billy Maday, who netted three goals and added an assist in the Fighting Irish sweep of visiting Ohio State, Notre Dame's first back-to-back wins in a month.

Dropped out: Northern Michigan

Bubblelicious: Colgate, Quinnipiac

For more from Inside College Hockey, check out insidecollegehockey.com.