Each week (or somewhere close to that) Drew Evans will bring you his WCHA Power Rankings. Comment below if you agree, disagree, or if this post has made you challenge whether you really believe in freedom of speech.
First, in case you missed it on Twitter this weekend BGSUHockey.com will be heading to the UP to cover the Falcons’ visit to Michigan Tech. We’re looking forward to crossing another arena off our list and seeing everything that Houghton has to offer.
We tried something new by running the Power Rankings on a Tuesday this week. It’s totally not because Drew ran out of time to get it done Monday. Nope, definitely not.
Now that we got that out of the way let’s get to the rankings!
- Michigan Tech: The Huskies jump to the top of this week’s power rankings. Tech made the long trip south to Huntsville and swept the Chargers. Jamie Phillips allowed only three goals on the weekend while Joel L’Esperance and Brent Baltus tallied a couple goals on the weekend. The Huskies, who are ranked #20 by USCHO, will welcome the #15 Falcons this weekend for the marquee WCHA contest on the weekend.
- Alaska-Anchorage: The Seawolves were off this past weekend and Matt Thomas probably wishes he could keep his team’s momentum going. The Seawolves are 5-2-1 on the season but will welcome a continually improving Ferris State squad that put up nine goals on Minnesota State last weekend.
- Ferris State: The Bulldogs are the surprise of the league as we creep towards the end of the first quarter of the season. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown against Minnesota State Friday before falling 3-2 Saturday. A long trip to Anchorage will welcome Ferris State this weekend against our #2 team: the Seawolves.
- Minnesota State: The Mavericks managed a split in Big Rapids this past weekend, but their Friday performance exposed some big weaknesses for Mike Hastings squad. Cole Huggins and Jason Pawloski gave up seven goals between them as seven different Bulldogs found the net. The Mavs are struggling with consistency early in the season and this weekend didn’t do much to quell those impressions. MSU will at least get an easy travel weekend as they face Minnesota in a home-and-home series.
- Northern Michigan: This could probably be a tie between the five and six spot, but the Wildcats get the nod for their offense last weekend. Walt Kyle won Friday before falling Saturday. The ‘Cats scored seven goals on the weekend on one of the toughest road trips in the league (I speak from experience). Ate Tolvanen will need to find a better baseline in net if Northern Michigan wants to take the next step in the WCHA.
- Bowling Green: First the good: The Falcons are getting exceptional goaltending right now in Chris Nell. Nell is 2-1-3 with a .960 save percentage and 1.07 GAA. The bad: the Falcon power play is only 2/29. That’s a 6.9% success rate. The ugly: the Falcons only managed two goals at home against Lake Superior. Granted, Gordon Defiel had the weekend of his career, but a Falcon squad this offensively deep needs to start finding the net. This weekend’s trip to Michigan Tech will probably be a good measuring stick for the rest of the season.
- Alabama-Huntsville: The Chargers had the biggest drop this weekend as they fell four spots this week. UAH were swept by Michigan Tech 4-2, 2-1. They weren’t necessarily bad losses for the Chargers but if they’re going to make a run at a home playoff series they can’t get swept in the south. The positive to take out of the weekend was a bounce back performance by Carmine Guerriero. UAH will be off this week.
- Lake Superior: Defiel had a very busy weekend against Bowling Green, including a 42-save performance Friday. The Lakers reminded me of how the Falcons looked 2-3 seasons ago as they started to rebuild their program. The Lakers play a very physical style and are hard on pucks. Damon Whitten has LSSU on the right track.
- Alaska: The Nanooks had a much better weekend at the Carlson Center as they split with Northern Michigan. The seven-goal weekend should help the ‘Nooks build momentum as they head to Bemidji to face a Beaver team that is struggling mighty to find offense.
- Bemidji State: The Beavers were off this weekend, but no team showed a reason why the Beavers shouldn’t be in the 10-spot on this list. They’ll get that opportunity as they welcome the Alaska Nanooks to Bemidji this weekend.