WCHA Power Rankings: The MACtion Edition

By January 26, 2016Opinion

A BGSU team scored six times on a Thursday, dominating a team until the final buzzer. Nope, it wasn’t any of that red-hot MACtion. The Falcons handled the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves with ease, scoring 12 goals in a pair of 6-2 contests. It was certainly an encouraging sign for the offensively challenged Falcons who had struggled to score more than two goals this season.

BG will welcome an excellent Michigan Tech team this weekend to the Ice Arena. It’s a set of games that could re-shuffle places one through three in the WCHA. Minnesota State will be playing in the North Star tournament in St. Paul.

With all due respect to Dino Babers Mike Jenks: the Falcon icers play on weekdays just fine.

TO THE RANKINGS

  1. Minnesota State: The Mavs were absolutely dominant on the weekend, beating Lake Superior 8-0, 5-1. MSU did it without their starting goalie as Jason Pawloski was out with an upper-body injury. The streaky junior Cole Huggins seemed to regain some of the confidence he had his freshman season. The Mavs are still the team to beat in the WCHA. They’ll face a big challenge this weekend as they play NCHC favorite St. Cloud in the first game of the North Star tournament. They’ll then play either Bemidji State or Minnesota on Sunday.

  2. Bowling Green: With all due respect to the Huskies, they were off this week. An excellent performance by the Falcons helped push the brown and orange into the #2 spot. But, as good as BG was against UAA they’ll have a hell of a team across the ice from them this weekend. The Falcons did split with the Huskies in Houghton, and this weekend will be the marquee set in the conference.

  3. Michigan Tech: The Huskies are unbeaten in their last four games, last picking up three points against visiting Minnesota State two weekends ago. Jamie Phillips hasn’t allowed four goals in a game since the championship game of the Great Lakes Invitational. But, a long road trip (trust us, we’ve made it) faces the Huskies, along with a confident Falcon squad. This weekend is going to be a lot of fun in Bowling Green.

  4. Ferris State: The trip to Bemidji isn’t an easy one, and the Bulldogs handled it to the tune of three points against the Beavers. After scoring with a minute to play Friday to tie the game, FSU scored in Overtime. They followed that up with a close tie on Saturday. As it sits now the Bulldogs are in the final home-ice spot in the playoffs, and don’t face MSU, BGSU, or MTU again for the rest of the season. An off-week should help the team rest up for the playoff run.

  5. Bemidji State: The WCHA is arguably the toughest travel league in the country. For that reason I put a big weight on how you play at home. That’s why the Beavers slip a little this weekend. Ferris State is in no way a bad team (I mean, look above). But, anything less than a split at home when you’re in a run for a home playoff spot is disheartening. The Beavers will have a week off from WCHA play as they head to St. Paul for the North Star tournament. BSU is the defending champion, and will face Minnesota in the late game Saturday.

  6. Northern Michigan: The Wildcats were off this past weekend. It’s probably for the best as they welcome a very good Minnesota-Duluth team to Marquette this weekend. In the grand scheme of the season it probably won’t mean much, but the WCHA can use all the Pairwise help it can get.

  7. Alaska: The Nanooks were also off this past weekend and really needed it. UAF has stumbled through most of their season, but they have a very interesting match-up this weekend. Alaska will head to Madison to face Wisconsin in a set of very winnable games.

  8. Alaska-Anchorage: The Seawolves are a tired, beat-up team and the Falcons exposed them this past weekend. Olivier Mantha looked like he was on the tail-end of a two-week road trip and seemingly looks like he needs a game off or two. But, a very hungry Alabama-Huntsville will head to Last Frontier this weekend looking to make another WCHA playoff appearance.

  9. Lake Superior: I admire the way Damon Whitten coaches the Lakers. He has a track-meet style of play, and wants his team playing that way no matter the opponent. But, Minnesota State absolutely decimated the Lakers on the weekend, exposing the depth of a young Lakers squad. While it certainly isn’t panic time for LSSU, they’ll gladly take a weekend off.

  10. Alabama-Huntsville: The Chargers were off this past weekend. With five points separating #10 UAH from #9, it’s “go” time for Mike Corbett’s squad. Corbett is in no way on the hot seat, but it certainly has to be disappointing to see the third-year coach have his team take a few steps back.
Drew Evans

About Drew Evans

Drew is a co-founder and the editor for BGSUHockey.com. When he’s not in the press box he makes (legal) drugs at a northwest Ohio compounding pharmacy. Drew is entering his eighth season covering Falcon hockey and has been a fan of the program since his time as a student beginning in 2003. He can be reached on Twitter @BGSUHockeySite and by e-mail at Drew@bgsuhockey.com.

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