There are just three weeks left in the WCHA regular season. It feels like just yesterday we were driving down to Columbus for the season opener at Ohio State. To say that the race for the MacNaughton Cup is tight would be an enormous understatement. MSU, MTU, and BGSU find themselves in a sprint for the top spot, with each team having the same amount of WCHA points left on the table.
Since we’re getting close to the playoffs let’s add a twist to this week’s power rankings. We’ll give you an early gauge of where each team could end up at the end of the season.
Let’s see where they ended up this week:
Michigan Tech: The Huskies were off this week, but the play of the former #1, and this week’s #2 gave the Huskies the top spot. A tough road trip west to Bemidji awaits MTU. Tech is in position to win the MacNaughton, but could also drop as low as #7 in a worst case scenario.
- Minnesota State: Raise your hand if you thought the Mavericks were heading home to Mankato from Huntsville with just a couple ties? Full credit to the Chargers for playing well, but MSU left points in Alabama. They’ll be off this weekend, and find themselves in the WCHA lead. They can only drop as low as #5, so MSU can probably go ahead and make plans to be home for the first round.
- Ferris State: The Bulldogs split at home with Northern Michigan, outscoring NMU 8-3 on the weekend. They’ll play Michigan Friday this week. FSU has an outside chance at the MacNaughton but will need lots of help. They could also drop all the way out of the playoff picture, but it’s unlikely at this point.
- Bowling Green: The Falcons got shelled at home to Miami, falling 4-1. A long road trip to Fairbanks is the starting line for the Falcon’s stretch run. BG has a chance at the MacNaughton, but MSU and MTU hold tie-breakers over BG. In a worst case scenario the Falcons would finish at #7.
- Northern Michigan: NMU was a team I thought that could contend for the final home playoff spot. A split with FSU probably ended that. The Wildcats welcome UAH to Marquette this weekend. NMU has an outside chance at a championship, but could also finish in last place.
- Lake Superior: A weekend split in the Soo with Bemidji helped to stop the slide of the Lakers. A long trip to UAA will welcome them this weekend. The Lakers can finish as high as #2 or as low as last place.
- Bemidji State: The Beavers will look to build on their weekend split with the Lakers, as they welcome the Huskies of Michigan Tech. BSU can finish as high as #2, or as low as last place.
- Alaska-Anchorage: The Seawolves were off this weekend, but will face Lake Superior at home Friday and Saturday. UAA could finish as high as #4, but are dangerously close to last place.
- Alabama-Huntsville: Good on the Chargers for playing the Mavs tough this past weekend, picking up a couple of ties. UAH heads north to Marquette to continue their push for a playoff spot. The Chargers could make it to #5, but currently sit in last place.
- Alaska: The Nanooks had the past weekend off to get ready for the Falcons coming in Friday and Saturday. The nanooks could make it to #5, but sit just one point out of last place.