WCHA Power Rankings: The Positive Reinforcement Edition

By November 22, 2016 Opinion

I know you all were waiting with bated breath for the Power Rankings to return here at BGSUHockey.com (stop snickering). Each WCHA team now has at least three conference series under their belts, so we finally have enough of a sample size to take a full look at the teams in the WCHA.

You might have heard the United States had an election a few weeks ago that has left people on all sides a little stressed out. I’ve decided to make this week’s power rankings 100% negativity free (trust me, it wasn’t easy). On to the numbers!

  1. Bemidji State: The Beavers are almost at the point where they could just stop showing up for games for a few weeks and still cruise to a regular season title. Excellent goaltending and defense have the Beavers firmly atop the rankings.

  2. Minnesota State: The Mavs split a home-and-home series with inner-state rival Minnesota this past weekend. MSU is in the top three in scoring offense and scoring defense, and have gotten some excellent goaltending from Jason Pawloski. Surprise: Mankato continues to be good in the “new” WCHA.

  3. Bowling Green: The Falcons have won six of their last seven games, including an 8-3 demolition of Alabama-Huntsville last Saturday. It was a bumpy road to start, but BG could jump up to third place with at least one point this weekend (against UAA).

  4. Michigan Tech: The Huskies have found a suitable replacement for Jamie Phillips in freshman Angus Redmond (that’s really his name). As long as the Huskies can find some consistency they’ll stay near the top of the standings.

  5. Ferris State: We all know sweeps are weighted heavily here on the Power Rankings, and the Bulldogs sweep of Lake Superior earns them the five-spot. The emergence of freshman Justin Kapelmaster should help solidify the foundation going forward.

  6. Alaska: The Nanooks were not looked upon favorably by the media or coaches to start the season (yours truly included). But, Alaska has shown an ability to take some of the better teams in the league to the limit, including a win over Minnesota State.

  7. Alabama-Huntsville: After a promising start the Chargers hit some rough water. But, UAH scored three power play goals this weekend and have got Carmine Guerriero back into their goalie rotation.  I’d be surprised to see the Chargers stay at home in the playoffs this year.

  8. Lake Superior: The Lakers jumped out of the gates with one of their best starts in recent memories. That trajectory has lowered a bit, but LSSU still has big wins over Michigan State and Minnesota State. Young teams have to learn how to win consistently, and Lake Superior should be back on better footing soon.

  9. Alaska-Anchorage: You have to give the Seawolves a lot of props for picking up a shootout win over Michigan Tech Saturday. UAA was playing with only 10 forwards due to injuries and a suspension. Matt Thomas still has some work to do to get his team out of the cellar, but games like Saturday can give teams confidence.

  10. Northern Michigan: The Wildcats have a pair of wins over the re-emerging Wisconsin Badgers, and took Ferris State to a shootout earlier this season in Big Rapids. Nothing has come easily for the Wildcats, and a visiting Nebraska-Omaha this weekend will certainly be a test. But, a strong showing could be the bounce back Walt Kyle and crew need.
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.