No new teams entered this week’s USCHO Top 20, although there was plenty of movement with teams rising and falling throughout the rankings.
On the rise:
- No. 5 Denver: Beginning out west, a sweep over Western Michigan resulted in the Pioneers rising three spots and into the top 5. Senior Jarid Lukosevicius potted five goals over the weekend and leads the offense with seven goals and has the second-highest point total with 11. Freshman Emilio Pettersen has the honors of leading the team in points with 13, as DU has gotten off to a hot start under first-year head coach David Carle. Coming up for the Pioneers? See for yourself.
Buckle Up, indeed.
- No. 9 UMass: As the polls continue to change, the Minutemen continue to rise. On the heels of its latest win, UMass jumped two places, marking the first time since 2009 that the Minutemen find themselves inside the top 10. Besides the play of Cale Makar, UMass has received 22 points, 11 a piece, from sophomore forwards Mitchell Chaffee and John Leonard. In net, second-year goaltender Matt Murray is undefeated with a record of 4-0 and amongst the nations best with a .947 save percentage. This Thursday marks one of the biggest games for the Minutemen in a long time as they will welcome No. 4 Providence to the Mullins Center.
- No. 12 Union – After a fall to No. 17 a week ago, the Dutchmen rebounded nicely with wins over St. Lawrence and Clarkson to move up five positions to No. 12. Two more contests are coming up for Union this weekend against ranked opponents (No. 18 Princeton and No. 13 Quinnipiac) before heading to Belfast for the Friendship Four later this month. As I mentioned earlier in the season, the Dutchmen will need to break this trend of inconsistency if they want to maintain a spot towards to the top of the polls.
- No. 16 Minnesota – I bet when Bob Motzko left his position as head coach at St. Cloud State to return to Minnesota, he wasn’t expecting a 1-3-1 start. The Gophers had the biggest drop in the polls, going from No. 10 to 16 following two defeats to in-state rival No. 3 Minnesota State. It’s obviously early for Minnesota, but with just one goal in four out of five games so far, Motzko will obviously need more production from his offense, starting this weekend versus No. 20 Wisconsin.
- No. 20 Wisconsin – Speaking of the Badgers, they suffered a four-spot drop after getting swept by No. 11 North Dakota over the weekend. Despite losing both in Grand Forks, Wisconsin looked better in the second game, showing signs of fight in a 3-2 OT defeat. A massive opportunity will present itself for the Badgers when they host Minnesota for a pair of games at Kohl Center.
Just Missed It:
- Arizona State (85 votes)
- Bemidji State (65)
- Lake Superior (37)
- Michigan State (35)
- Colorado College (31)
Ranked Teams By Conference:
Big Ten (6): Notre Dame, Ohio State, Minnesota, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin
ECAC (4): Cornell, Princeton, Quinnipiac, Union
Hockey East (3): Providence, UMass, Northeastern
NCHC (5): Denver, Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Western Michigan
WCHA (2): Bowling Green, Minnesota State