Once again, the top teams in the nation couldn’t put together a complete weekend. Wisconsin was the only top-tier team that avoided having to earn victories in overtime, and some programs were handed losses in games that they needed to win.
The coming week brings no battles of ranked teams, but with the recent struggles of some programs, no games can be taken lightly.
1. Wisconsin (20-2-1), (14) 140 — Last Week: 1
• Last Week: W 3-2 v North Dakota (Jan. 21), W 2-1 v North Dakota (Jan. 22)
• Coming Week: v Minnesota State (Jan. 27, Jan. 28)
The Badgers are clearly alone up top. They were unable to shut North Dakota out either time this weekend but still came away with a pair of wins. They now host lowly Minnesota State in their march to the NCAAs.
2. Minnesota-Duluth (15-4-3), 124— Last Week: 2
• Last Week: W 5-1 @ Bemidji St (Jan. 20), T 2-2 OT (SOL 0-2) @ Bemidji St (Jan. 21)
• Coming Week: v Ohio State (Jan. 27, Jan. 28)
After becoming the first team to displace Minnesota in the second position, the Bulldogs started off strong, blowing out Bemidji. Apparently they should’ve saved some of those goals for the next night, as they were taken to a shootout by the Beavers. This weekend they will host a Buckeye team that gave Minnesota everything they could handle.
3. Clarkson (17-3-4), 99 — Last Week: 3
• Last Week: L 1-2 v Cornell (Jan. 20), W 2-1 v Colgate (Jan. 21)
• Coming Week: @ RPI (Jan. 27), @ Union (Jan. 28)
The Golden Knights had the opportunity to assert themselves. Instead they started the weekend off losing at home, for the first time in ECAC play, to Cornell, which sent them dropping precipitously in both this poll and the PWR. This weekend they travel for what should be a pair of easy road wins.
4. Minnesota (16-5-2), 97— Last Week: 4
• Last Week: W 2-1 v Ohio State (Jan. 20), T 1-1 OT (SOW 2-1) v Ohio State (Jan. 21)
• Coming Week: @ St. Cloud St (Jan. 27, Jan. 28)
The struggle is real in Minneapolis, as the wheels are coming off. Patty Kaz contender Dani Cameranesi appears to have had her season, and career, ended in a painfully dramatic way, injuring her knee against Wisconsin a few weeks back. This weekend was supposed to be somewhat easy, hostingOhio State, but the Gophers squeaked by in the first game and then were taken to a shootout in the next. They now hope to find calm as they travel to St. Cloud this weekend.
5. St. Lawrence (18-2-2), 89 — Last week: 5
• Last Week: L 3-4 OT v Colgate (Jan. 20), W 5-2 v Cornell (Jan. 21)
• Coming Week: @ Union (Jan. 27), @ RPI (Jan. 28)
The Saints now have the dubious honor of becoming Colgate’s first scalp of the season, as the Raiders took the game in OT. They were able to rebound with a blowout win of a surging Cornell team that had beaten Clarkson the night before.
6. Boston College (16-3-4), 75 — Last Week: 6
• Last Week: W 3-2 OT @ Vermont (Jan. 20), W 3-0 @ Vermont (Jan. 21)
• Coming Week: v Merrimack (Jan. 27)
As poor as some Eagles fans are describing their play, the teams around them aren’t lighting it up either, leaving BC right in the thick of it and making them this week’s Belles of the Ball. They were able to jump into a home ice spot, surprisingly, due to some major upsets ahead of them. They have only one midweek game in preparation for the Beanpot.
T-7. Robert Morris (15-2-5), 31 — Last Week: 8
• Last Week: W 2-1 OT @ Mercyhurst (Jan. 20), T 3-3 OT @ Mercyhurst (Jan. 21)
• Coming Week: @ Syracuse (Jan. 27, Jan. 28)
The Colonials continue their slippage in the CHA. Another lost point drops their lead to a mere two points over the Orange. They now must travel to Syracuse in a pair of must-wins if they want to hold on to their conference lead.
T-7. Quinnipiac (16-6-4), 31 — Last Week: 7
• Last Week: T 2-2 OT @ Merrimack (Jan. 20)
• Coming Week: No Games
Not the result the Bobcats wanted going into their week off. A tie to Merrimack has to have left a sour taste in some pollsters’ mouths, which is a shame since Quinnipiac was a team that seemed to be gaining momentum.
9. Cornell (13-6-3), 26— Last Week: ARV
• Last Week: W 2-1 v Colgate (Jan. 17), W 2-1 @ Clarkson (Jan. 20), L 2-5 @ St. Lawrence
• Coming Week: @ Dartmouth (Jan. 27), @ Harvard (Jan. 28)
The Big Red have to be kicking themselves. While they do sit in the NCAA tournament for the moment, they were having a weekend to write home about until they got blown out by St. Lawrence. They are now on the road for a pair of easier ECAC games.
10. Colgate (15-5-3), 25 — Last Week: ARV
• Last Week: L 1-2 @ Cornell (Jan. 17), W 4-3 OT @ St. Lawrence (Jan. 20), L 1-2 @ Clarkson (Jan. 21)
• Coming Week: @ Harvard (Jan. 27), @ Dartmouth (Jan. 28)
The Raiders bookended their first and only big win of the season, an OT win at St. Lawrence, by a pair of 1-2 losses to travel partner Cornell and ECAC-leading Clarkson. Clearly they have talent, but they seem unable to win the big one when needed. They will be on the road for a pair of should-wins in conference play.
Also Receiving Votes: Princeton 11, North Dakota 11, Ohio State 5, Boston University 4, Northeastern 2
Dropped Out: Vermont