College Hockey Notebook
These are based on the KRACH Rankings, a computer system that
1. Michigan (22-3-1) -- Stumbled with just one point against Michigan State last weekend, but still great.
2. Miami (25-3-0) -- Practically a dead heat with Michigan, slightly worse schedule. These two will hook up next weekend in Oxford.
3. Denver (18-6-0) -- Playing without its top scorer indefinitely.
4. Colorado College (18-7-1) -- Hosts of the West Regional this year, with the Frozen Four up the road in Denver.
5. North Dakota (16-8-1) -- Winners of seven straight, and making its annual second-half surge.
6. Michigan State (17-5-5) -- Defending champs looked great against Michigan.
7. New Hampshire (15-7-1) -- Have had ups and downs, but are solid in every area.
8. Notre Dame (20-9-1) -- Stumbled hard against Michigan, but took out frustrations on Bowling Green last weekend.
9. Wisconsin (11-10-5) -- Have played the nation's second-toughest schedule, after North Dakota.
10. Boston College (12-5-7) -- The poster children for removing ties from college hockey, as some want to do.
The WCHA finally suspended referee
Denver sophomore forward
Two of college hockey's best players were lost for the season. Air Force's
After a strong start, there have been a couple of moments this season when Michigan Tech looked like it was returning to its old ways. After all, it's been decades since Tech was a perennial WCHA power. But each time, the Huskies have responded, and showed why the enthusiasm and optimism remains in Houghton.
Earlier this year, No. 1 goalie
Now, following a bad weekend against North Dakota, the Huskies have again responded, taking three points from Colorado College last weekend. Tech put Saturday's game away with a strong third period.
"It was our first weekend at home in WCHA play since November 10," Tech coach
Tech has the luxury of three seniors as its top three scorers --
"To be honest, I don't feel sorry for them," Russell said about his WCHA foes like Denver, Minnesota and Wisconsin, which have had so many underclassmen leave early. "Early this season, everyone said they're so young and have a lot of freshman. We have a lot of veterans and nobody felt sorry for us when we were rebuilding with 17 freshmen and sophomores."
With 14 points, Michigan Tech is currently tied for seventh in the WCHA standings, but with two games in hand over the other two seventh-place teams -- St. Cloud State and Minnesota State. The Huskies also have two games in hand over the three times above them -- Minnesota (15 points), Wisconsin (17) and Minnesota-Duluth (17).
North Dakota has won seven straight games and soared back near the top, while Minnesota has struggled this season and could be headed for its first sub-.500 league record since 1998-99,
Providence is at Boston College this Friday. With the Friars' hot play lately, they are fourth in Hockey East amid a big lump of teams. Last year, the Friars were next to last in the nation on the power play. This year, they are fifth. Clarkson is at Colorado College for two non-league, but important, games.