Sunday, January 25, 2009

School Wrap Sunday

This was the NCAA top 20 heading into the weekend's action and the game results:

1 Notre Dame - Did Not Play
2 Boston University - 5-0 and 3-1 wins @ UNH
3 Cornell - 4-3 loss to Yale and 5-1 win vs Brown
4 Denver - 8-3 loss and 2-2 tie against North Dakota
5 Northeastern - 3-1 and 6-3 wins over the Friars
6 Minnesota - Din Not Play
7 Vermont - 2-1 win and 1-1 tie with Mass.
8 Michigan - 6-2 and 5-3 wins over rival Spartans
9 Princeton - Did Not Play, will play Monday
10 Miami - 6-2 win and then a tie with Nebraska-Omaha
11 New Hampshire - 2 losses to BU
12 Ohio State - split their series with Western Mich.
13 Colorado College - 4-4 tie followed by 6-1 loss to St. Cloud
14 Boston College - 6-3 and 4-1 wins over Maine
15 North Dakota - Huge 8-3 win then tie with Denver
16 Wisconsin - Did Not Play
17 Minnesota-Duluth - 4-0 and 7-4 wins over Mankato
18 Dartmouth - ties with Holy Cross and Harvard
19 Alaska - 2 losses to Northern Mich.
20 Air Force - A pair of wins over rival Army

The top seeded Irish of Notre Dame had the weekend off but I wonder if they could still slip to #2 because of the way Boston University demolished New Hampshire on Friday night. I'd be a little suprised if it happened, I still think the Irish will be #1, but you have to give it consideration because UNH was #11 so the fact that BU beat them by a combined 8-1 score this weekend, that's impressive to me. The Terriers are rolling as the annual Beanpot gets closer and closer (Feb 2nd start).

With Cornell and Denver both losing on the weekend, the Pionners actually going winless in 2 games against #15 North Dakota, there will be a new #3 ranked team. I expect that to be Northeastern who had little trouble with unranked Providence.

Cornell was beaten by their top rival, Yale, on Friday nght before rebounding with a solid 5-1 win over Brown. However, the loss to Yale will knock them down a bit. Thankfully for Big Red fans, the Pionners' are goingt o fall too. I wonder if the poll voters will consider Denver's 0-1-1 weekend against North Dakota to be worse than Cornell's 1-1 split with two un-ranked programs.

As of note from the series between Denver and the Sioux, Pionners head coach George Gwozdecky (a past guest on The Pipeline Show) was tossed from the Saturday game and starting netminder Marc Cheverie was yanked on friday after allowing 7 goals on 21 shots.

The Fighting Sioux continue their tradition of strong second half play and in my opinion should vault up the poll to around the #10 slot.

The #6 Golden Gophers didn't play but with #7 Vermont going 1-0-1 it wouldn't suprise me to see the Catamounts slip past Minnesota this week. The #8 Wolverines of Michigan pounded their arch-enemies from Michigan State in back-to-back games but will a pair of wins against the unranked Spartans move them past Minnesota? Not sure.

Princeton didn't play either so the Tigers might drop a spot to #10 Miami who had a win and tie against Nebraska-Omaha. However, Princeton does play on Monday so a win there might be enough for them to hold their position.

Certainly #11 New Hampshire will drop after getting spanked by Boston University but the question is how far. The Terriers are the #2 team in the nation after all so perhaps the argument can be made that the Wildcats shouldn't drop significantly. I'd have them behind North Dakota though.

#12 Ohio State squeeked out a split with Western Michigan while #13 Colorado College will fall after get destroyed by St. Cloud 6-1 on Saturday. #14 Boston College will move up a bit thanks to a 2-game sweep of the Maine Black Bears.

That brings us to North Dakota at #15 but as I said before, I expect their big win over Denver will be good enough to get them up to around tenth.

Duluth and Air Force should both move up a bit from their #17 and #20 spots while #19 Alaska will drop out of the top 20 thaks to a pair of losses. I think Yale and maybe St. Cloud could get serious top-20 consideration to replace the two or three teams that drop out of the mix.

Random NCAA Notes: Alaska-Anchorage and Michigan Tech had back-to-back 3-3 ties on Friday and Saturday. I wonder if those teams wished the WCHA used the shootout... St. Lawrence forward Mike McKenzie (son of TSN Analyst Bob McKenzie) had a 5-point night against R.P.I. on Friday. He's now leading his team in scoring with 25 points in 24 games. The former St. Mike's Buzzers teammate of Oiler Andrew Cogliano is currently undrafted... Minnesota-Duluth is basically a who's who of former AJHL standouts: leading scorer Justin Fontaine played for the Bonnyville Pontiacs while Mike Connolly, Evan Oberg and Macgregor Sharp are all alum of the Camrose Kodiaks. The four are in the top 6 scorers for Duluth and all are curretnly undrafted... The NCAA's leading scorer is now Bryan Leitch, a 6-3 190 lb forward who plays for Quinnipiac. He's a senior with the Bobcats and has point totals of 45, 32 and 33 over the last 3 years. He now leads the NCAA with 41 points (32 assists) and has a five-point cushion on Garret Roe of St. Cloud State...

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