CC falls to No. 18 in USCHO poll

After a home tie and loss, Colorado College dropped to No. 18 from No. 14 in the USCHO poll and still received some votes from USA Hockey.

Here is the latest Pairwise rankings, which show the Tigers (19th) are 0-6-1 against teams under consideration for the NCAAs. That has to change.

Minnesota is the top-rated WCHA team at No. 3 in both polls. New Hampshire moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in both rankings while Yale made its first appearance in both.

The future National Collegiate Hockey Conference teams had seven of eight ranked. Idle Miami moved up from No. 5 to No. 4 in both polls while Denver dropped three spots to No. 5 in the two weekly rankings released on Monday.

North Dakota, CC’s foe this weekend, stayed at No. 7 in the USCHO rankings but fell to No. 8 according to USA Hockey’s 34 voters.  Idle Western Michigan dipped one spot to No. 10 in both polls.

Nebraska-Omaha is 13th according to the 50 USCHO voters and 14th in USA Hockey’s estimation.  St. Cloud State fell to No. 14 in USCHO’s poll and No. 15 in the USA Hockey ratings.

Pairwise calculator available

So what does a Providence win over Boston College in the Hockey East semifinals mean for North Dakota’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament? Should I really root for my team’s archrival?

Figure it out and drive yourself a little crazy with College Hockey News’ You Are The Committee’ tool, which calculates what each win/loss scenario does to the Pairwise rankings, which determine the 16-team NCAA Tournament field.

Saturday reading: Game stories, injury updates, Pairwise and other series to watch

Minnesota goalie Kent Patterson makes a save against UAA's Eric Scheid Friday, March 9, 2012, in Minneapolis. The Gophers won 2-1. JIM GEHRZ / THE STAR TRIBUNE VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

Here are game stories from Friday night’s action.

No. 12 seed Alaska-Anchorage got the goaltending it needed to pull off the upset at top seed Minnesota , just not enough offense, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

No. 2 seed Minnesota Duluth needed two goals off deflections and a 160-footer that started as a clearing attempt to hold off No. 11 MSU Mankato. Brady Lamb came up huge for the Bulldogs.

Both the Gophers and Bulldogs are locks for the NCAA Tournament even if their first-round foes eliminate them on Sunday. CC, Denver and North Dakota need to win their playoff series to get in, judging from the latest Pairwise rankings.

Wisconsin’s Sean Little picked a good time, 5:50 left in the third period, to score his second goal of the season at third-seeded Denver, which drew only 4,400 fans.

No. 4 seed North Dakota won its ninth playoff game in a row. Here are some notes.

No. 5 Colorado College played a sloppy game against a more determined eighth-seeded Michigan Tech Huskies squad, which played well defensively. Tigers sophomore wing Jeff Collett suffered an upper-body injury Friday and is out for the rest of the series. Defenseman Aaron Harstad looks to have recovered from the flu and will likely be in the lineup on Saturday.

No. 6 St. Cloud State scored three goals, usually a good sign for the Huskies, which downed No. 7 Nebraska Omaha 4-0, which ended a six-game losing streak to UNO.

Here’s the Hockey East links and for the CCHA. Judging from the Pairwise, which has CC at No. 19, Tiger fans should root for Miami to sweep No. 14 Michigan State, Maine to eliminate No. 17 Merrimack, Michigan to down No. 18 Notre Dame and Wisconsin to sweep No. 13 Denver (that ought to come naturally for you).

Here are the Friday game recaps from ECAChockey.com. Tiger fans want Union to run the table to get the automatic qualifier, saving one of the precious at-large bids for the NCAA.

And now, a great example of how close things are in playoff college hockey. Providence had two shots go off the post and another reversed by replay during overtime at UMass-Lowell, which later scored to tie the best-of-three series and force Game 3 tonight.

St. Lawrence head coach Joe Marsh has retired, citing continuing health concerns.

Monday reading: Playoff scenarios, polls, AFA-CC series

The Tigers need to rally this weekend to get home playoff ice and keep their slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

The Western College Hockey Blog explained the WCHA playoff scenarios. Thank you Chris.

CC is in better shape than some may fear, though it will take a good run starting this weekend, and some help, to make the NCAAs.

The Tigers fell to No. 19 in the USCHO.com poll, just ahead of No. 20 Air Force. CC, rated No. 21 in the Pairwise rankings,  did not receive a vote in the USA Hockey poll. The Falcons did.

The Gazette is excited about the very strong chance (early October is my guess) of a home-and-home series between the Falcons and CC. It makes great sense from travel expense and ticket sale standpoints for both programs.

The Wisconsin Badgers are feeling better about themselves after a road sweep at Bemidji State.

Minnesota State Moorhead will not add Division I hockey after falling short of the $37 million needed to start. This opens the door for Alabama-Huntsville to become the 10th WCHA school in fall 2013. Here’s hoping that pans out.

Pine Creek High School graduate Emily West’s two goals Saturday, three on the weekend, helped the Minnesota women advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff.  Host Minnesota Duluth (20-13-1) faces top-rated Wisconsin (31-3-2)  at 4:37 p.m.  CT Friday at Amsoil Arena, while No. 2 Minnesota (29-5-2) plays No. 5 North Dakota (22-10-3) at 7:37 p.m. The title game, with an automatic NCAA tournament berth at stake, is 7:07 p.m. Saturday.

Monday reading: Polls, Pairwise update, standings

Colorado College dropped to No. 15 in the USCHO.com weekly poll and to No. 14 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll:

School                                                    Last Week   2011-12 Record     Weeks in Top 15
1 Ferris State University, 476 (20)    5                     20-8-4                       14
2 Boston University, 446 (4)              2                     17-9-1                       16
3 Minnesota Duluth, 443 (3)              3                    19-7-4                        19
4 Boston College, 418 (6)                 4                    18-10-1                      19
5 University of Michigan, 366 (1)      6                    18-10-4                      15
6 UMass Lowell, 335                         7                     19-8-0                          7
7 University of Minnesota, 310         1                    19-11-1                      18
8 Union College, 251                       11                    17-6-7                        17
9 Merrimack College, 223                 8                     15-7-6                       18
10 University of Denver, 209          14                     17-9-4                        18
11 University of Maine, 166            12                     17-9-3                          4
12 Cornell, 156                                 13                     13-6-6                          9
13 Notre Dame, 80                            9                    16-13-3                      19
14 Colorado College, 59               10                     15-11-2                      19
15 North Dakota, 48                       15                     16-11-2                         7

More importantly, the Tigers are No. 22 in the Pairwise rankings, well short of the 15th spot needed to make the NCAA Tournament if it started today.

Notice who was in first? That’s right, Ferris State is No. 1 for the first time in school history.

The outdoor game between Nebraska Omaha and North Dakota will officially be announced on Tuesday.

MSU-Mankato won 2-1 Saturday night for a sweep at Alaska Anchorage. Here’s the latest standings:

WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
Minnesota
22
15
7
0
30
72
47
19
11
1
114
68
Minnesota Duluth
22
13
6
3
29
82
57
19
7
4
111
76
Denver
22
12
6
4
28
77
65
17
9
4
106
82
Colorado College
22
12
9
1
25
76
67
15
11
2
91
78
Nebraska Omaha
22
10
7
5
25
69
66
13
11
6
91
86
North Dakota
22
12
10
0
24
63
60
16
11
2
89
81
Michigan Tech
22
10
9
3
23
75
68
13
14
3
92
90
Bemidji State
22
9
10
3
21
60
69
15
12
3
85
81
St. Cloud State
22
9
10
3
21
64
59
12
14
4
90
84
Minnesota State
24
8
15
1
17
65
87
12
19
1
89
107
Wisconsin
22
7
13
2
16
58
71
12
14
2
83
84
Alaska Anchorage
24
4
19
1
9
49
94
7
19
2
66
103

Monday reading: Douglas, Prosser, polls, Pairwise, postseason

Minnesota Wild defenseman Nate Prosser (39) and Dallas Stars center Steve Ott (29) tangle during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Former Tiger Nate Prosser, pictured at left, received a two-year contract extension  according to a Monday announcement. The new paperwork changed his two-way deal, meaning he was often sent down to the AHL whenever the Wild needed roster room, to a one-way NHL deal, meaning he cannot be demoted without first going on waivers.

The Gazette looks back on what was a big weekend for Air Force and CC, which moved up to No. 10 from 11 in the Inside College Hockey rankings, the U.S. College Hockey online weekly poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey poll.

CC sits in 16th in the Pairwise rankings, which would mean the Tigers would not be in the NCAA Tournament today with the 16th spot going to the Atlantic Hockey Association playoff champion.

In the USCHO poll, Boston University is the new No. 1, just ahead of Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth, which split at Alaska-Anchorage and is 1-2-1 in its last four league games after a home tie and loss to Michigan Tech. The USA Hockey rankings have Minnesota at No. 1 followed by BU and Duluth.

Here’s an update on the new-look WCHA looking for a 10th member and a side note that the WCHA will not be back at the Xcel Energy Center in 2014. That suggests strongly that the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will hold its postseason tournament there.

Here’s an NHL.com feature on Ed Belfour.

Former CC assistants Norm Bazin and Jason Lammers continue to lead a surging UMass-Lowell team that was won 13 more games than last year.

Joey Crabb talks about the Leafs’ struggling penalty kill.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to acknowledge the passing of News 5 sports director Lee Douglas, who succumbed to kidney problems Sunday morning. I cannot say I knew him well. I wish I had.

He was always positive, pleasant and professional in my interactions with him at the Air Force press conferences and the annual hockey banquet. He was a good example for all us on how to do things right. He is missed already. RIP.

Monday reading: Weekend reviews, Pairwise, polls and pros

Former CC captain Mike Testwuide, left, defends during an AHL game against the Albany Devils on Saturday.

Minnesota-Duluth remains No. 1 in the USCHO poll, but Minnesota moved up to No. 2 and gained considerable ground in the rankings. Idle Colorado College moved up from No. 12 to No. 11 while this weekend’s foe, Denver, went from No. 15 to No. 13.

CC dropped from No. 10 to No. 11 in the USA Today/ USA Hockey rankings. Denver went from No. 15 to No. 13 while the Gophers are the new No. 1 just ahead of Duluth.

The Tigers remained at No. 11 in the Inside College Hockey power rankings while Denver moved up to No. 9. Duluth is No. 1 and Minnesota second.

More importantly, the Tigers are No. 17 in the latest Pairwise rankings, meaning they would fall two spots shy of the making the NCAAs (No. 16 goes to Atlantic playoff champ).

Suddenly No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth is a bit more anxious about heading to face Alaska Anchorage, which has lost seven in a row since a road win at CC in December.

Here’s a look back at Minnesota’s home-and-home sweep of St. Cloud State.

Former Bemidji State standout Matt Read, a rookie of the year candidate, and Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom have ties dating back to childhood with the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association and now with the Flyers.

Former Tiger Joey Crabb gets some love from his hometown newspaper.

Here’s why Brian Connelly was traded by Chicago to the Calgary organization. His chances of making his NHL debut look much improved.

MSU Mankato goalie Phil Cook has a .945 saves percentage in his last six starts. The purple Mavs could be a tough out by playoff time if he stays hot.

Future NCHC rivals Miami and Western Michigan are tied for second in the CCHA behind surprising Ferris State.