NCAA Hockey Rankings: Denver Sweeps St. Cloud State for No. 1

It was quite the week of college hockey, as fans and critics alike were exposed to some competitive games that had a big effect on the rankings. Consider looking at where NCAA teams were ranked last week compared to this week.

The formerly third-ranked Denver Pioneers swept the former No. 1 St. Cloud State Huskies, resulting in the two teams being ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The Quinnipiac Bobcats lost their fourth straight game to an ECAC opponent, sending them out of the Top 20 this week.

Meanwhile, the unranked UMass Lowell Riverhawks took games away from the formerly ranked No. 9  University of New Hampshire Wildcats and the now No. 12 Northeastern Huskies. The Cornell Big Red jumped a whopping eight spots to No. 6 after taking care of the Harvard Crimson, knocking them down to a 2-3-0 record.

NCAA Men’s Division I Rankings

Denver, St. Cloud State and North Dakota are your top three teams this week, according to US College Hockey Online’s rankings.

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 Denver 6-2-2 992 3 (+2)
2 St. Cloud State 7-2-0 914 1 (-1)
3 North Dakota 7-2-3 913 2 (-1)
4 Notre Dame 8-3-1 809 6 (+2)
5 Minnesota State 8-3-0 710 10 (+5)
6 Cornell 6-0-0 709 14 (+8)
7 Minnesota 7-4-1 699 4 (-3)
8 Clarkson 8-3-1 670 11 (+3)
9 Wisconsin 7-5-1 542 7 (-2)
10 Providence 6-4-0 507 8 (-2)
11 New Hampshire 6-3-1 434 9 (-2)
12 Northeastern 6-3-1 432 13 (+1)
13 Harvard 2-3-0 422 5 (-8)
14 Minnesota Duluth 5-5-2 327 12 (-2)
15 Western Michigan 6-4-1 259 18 (+3)
16 Ohio State 6-3-3 256 17 (-1)
17 Michigan 6-3-1 230 NR
18 Boston University 5-6-1 208 15 (-3)
19 Colgate 6-2-4 165 NR
20 Northern Michigan 6-4-0 74 20 (NC)

I jumped on Twitter and asked college hockey fans what they thought was the most impressive storyline of the weekend. There were a lot more than just these three, but they arguably were some of the most interesting. Here’s what you guys said:

ECAC: Quinnipiac Unranked

Clearly, many of you are surprised to hear that Quinnipiac has fallen out of the Top 20 thanks to losses at home against now-No. 6 Cornell and No. 19 Colgate. This past weekend, the Bobcats traveled to New York to face the Rensselaer Engineers (RPI) and the Union Dutchmen.

The Bobcats pounced on RPI early in Friday’s matchup, exiting the first frame with a 3-1 lead, riding goals from Landon Smith, Chase Priskie, and Craig Martin. The Engineers responded in the second period with goals from Jacob Hayhurst and Viktor Liljegren.

Viktor Liljegren - Rensselaer Engineers (RPI)
Rensselaer Engineers’ senior Viktor Liljegren scored a hat trick against Quinnipiac on Friday night (Photo Courtesy of RPI Athletics)

Liljegren, a senior forward from Sweden, continued to score in the third period, capping off the performance with a hat trick scored on an empty net.

Union routed the Bobcats by a score of 4-1 on Saturday thanks to a three-point night from sophomore Luc Brown who registered two goals and a helper in the win. His first goal came within a minute of a game-misconduct penalty called on Quinnipiac’s Kevin McKernan. His second goal also came on the power play just five seconds after the Bobcats’ Scott Davidson was called for boarding.

Quinnipiac’s freshman goaltender, Kieth Petruzzelli, gave up four goals this weekend on 21 shots. It was not the best outing for the Detroit Red Wings prospect who had his goals against average (GAA) knocked down to 3.63 and his save percentage (SV%) to .885. Petruzzelli is 1-1-0 this year in four appearances.

Keith Petruzzelli and his fellow Quinnipiac Bobcats are having a disastrous month of November. (courtesy United States Hockey League)

Sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge was not much better this weekend, giving up four goals himself on 25 shots. He took home both losses, bringing the Alaska native’s record to 2-4-1 on the season.

Quinnipiac needs to regain control quickly with long-time ECAC rival Yale paying a visit this weekend.

NCHC: Denver Defeats St. Could State

Denver was ranked No. 3 and St. Cloud State was ranked No. 1 entering play last weekend.

Henrik Borgstrom and Jarid Lukosevicius, scoring two goals each, led Denver to a 4-2 win over St. Cloud State on Friday night. The goals were Borgstrom’s 10th and 11th of the season while Lukosevicius tallied his second and third of the season.

Henrik Borgstrom University of Denver
Henrik Borgstrom has 11 goals this season (Image courtesy of University of Denver)

The Huskies managed a goal in the second period at the hands of Mika Ilvonen and another in the third period from Blake Winiecki with the extra attacker, but St. Cloud State came up short in the affair.

In a rematch on Saturday, the Pioneers once again left with a win, this time by a commanding score of 5-1. Adam Plant managed two goals while Tyson McLellan and Dylan Gambrell chimed in with their own. Lukosevicius tallied his fourth goal of the year and third of the weekend late in the third period.

Pioneer goaltender Tanner Jaillet only allowed one goal to SCSU’s Kevin Fitzgerald but was pulled out for Devin Cooley to make one stop in Saturday’s matchup. Jaillet took home both wins, however, including the game on Friday when he made 32 stops on 34 shots.

Goalie Tanner Jaillet is dominating the college hockey world (Photo credit: Angelo Gelfuso / Denver University Athletics)

Denver’s senior goaltender is now 5-1-2 on the season, putting up a 2.46 GAA and a .911 SV%. He is looking to match his junior year statistics, featuring a 1.84 GAA and a .929 SV%. He won all but ten contests that season with a record of 28-5-4.