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Evan Marinofsky | | November 8, 2021

College hockey rankings: Michigan rises, UMass and North Dakota rejoin latest Power 10

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One weekend of men's college hockey in November is complete, and we're starting to get a clearer picture of which teams will stick around the top 10 all season long and which ones will not. 

Last week, my Power 10 led off with four straight Minnesota schools. Crazy, right? This week, Michigan jumps into the middle of that. I don't see the Wolverines moving far from the spot they're in this week.

Let's dive into the rankings. 

1. St. Cloud State (8-2) | Prev: 1 

There is no reason to move St. Cloud State from No. 1. The Huskies took care of business against Colorado College this weekend, earning a 3-2 win on Friday and a 4-1 win Saturday. Forwards Micah Miller and Jami Krannila registered two-goal weekends. Krannila's second was the biggest of the weekend, coming in overtime on Friday. 

Goaltender David Hrenak continued his strong play, stopping 55 of 58 shots. Hrenak earned NCHC goaltender of the month honors for October. 

This Huskies squad continues to look strong. Next up is a series with No. 9 Omaha. 

2. Michigan (8-2) | Prev: 5 

After a couple weeks in my dog house (if that's what you want to call being outside of the top three), Michigan is back, right near the top of my rankings. 

The Wolverines pulverized Michigan State, 7-2, on Friday night at a rowdy Yost Ice Arena. Saturday saw Michigan take an early 3-0 lead and hold on, as the Spartans scored one goal in the second and one in the third to make it 3-2. That's how it ended. 

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It's no secret that when the Wolverines are on, they're on. They just need to figure out how to do that consistently. That will come with time. 

Next up is a weekend series at Penn State. 

3. Minnesota State (7-3) | Prev: 2 

The Mavericks were upset by Ferris State Friday night, losing 2-1. They rebounded well, however, taking the Bulldogs down, 5-1, the following night. 

This is a good team. An occasional loss to a divisional opponent isn't cause for concern. The four-goal win the next game makes that true. With Dryden McKay in net, this team will be a Frozen Four favorite all season. 

Next up is a set with Bowling Green. 

4. Minnesota Duluth (6-2) | Prev: 3 

There are two reasons why the Bulldogs fell a spot in my rankings. The first is Michigan did more than enough to leapfrog the fray between spots No. 5 and No. 2. The second is that the Bulldogs lost the first of a two-game set with No. 10 Western Michigan. 

As we've come to learn, there's no shame in losing to Western Michigan – it has proven itself to be a very good team. Minnesota Duluth took the Broncos down convincingly the following night, 3-0. Goaltender Ryan Fanti put up a 35-save shutout in the win. He was spectacular. 

Minnesota Duluth earned a split with Western Michigan.

The Bulldogs will stay home this weekend for a matchup with Colorado College. 

5. Minnesota (6-4) | Prev: 4

The Golden Gophers fell one spot after a weekend split with Wisconsin. The Badgers got the best of them in overtime, 4-3, on Friday, but Minnesota came back hard the following night, winning 4-1. 

Even in the loss, senior forward Sammy Walker had one of the nicest goals of the season, scoring from his knees. Yes, he completed an entire trip across the net from his knees. 

Up next is a weekend set with an Ohio State team that is rolling and could find itself on next week's Power 10 with a win or two against this Minnesota squad.

Since the Buckeyes aren't on this week's Power 10, allow me to tell you they swept No. 16 Penn State last weekend and have won six of seven. Their upcoming series with the Gophers will be a great measuring stick. 

6. Quinnipiac (7-1-2) | Prev: 6 

The Bobcats didn't move from last week after taking care of business last weekend with a 3-0 win over Yale and a 1-0 win over Brown – two solid ECAC wins. 

First-year goaltender Yaniv Perets faced few shots over the two matchups. The Bobcats only gave up 12 shots per game. Defensively, they continue to be one of the best teams in the country if not the best. 

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Quinnipiac is averaging the lowest goals-against average (1.20) in the country. That outstanding stat comes from the Bobcats allowing an absurdly low amount of shots – only 174 in 10 games. That ranks third in the nation among teams with at least seven games played. 

Next weekend brings a home set against a very good Arizona State team, which is actually one of my five matchups to watch in November. This will be a classic battle of a great offense against a stout defense. 

7. Western Michigan (6-2) | Prev: 7 

After the Broncos beat then-No. 1 Michigan, 5-2, and then lost to the Wolverines in OT the next game, I was unsure of where to put them. Was that win a fluke? Was it just one good weekend? These questions dominated my brain as I put that Power 10 together two weeks ago. Ultimately, I ranked them at No. 6, while that week's USCHO poll had them at No. 13. 

Turns out I was just ahead of everybody else because Western Michigan is legit. In a home series with No. 4 Minnesota Duluth, the Broncos won Game 1, 4-3, and lost Game 2, 3-0. The second game doesn't look as great, but the Broncos did more than just hold their own against one of the top teams in the country. That's enough to keep them in the No. 7 spot. 

The schedule doesn't get much easier, as Western Michigan heads to Colorado this weekend for a two-game set with Denver. 

8. UMass (6-2) | Prev: NR 

The reigning national champions needed a great weekend against No. 7 Providence, and that's exactly what they got, edging the Friars, 1-0, in Game 1 and crushing them in Providence, 5-1, in Game 2.

The second win got head coach Greg Carvel to 100 in his career at UMass. To do that in just six years is pretty impressive. 

Offensively, things looked great for the Minutemen. They're getting scoring from all over the lineup, most notably from freshman defender Scott Morrow, who has three goals in his last three games. Two of those were game-winners. 

Matt Murray was stellar for UMass this past weekend.

But even more encouraging is how they shut Providence down defensively on the weekend. Fifth-year goalie Matt Murray was sensational, earning a 28-save shutout Friday night, and stopping 41 of 42 shots Saturday. 

Next up is a home-and-home with Boston University this weekend. 

9. North Dakota (6-3) | Prev: NR 

The Fighting Hawks suffered a crushing 6-4 loss to Penn State on Oct. 30 in Nashville, Tennessee, at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game. That defeat knocked them out of the Power 10. 

But North Dakota rejoins my Power 10 after a hard-fought sweep of No. 11 Denver. The first game was a 3-1 win; the second was 4-1. It was quite the set of rebound performances for the Fighting Hawks. 

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North Dakota stifled Denver's offense in both games, limiting it to just two goals on 45 shots. Part of that came from goalie Zach Driscoll's stellar play in net, while a lot of it came from North Dakota's play in its own end.

Up next is an NCHC set with Miami (OH). 

10. Harvard (4-0) | Prev: 10 

In its first big test of the season, Harvard edged out No. 15 Cornell Friday night, 3-2, despite being heavily out-shot, 38-22. Sophomore forward Sean Farrell registered two goals to help get the Crimson past the Big Red. 

The next night saw Harvard take down Colgate, 5-1. The Crimson was backed by sophomore forward Alex Laferriere, who potted four (4!) goals in the win. As I detailed in last week's Power 10, Harvard had crazy stats after just two games. That continues this week, with three players – Henry Thrun, Nick Abruzzese and Farrell – all averaging two or more points per game. I know, I know – it's only been four games. But those are still encouraging signs from a team with a ton of potential. 

Harvard plays Northeastern Monday night and then visits Clarkson and St. Lawrence this coming weekend. All three will be really good tests. 

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