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Evan Marinofsky | NCAA.com | March 7, 2022

The penultimate Power 10 men's hockey rankings before selections

Meet the NCAA men's hockey stars in the Olympics for Team USA

The regular season is officially over. The playoffs have either already begun or are just beginning in men's college hockey. Selections for the national tournament are less than two weeks away. 

Everything has a heightened sense of importance over the next month. 

Before we start, since there was no Power 10 last week, each ranking next to "previous" is from last week's USCHO poll. 

1. Minnesota State (33-5-0) | Prev: 1 

The Mavericks are the No. 1 team in the nation right now. They took care of business against St. Thomas in the CCHA quarterfinals with wins of 3-2 and 8-2. 

Junior Sam Morton had a huge weekend, tallying two goals in Game 1 and a goal and two assists in Game 2. Senior Julian Napravnik and junior Nathan Smith registered two assists apiece, bringing both of their point totals to 46. The duo is tied for second in the nation in points. 

RANKINGS: Check out the latest USCHO poll

Minnesota State will face Northern Michigan in the CCHA semifinals this weekend. 

2. Minnesota (23-11-0) | Prev: 2 

The Golden Gophers got this past weekend off after earning a bye in the first round of the Big Ten playoffs. 

In the biggest surprise of the second half, Minnesota went 11-3 after star goalie Jack LaFontaine departed for the NHL. Junior goalie Justen Close has been spectacular in between the pipes. He carries a 1.73 goals-against average and .933 save percentage into the postseason. 

The Gophers draw Penn State for the Big Ten semifinal this weekend. 

3. Denver (25-8-1) | Prev: 3 

Speaking of red-hot teams, the Pioneers went 14-3-1 in the second half, establishing themselves as one of the top teams from the NCHC. 

Denver capped off a terrific regular season with a home-and-home sweep of Colorado College, winning Game 1, 5-0, and taking Game 2, 5-2. With 10 goals on the weekend, Denver improved its goals-for total to 152, which ranks second in the country. With an offensive attack that includes sophomore Carter Savoie, junior Bobby Brink and seniors Cole Guttman and Brett Stapley, mixed with freshmen Carter Mazur and Massimo Rizzo, the Pioneers look primed for a deep run in the NCHC postseason. 

They'll face Miami (OH) in the first round this upcoming weekend. 

4. Michigan (27-9-1) | Prev: 5 

Another chapter of Michigan-Michigan State took place this past weekend in the Big Ten quarterfinals. This chapter, however, was never very close, as the Wolverines disposed of the Spartans in two games. The first matchup saw Michigan come away with a 4-1 win. The Wolverines followed it up with an 8-0 drubbing of the Spartans. 

With each passing week, the college hockey world is getting a better and better glimpse of just how good freshman defenseman Luke Hughes is. He posted four points over the two games, bringing his total on the season to 36 — good for first among all freshmen. 

The Wolverines will face Notre Dame this Saturday in the Big Ten semifinals. 

5. North Dakota (22-12-1) | Prev: 4 

The Fighting Hawks went 7-1 in February, propelling them up the USCHO poll, these power rankings and, most importantly, the NCHC standings. That culminated with North Dakota winning its third-straight Penrose Cup by taking down Omaha, 5-4, in overtime on Friday night. The next night saw North Dakota lose to Omaha, 4-1, but that still couldn't kill the excitement of the previous night. 

Omaha rallied late in the third period from down 4-2 to tie it, 4-4, and force overtime. But sophomore defenseman Tyler Kleven won it in overtime, ensuring the NCHC regular season championship for the Fighting Hawks. 

North Dakota will face Colorado College in the NCHC quarterfinals this weekend. 

6. Quinnipiac (28-5-3) | Prev: 6 

The Bobcats put together an incredible season, finishing as the No. 1 seed in the ECAC tournament and earning a bye to the quarterfinal. 

Quinnipiac will face St. Lawrence in the ECAC quarterfinals this weekend. 

7. Western Michigan (22-10-1) | Prev: 8 

The Broncos finished off their regular season with a sweep of Miami (OH). First, it was a 5-3 win and then a 3-0 victory on Saturday night. 

Both wins came at a crucial time for Western Michigan. Prior to Friday night's matchup, the Broncos had only walked away victorious one time in their previous six games. Granted, those games came against St. Cloud State, Denver and North Dakota, but still, that's life in the NCHC. 

SCOREBOARD: Follow all of this season's action

The Broncos will face Omaha in the NCHC quarterfinals this weekend. 

8. Notre Dame (27-10-0) | Prev: 7 

After falling to Wisconsin in Game 1 of the Big Ten quarterfinals, the Fighting Irish rebounded well, taking down the Badgers 3-2 in Game 2 and 4-2 in Game 3. 

The biggest moment of the weekend for Notre Dame came with 20.7 seconds left in Game 2 when junior Trevor Janicke scored to give the Fighting Irish the 3-2 lead. That lamplighter was more than enough for the win. 

Things don't get any easier for Notre Dame. Next up is the Big Ten semifinals against Michigan. Keep an eye on that game. The Fighting Irish did just sweep Michigan less than two weeks ago. 

9. St. Cloud State (18-12-4) | Prev: 10 

The Huskies finished off their regular season with a split on the road against Minnesota Duluth. Despite losing Game 1, 3-2, they took Game 2, 2-0. It was the usual suspects potting goals in the win — senior Sam Hentges and sophomore Veeti Miettinen. 

HOBEY 2022: Here are 10 solid candidates for the 2022 Hobey Baker Award

Hopefully neither team is too sick of each other because St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth face off in the NCHC quarterfinals this weekend. 

10. Minnesota Duluth (17-15-4) | Prev: 11 

It's only fitting that Minnesota Duluth takes the No. 10 spot this week after splitting with St. Cloud State. Again, these two teams are going to become more than familiar with each other next weekend. 

The 3-2 win in Game 1 was pretty impressive. The Bulldogs were down 2-0 and rattled off one in the second, one in the third and then one in overtime. 

The common thread among the final two goals: Kobe Roth. The fifth-year senior tallied the game-tying and goal and the game-winner in OT. 

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