2021-22 CCHA Power Rankings

Bemidji State Making Moves As LSSU Offense Wanes

Minnesota State went 3-1 since the last rankings with all four games holding conference stakes.

Welcome to FloHockey’s bi-monthly power rankings for CCHA hockey. Find out which of the CCHA’s eight teams rise, fall, or stay put as the weekly series unfold in the 2021-22 season.

1. Minnesota State | Last Ranking: 1

Record: 5-1 (9-3 overall)

The national powerhouse of Minnesota State went 3-1 since the last rankings with all four games holding conference stakes. The Mavericks sit at No. 3 in the latest USCHO Poll after a decisive sweep of Bowling Green with 9-2 and 5-3 wins.

The Mavericks will look to rack up points ahead of 2022, where a series with current No. 4-ranked Minnesota Duluth form Dec. 30 to Jan. 1 will ring in the New Year. The 2018 and 2019 National Champs will pose a tough test.

2. Bemidji State | Last Ranking: 3

Record: 5-1 (6-4 overall)

The Beavers are back in the USCHO Poll, coming in at No. 20 after a sweep of Lake Superior State. Bemidji is starting to find its offensive game, but the defensive system they’ve built over the past few seasons is still a work in progress.

Still, netminder Gavin Enright is finding his bearings in his first stretch of collegiate action. Owen and Lukas Sillinger are carrying the offense and as the depth begins to offer more goal support for Enright the wins will fall in line.

3. Michigan Tech | Last Ranking: 5

Record: 2-1-1 (5-4 overall)

With a 2-1-1 stretch including wins over Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan, the Huskies find themselves on the prowl. While the tie left a point in the hands of the Wildcats with an overtime loss, the point gained matters.

Senior Brian Halonen is having himself a season with six goals and 11 points in nine games, well on pace to outscore his 39-game sophomore season totals of 12 goals and 22 points. Blake Pietila’s .931 SV% and 1.66 GAA shows he’s doing his part, and much like Enright, goal support is needed for his and Halonen’s sake.

4. Bowling Green | Last Ranking: 4

Record: 3-3 (5-3-2 overall)

Perhaps the biggest question mark of the CCHA, Bowling Green remains dedicated to fighting for every win and has accumulated a promising 5-3-2 overall mark. A much-needed pair of wins over St. Thomas was encouraging, but wasn’t enough preparation for Minnesota State.

True to form, the Mavericks beat up on the Falcons with 14 goals over two games. The Falcons’ next series won’t be much easier, hosting Lake Superior State this week who will be eager to get back on track.

5. Lake Superior State | Last Ranking: 2

Record: 3-3 (7-6-1 overall)

Speaking of Lake Superior State, a nice start has halted with a 1-3 record since last rankings. Losses to then-No. 18 Michigan Tech and a sweep by Bemidji State has the Lakers flirting with a .500 record after bouncing back from a tough pair of season-opening series.

The offense has dried up slightly, scoring just nine goals over their past four games, opposed to 21 goals the previous four games. They’ll look to rebound with November concluding after series at Bowling Green and against Minnesota State.

6. Northern Michigan | Last Ranking: 8

Record: 3-5 (5-6 overall)

A pair of wins over Boston University spilled over into a three-game winning streak after tacking on a 3-2 overtime win against Michigan Tech. The Wildcats would fall on the second end of the series, but a 3-1 overall record—and 1-1 CCHA mark—has the Wildcats showing their claws.

The program has a fair chance at getting out of November with both a winning conference record and overall record, but it will need to hold its momentum with upcoming series at Ferris State and against Bowling Green.

7. Ferris State | Last Ranking: 6

Record: 2-2 (4-8 overall)

The Bulldogs went 1-3 since the last rankings, losing after a sweep by Michigan State. But a shocking split with Minnesota State saw them nab three points and some social media glory for a night.

Offense is the theme and while on paper the offense is providing goals, albeit inconsistently, the total team defense is lackluster and has the Bulldogs fizzling out on most evenings.

8. St. Thomas | Last Ranking: 7

Record: 1-7 (1-11 overall)

The inaugural Division-I learning curve continues to bend with a sweep by conference rival Bowling Green. Now with four straight losses the Tommies are likely looking forward to the break.

But series with conference foes and top-three-ranking programs this week, No. 3 Minnesota State, No. 20 Bemidji State, and Michigan Tech, a tough road lies ahead. Add in a series with Penn State and their record doesn’t appear to be improving anytime soon.

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