2022-23 Men's NCAA Hockey Power Rankings
Upstart Michigan State Debuts On List, Denver Steady At No. ...
Chris Peters provides his weekly power rankings for NCAA Division I Men's Hockey.
Welcome to FloHockey's weekly power rankings for men's NCAA hockey. Find out which teams across the country rise, fall or stay put as the weekly series unfold in the 2022-2023 season.
1. Denver | Last Ranking 1
An off weekend for the Pioneers brings no change to their standing atop the country. Denver seems to have all the pieces for another deep run this season. They'll likely lose a couple of their key blueliners to the World Juniors for a few weeks as both Shai Buium (DET) and Sean Behrens (COL) are likely to make Team USA. The blue line remains a strength of the team however, with Mike Benning (FLA) and Kyle Mayhew logging major minutes.
2. Minnesota | Last Ranking: 2
The Gophers took it to a depleted Michigan team in an important road sweep with a lot of the usual suspects playing a significant role. Matt Knies (TOR) continues to find ways to score goals, while freshman Jimmy Snuggerud (STL) remains the team leader in both goals (9) and points (16). Meanwhile, senior defenseman Jackson LaCombe (ANA) has been incredibly productive from the back end with 15 points this season.
3. UConn | Last Ranking: 5
A split against ranked UMass-Lowell, including an overtime loss on the road did little to dissuade me from believing that this UConn team is a legit threat to win Hockey East. They continue to be especially difficult to score against and have the offensive firepower to keep up with many of the NCAA's top teams. In a year of great parity, the Huskies continue to standout.
4. Penn State | Last Ranking: 4
A 7-3 loss to Michigan State may have been a bit of a come-back-to-earth moment for the Nittany Lions, but the Spartans are good enough to make our rankings this week. The Nittany Lions have had three hard-fought splits in their last three conference weekends and each were against ranked opponents. The way Penn State plays remains eye-opening for me as their "A" game is as good as anybody's right now.
5. St. Cloud State | Last Ranking: 6
After an early-November stumble, the Huskies have been rolling again with three straight wins where they were just a bear to play against. St. Cloud seems to thrive in low-event games where they're dictating the pace of play and making their opponents work for everything they get. In their last three wins, St. Cloud outscored Western Michigan and Colorado College 12-2. St. Cloud is off this week and will play just four games in the month of December.
6. Michigan | Last Ranking: 3
An illness sweeping through the team forced the Wolverines to play shorthanded in a top-five matchup against Minnesota and it was a bit too much to ask. Bumping the Wolverines down is not because of that sweep, though the team has lost four of their last six contests. Assuming they get back to health sooner than later, I think this group is poised for a big bounce-back, though they'll likely be missing a number of top players due to the World Juniors very soon as they have several good candidates including top defenseman Luke Hughes (NJD) and leading scorer Adam Fantilli (2023), who could represent USA and Canada, respectively.
7. Quinnipiac | Last Ranking: 8
The Bobcats are rolling with seven consecutive wins, the last six of which were in the ECAC. Quinnipiac will put that streak to the test in Northern Ireland as they're playing in the Friendship Four in Belfast this weekend. They'll start it off with a date with Dartmouth. A win would see the Bobcats face the winner of a showdown between UMass and UMass-Lowell.
8. Harvard | Last Ranking: 7
A nice an easy week off preceded the Crimson's biggest test to date. Undefeated Harvard is going to put perfection on the line this weekend in Ann Arbor as they travel to take on the Wolverines. It is one of the most anticipated games of the first half of the season as it pits two incredibly skilled teams with a lot of future NHL talent on each roster against each other. This one should be a dandy.
9. Providence | Last Ranking: 11
If you beat Providence, you certainly earned it because they just never go away. The Friars picked up a series sweep after a tight matchup with Vermont that required overtime. Their only two regulation losses this season were to defending national champion Denver on the road and it seems like the offense is really starting to click. Junior forward Brett Berard (NYR) has broken out a bit with 15 points in 13 games to date.
10. Boston University | Last Ranking: 10
The Terriers split with Northeastern in a series that was mostly about goaltending. BU got "goalied" in the first game as Devon Levi picked up another shutout for the Huskies, but the Terriers immediately responded with a dramatic OT win against their Boston-based rivals on the road. Freshman defenseman Lane Hutson (MTL) continues to be a marvel as he's averaging over a point per game this season, which included scoring a beauty of a goal for the OT winner against Northeastern.
11. Minnesota State | Last Ranking: 9
The Mavericks are seeing their vice grip in the CCHA loosen ever so slightly. They lost in OT to Northern Michigan last Friday before salvaging the split at home. It improved the Mavs to 5-1-0 in conference play, but Northern gave them a heck of a series. That said, the more I watch Minnesota State, the more I appreciate top college free agent Jake Livingstone. He is such a force in every game he plays and has 13 points in 12 games this season.
12. UMass-Lowell | Last Ranking: 16
Picking up a huge home win over UConn in overtime was another big moment in a season full of very close games that could have gone either way. Beating the Huskies hasn't been easy but the River Hawks found a way. Hockey East is just a monster of a conference this year in terms of how competitive each team is. They could have a big showing at the NCAA tournament this year and Lowell is looking very much like it's in the mix to be one of those representatives. But first, Lowell has to focus on the present, like a showdown with local rivals UMass in Belfast.
13. Merrimack | Last Ranking: 15
The Warriors continue to roll as they improved their recent winning streak to seven games. It hasn't been the toughest schedule they've gone through to get there, but when you see 10 wins before November is out, you've got to feel great about where you are as a team. Merrimack is about to dive head-first into the teeth of its conference schedule here shortly, but momentum is on their side.
14. Ohio State | Last Ranking: 12
The Buckeyes split with Notre Dame on home ice over the weekend and have now lost four of their last five games. They have a pair of road games at Long Island University to try to get themselves stabilized a bit before the season slows down briefly in December. The consistent scoring that the Buckeyes enjoyed earlier in the season has been more staggered of late. They're still a talented team, but they're heading in the wrong direction at the moment.
15. Northeastern | Last Ranking: 14
Devon Levi (BUF) continues to be an absolute NCAA superstar. He stopped 41 shots against BU in his 13th career NCAA shutout to absolutely steal one for the Huskies Friday night and gave them a chance to win the next game before ultimately falling in OT. Consistency continues to be in question for this squad as they play high-event games where they're generating a ton of offense, but allowing more than 30 shots on goal per game. Levi can't do it all for them, but he certainly can keep them in a lot of these games.
16. Michigan State | Last Ranking: NR
Sparty? Sparty. I don't want to say they're back, but they're way ahead of schedule under new head coach Adam Nightingale. A 7-3 win over Penn State was an emphatic statement among many this season that Michigan State can punch you in the mouth if you're not careful. They're unbeaten in six of their last seven games. I didn't think we'd see them on a list like this for at least another year or two as Nightingale gets things set up, but here they are. Transfer goalie Dylan St. Cyr is a huge reason why as he owns a .930 save percentage in 13 appearances.
Cole Krygier ties his career best with his fourth goal of the season as MSU goes back up by two, 5-3. pic.twitter.com/S28oOYDOdc— Michigan State Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) November 20, 2022
Dropped Out: Western Michigan