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Patrick Donnelly | | March 6, 2023

Minnesota leads, Michigan Tech enters final men's college hockey Power 10 rankings

'The Michigan' goal: Legendary move from 1996 NCAA hockey regionals

After another wild two weeks in men's college hockey, the regular season is now fully over across the nation and conference tournaments are in full swing. Despite some shuffling in the Power 10 rankings, Minnesota remains on top, but Michigan Tech cracked the top 10. 

A reminder: these are my rankings alone, and I base them on a combination of the PairWise, strength of schedule, recent results and trends that have emerged throughout the season. 

With all that in mind, here is the final set of Power 10 rankings: 

1. Minnesota (1): The Gophers (25-8-1, 19-4-1 Big Ten) remain a buzzsaw. They've won six straight over ranked opponents in Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State. Minnesota was idle last week, but will face MSU in the Big Ten semis this week. Last time out, it was a wire-to-wire sweep of the Buckeyes, winning 4-0 before a 5-2 comeback win. Few teams, if any, can match the three-headed monster of Logan Cooley, Jimmy Snuggerud and Matthew Knies, while depth options like Rhett Pitlick are coming up big, too. 

2. Quinnipiac (2): The Bobcats (28-3-3, 20-2-0 ECAC) are firmly back on track after a surprising pair of losses at the end of January. They've won 10 straight dominating Union and RPI with a set of 4-1 wins two weeks ago before sitting idle this past weekend with a first-round bye in the ECAC.  Colin Graf, second in the nation in scoring with 49 points, is still producing at a high rate, freshman Sam Lipkin is picking it up and Yaniv Perets is still one of the best options in net. They'll face Yale in the ECAC quarterfinals this weekend. 

LATEST RANKINGS: Click or tap here for the latest USCHO poll

3. Denver (3): The Pioneers (28-8-0, 19-5-0 NCHC) made it look easy against then-No. 5 Western Michigan in a de-facto NCHC regular season championship two weeks ago, winning 5-2 then 3-1 in the sweep. DU took care of business with a sweep of Colorado College this past weekend, too. Massimo Rizzo has picked it up in the goal-scoring department with seven goals in his last eight games, and Carter Mazur has regained his form after a dry spell earlier in the second half. The Pios have a best-of-three against Miami (Ohio) on tap this weekend in the NCHC quarters.

4. Michigan (4): The Wolverines (22-11-3, 12-10-2 Big Ten) are back on track after a four-game rut (0-2-2) that saw them go to overtime in three of those contests. They went to OT for the third straight game and fourth in five in a 6-5 Game 1 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten quarterfinals. UM pulled off the sweep with a 7-4 win in Game 2. Adam Fantilli has somehow found another level with a hat trick and an assist in the second game against the Badgers after two goals in the first. He has 14 goals and 15 assists since the start of 2023. They'll battle Ohio State in the semis this weekend, and the Buckeyes have had their number this season with a 2-1-1 record (and shootout win) in the regular season series.

5. Boston University (6): The Terriers (24-10-0, 18-6-0 HEA) responded to four straight losses with a four-game winning streak. They took care of business in Vermont, as they should, before sweeping Providence to clinch the conference regular-season title. Drew Commesso has two shutouts in four games, and Lane Hutson and Matt Brown remain among the best, tied with each other for 10th in national scoring with 43 points. Hutson is having the most productive season by a freshman defenseman since Hall of Famer Brian Leetch had 47 points in 37 games in 1986-87. BU will host the quarterfinal on Saturday.

SCOREBOARD: Click or tap here for the latest scores around Division I men's hockey

6. Harvard (9): The Crimson (21-6-2, 18-4-0 ECAC) also enjoyed a first-round bye like Quinnipiac, and will welcome Princeton for a best-of-three series this weekend. They're unbeaten in seven in a row, rolling past St. Lawrence and Clarkson last weekend as part of four straight wins. Sean Farrell, Matthew Coronato and Alex Laferriere have been on a tear in the second half, and Mitchell Gibson is still doing his thing in goal. 

7. Western Michigan (5): The Broncos (23-12-1, 15-8-1 NCHC) bounced back from the sweep at the hands of Denver two weeks ago with a sweep of their own over Miami (Ohio) last time out. WMU hung five goals on the RedHawks in each of the two games. Jason Polin (45 points) is still on a blistering pace, leading the nation with 29 goals, and Ryan McAllister might be snapping out of his funk with a four-assist weekend against Miami. Colorado College will come to town for the best-of-three NCHC quarters this weekend. 

8. Ohio State (9): The Buckeyes (20-13-3, 11-10-2 Big Ten) had a bit of a rough go in a sweep at Minnesota after their big weekend against Michigan two weeks back. OSU bounced back with a strong showing against Penn State in the Big Ten quarterfinals, coming back with three unanswered goals in a decisive Game 3 to take the series. They took Game 1, 5-1, before tying Game 2 late to force OT in a 2-1 loss. Stephen Halliday has had the hot hand with five points (1g, 4a) in the series against PSU. The Bucks will hope to continue their momentum head-to-head against Michigan in the semifinals this weekend.  

FROZEN FOUR: Click or tap here for everything you need to know about the 2023 Men's Frozen Four

9. St. Cloud State (7): The Huskies (20-11-3, 12-9-3 NCHC) have tapered off a bit since the end of January, going 2-5-3 since sweeping Denver on Jan. 21. In the previous two weekends, they split with Omaha and Minnesota Duluth. Give SCSU credit, though, as they bounced back against UMD in Game 2 for a 4-3 win and the split when senior Zach Okabe scored the OT-winner on Senior Night. Special teams remain a big concern, specifically the penalty kill, giving up 13 power-play goals over this 10-day stretch. 

10. Michigan Tech (NR): These Huskies (24-9-4, 15-7-4 CCHA) swept St. Thomas in the CCHA opening round with a 1-0 win before a 5-4 victory. They skated to a hard-fought split with No. 13 Minnesota State the previous week in a potential conference championship preview. Top-goal scorer Kyle Kukkonen (18) remains hot, and Blake Pietila remains strong between the pipes. They'll face Northern Michigan (receiving votes) in the semifinals. 

Dropped Out: Penn State (10)

The Nittany Lions (21-15-2, 10-13-1 Big Ten) have really struggled since the calendar flipped to 2023, going a paltry 4-10-1 since Jan. 1. PSU went the distance with Ohio State in the Big Ten quarterfinals, but gave up three unanswered goals in Game 3 en route to elimination. They'll be fine to get into the tournament on an at-large basis, sitting eighth in the PairWise, but now they have to sit and wait. 

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