I wanted to follow up on my Illegal Curve pre-season rankings and how they were looking, a few weeks into the season:
1 Denver University – (4-2-0) The Denver University Pioneers swept the hapless Minnesota Golden Gophers last weekend in two 3-0 games at Mariucci arena. The Pioneers looked pretty good taking a part a Gophers team loaded with NHL draft choices. The most impressive stat of the weekend was that the Pioneers defense held the Gophers forward Jordan Schroeder off of the score sheet.
2 Miami University – (4-1-1) the Miami University RedHawk’s hockey team looks like they are a force to be reckoned with this season. Miami like Denver University appears that they don’t have any major flaws with their team. Miami playes their next four games are on the road and we will get to see how they measure up to Michigan in two weeks.
3 Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish have a record of (3-3-0) and have split all of their games they have played so far. The Irish split with UAH and Providence, and then they beat BU 3-0 before losing to B.C. 3-2. Jeff Jackson team has used three different goaltenders and has gotten two shut outs by two different goalies, Mike Johnson (1-0-0) and Brad Phillips (1-2-0).
4 University of North Dakota – (4-1-1) the Fighting Sioux have played pretty well in their first 6 games of this season compared to last year at this time where they were an unimpressive 2-4-0 record after six games. The Fighting Sioux have depth in all four lines. The only question mark I see in UND is the sophomore goaltender Brad Eidsness who has a propensity to give up poor, untimely goals.
5 Boston University – (1-2-0) Time will tell if BU is going to be a pretender or a contender. The Terriers found out that they have lost one of their best forwards Nick Bonino 3 -4 weeks with a shoulder injury.
6 University of Michigan – (2-2-0) I am not sure what Michigan team will show up from week to week. They have a lot of talent to go deep in the NCAA playoffs.
7 Vermont University – (2-2-0) Ditto with Vermont, they looked good in beating DU and B.C. but also lost to Merrimack College 5-2.
8 University of Minnesota – (0-3-1) The Gophers have been shutout 3 of 4 games and Jordan Schroeder has been held scoreless in 6 games after scoring 45 points as freshman. The Gophers power play looks as if they have been infected with the H1N1 virus. The Gophers have been outscored 13-3 in league games and has yet to score a goal on the power play.
9 University of Wisconsin – (1-2-1) on paper the Wisconsin Badgers appear to have one to the better defensive corps in college hockey, however, college hockey is played on the ice and not on paper. The Badges have a true test this weekend when they play New Hampshire.
10 University of Mass Lowell – (3-1-0) The River Hawks have a good record and they have beaten the teams they have on their schedule but they haven’t beaten anyone good. Their lone loss came against UNO in the championship game of the Ice Breaker Tourney in Omaha to start the season.
11 University of Minnesota Duluth – (3-2-0) we should get a better idea how the Bulldogs are in the next couple of weeks as the Bulldogs play a home series against ECAC foe Clarkson before traveling to Colorado College to play the Tigers. The Tigers are much better than people expected and the Tigers are going to be looking for revenge after UMD ended their season last year in Colorado Springs.
12 Boston College – (1-1-0) I would say that it’s early and we haven’t seen enough of this team to make an observation. This team has the ability to be very good but time will tell if.
13 Yale University – (0-0-0) Yale has yet to play a game, they have a non-conference game against Princeton this weekend.
14 Princeton University – (0-0-0) the Tigers have yet to play a game open the season against non-conference games against Brown and Princeton this weekend.
15 University of New Hampshire – (2-2-1) The Wildcats have a tough series against Wisconsin this weekend. We might know more about both teams after this weekend.
16 Northeastern University – 2-3-0 The Huskies have been beaten by some good opponents (C.C., UML, UNH) and have one quality win against C.C.
17 Saint Cloud State University – (2-2-2) After being swept to start the season with Miami University the Huskies have started to pick things up (2-0-2). The Huskies took 3 of 4 points from the UMD Bulldogs last weekend. Senior forward Ryan Lasch has been mediocre to start the season (2g-1a-3pts)
18 Northern Michigan University – 1-2-1 The Wildcats were unimpressive against BSU last weekend as they went 0-1-1.
19 Cornell University – 0-0-0 The Big Red has yet to play a game, open season against Niagara University.
20 U.S. Air Force Academy – The AFA has a 2-4-0 record that includes a 0-4 record against the soon to be defunct CHA.
Early season surprises?
Ferris State 5-1-0
Western Michigan 4-0-0
Non Conference Records
AHA 2-27-0 (.080)
CCHA 30-16-4 (.640)
CHA 7-9-2 (.444)
ECAC 15-9-4 (.607)
H.E. 16-12-1 (.569)
WCHA 12-9-1 (.568)