College Hockey Roundup: February

Kevin LeBlanc

2017-02-08

Minnesota-Duluth reclaims the top spot

A strong month of January saw Minnesota-Duluth back on top of the USCHO Top 20 poll, receiving 92% of the available first place votes. Providence, Wisconsin and Air Force slide in to the Top 20, while Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Michigan Tech fall out this week. 

 

USCHO Top 20 – As of Feb. 6th 

1. Minnesota-Duluth (46) – 18-5-5

2. Denver (4) – 18-4-6

3. Boston University – 18-7-2

4. Harvard – 15-5-2

5. Minnesota – 17-7-2

6. Union – 19-7-2

7. Boston College – 18-9-2

8. Western Michigan – 15-7-4

9. UMass-Lowell – 17-9-3

10. Penn State – 16-6-2

11. Providence – 16-8-4

t12. Cornell – 14-6-2

t12. Ohio State – 13-7-6

14. North Dakota – 15-11-3

15. Vermont – 16-9-3

16. Notre Dame – 15-9-4

17. Wisconsin – 15-8-1

18. St. Lawrence – 15-8-6

19. Quinnipiac – 16-11-2

20. Air Force – 18-8-4

Read more: http://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-i-mens-poll/

 

Big Ten

Don't look now, but Wisconsin's play has them back in contention for a Big Ten title and back into national relevance in this weeks Top 20 poll. First year Coach Tony Granato was tasked with rebuilding his alma mater, which seems to be bit ahead of schedule at this point. Both Wisconsin and Minnesota are tied atop the conference with an 8-2 record through 10 conference games. Penn State and Ohio State are still in the picture but will need a strong close to the conference season to have a chance. 

Team of the Month:  Wisconsin

Since the year turned to 2017, the Badgers have won seven of eight games, with their only blemish being an overtime loss against Minnesota. The team is being led by NHL prospects Luke Kunin (MIN), Trent Frederic (BOS), Grant Besse (ANA) and Cameron Hughes (BOS) all of whom have greater than 23 points this season. With a up and coming core consisting of 14 freshmen and sophomores, you could see Wisconsin making waves over the next couple seasons. The fact that their rebuild has already garnered results is a bonus at this time. 

 

Hockey East

With the Beanpot Final looming next Monday, it's obvious that the Hockey East season is coming down the stretch. The league boasts six teams in the USCHO Top 20 poll this week, which showcases the depth of the colleges which play in the conference. Boston College still leads with 27 points, but Boston University is nipping at their heels just three points back. BU and Harvard will play for the Beanpot championship next week, pitting two top five teams against each other in one of Boston's most beloved sporting events. 

Team of the Month: Providence

The Friars have been on fire as of late, winning seven straight and clawing their way back into the Hockey East and National pictures after starting the conference season 1-6-2. During their seven game winning streak, Providence has allowed just 13 goals, backstopped by Hayden Hawkey (MON) who has played all but 10 minutes in goal for the Friars this season. Brian Pinho (WAS) and Erik Foley (WPG) lead the way with 26 and 23 points, but the emergence of undrafted freshman Josh Wilkins and his 10 goals and 13 assists have played a big role in the teams turnaround. 

 

NCHC

Minnesota-Duluth went 3-0 during a tough stretch at the end of January, winning twice at North Dakota and defeating Minne