Some random (and not-so-random) thoughts after the 14th week of the season:
* I think it’s time for a new No. 1. I just wish, for the sake of further believing in my poll ballot, that Denver had stepped up and emphatically taken that top spot instead of just moving up by not losing.
Robert Morris’ stunning weekend sweep of top-ranked Miami should end the RedHawks’ reign at 13 weeks when the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll is released on Monday. It has been a good run for Miami, and I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of the RedHawks atop the poll.
But losing twice to a team that is in the lower third of the RPI even after the results doesn’t seem No. 1-ly. Full credit to the Colonials, though, for a potential season-defining weekend that followed just three wins in their first 18 games.
Denver will be on top of my ballot this week, but the Pioneers didn’t exactly wow anyone in getting three points from a home series against Alaska-Anchorage. They were outplayed in a 1-1 tie on Friday and needed a last-minute goal for a 3-2 victory on Saturday, a game that featured 103 minutes worth of penalties assessed after the game thanks to a postgame brawl.
Still, Denver is the top team in the RPI, and, to me, that carries some weight.
* I had to double check to make sure the stat I had in my head was right. Ferris State now is alone atop the Division I wins list this season with 16.
And how’s this for a setup? The Bulldogs host Miami next weekend with the teams tied for first in the CCHA.
Ferris had a good start to a tough start to the second half of the CCHA schedule with a pair of wins at Notre Dame this weekend. We’ll reassess in a couple more weeks, after the Bulldogs play the RedHawks and a home-and-home series with a Michigan team that might be slowly finding its legs.
* Anyone who watched Tuesday night’s World Junior Championship title game should be pretty appreciative of the partnership USA Hockey and the NHL Network have put together to get that event on American TV.
After all, it wasn’t too long ago that you had to scour the satellite dish to get the Canadian broadcast.
* Was it just my imagination, or did it look like Boston University, not Boston College, that was the top-10 team for much of the Frozen Fenway game?
No one knows where BU is headed in the second half, but it would be a mistake to rule them out.
* Six of the top 10 teams in the RPI are from the WCHA. I’m not sure it was ever gone, but I think it would be fair to say that the WCHA is back. That, of course, doesn’t mean anything when it comes to national tournament time. You still have to win the one-off games, where the league has taken its lumps recently.
* Here’s my top 20 for the week:
3. Ferris State
4. North Dakota
6. Michigan State
8. Bemidji State
9. Boston College
10. Colorado College
12. St. Cloud State
20. New Hampshire