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ASN ELITE EIGHT | Good as gold, Denver claims No. 1 spot

Denver had a big weekend at home, picking up two wins against Arizona State.

On Saturday they also welcomed back American hero Troy Terry, ASN Men's Player of the Week, after his shootout heroics at the World Junior Championships, helping Team USA capture gold.

He helped the Pioneers regain gold with the top spot in ASN's Elite Eight.

1 | DENVER (11-4-4)

» LAST WEEK: 3

Terry was still in "world junior mode" against Arizona State as he tallied a career-high 5 points in his big return. Henrik Borgstrom was also back in the lineup after being out for a few weeks due to illness. The freshman picked up where he left off and had 6 points in the two games. DU faces a big test this weekend against a good Western Michigan.

2 | PENN STATE (14-2-1)

» LAST WEEK: 2

The Nittany Lions dropped the first game to Ohio State this weekend, so it was crucial for PSU to salvage a split against the Buckeyes. They did. After getting shut out on Friday — a rare occurrence for the highest scoring team in the country — the Nittany Lions did a great job of responding on Saturday with a 4-2 win. They got help from some unusual suspects like Brandon Biro, Erik Autio, and Ricky DeRosa in the win. Good to see some depth scoring from the PSU team, they will need to be more balanced if they want to make a deep push into the postseason and the NCAA Tournament.

3 | HARVARD (11-2-1)

» LAST WEEK: 4

Here come the Crimson! As they get deeper and deeper into the season the quality wins start to pile up. Two great wins over Princeton and Quinnipiac this past weekend, who both have proved to be very tough outs this season. Can't say enough about the job this Harvard team has done without Jimmy Vesey, guys like Alex Kerfoot, Tyler Moy and Sean Malone have done an unreal job leading this team both on and off the ice. They also got back arguably the best defenseman in the country, Adam Fox for both games. He was busy winning a gold medal with Team USA at the World Junior tournament over the break and brought that level of play back to campus with a 3 point effort this weekend. Big tilts next with RPI and Union for what could be the top spot in the conference.

4 | MINNESOTA DULUTH (12-4-4)

» LAST WEEK: 1

The Bulldogs' first real slip up was over the weekend to a hot Colorado College team who beat and tied UMD at AmsOil Arena. Have to give a lot of credit to the Tigers who played two great games over the weekend coming off a Florida College Hockey Classic tournament win the weekend before. Friday night the Bulldogs were without Joey Anderson, (busy winning gold) but they got him back on Saturday as he contributed with an assist on their lone goal. It had been three weeks since UMD had played and it looked like it. They were a touch out of sync and CC made them pay.

5 | BOSTON UNIVERSITY (12-5-2)

» LAST WEEK: 7

Talk about a whirlwind of a few days for the seven Terriers that participated in the World Juniors. All of them played in the finals on Thursday night and most of them flew back to Boston on Friday morning to get ready for another great event — Frozen Fenway. All of the World Junior participants played against UMass at Fenway Park and had quite the impact. The six skaters all recorded at least one point and Jake Oettinger made 26 saves in the win. Be prepared for BU to make a serious run at the national title as the second half is now underway. Not only is everyone back and healthy, but after seeing what most of them are capable of in Montreal has everyone thinking its only a matter of time before they stop losing.

6 | NORTH DAKOTA (12-6-3)

» LAST WEEK: 6

The neck of Nebraska Omaha goaltender Evan Wenninger might've felt a bit burnt after a weekend series with the Fighting Hawks. The red light behind him went off 10 times in two losses against at Baxter Arena. Not all of it was on him , but North Dakota was just too much. Tyson Jost played in both games of the series after capturing a silver medal with Team Canada at the World Juniors. On Friday, Jost reportedly played on 30 minutes of sleep — he still had a goal and an assist in a 9-1 win. This weekend also marked the return on Brock Boeser, who was out with a wrist injury for the last few weeks before the break, he had 3 points in the series. In total, the Fighting Hawks walloped a Mavericks by a combined 16-4.

7 | UMASS LOWELL (14-5-3)

» LAST WEEK: 5

Fresh off a Ledyard Bank Classic tournament win, the River Hawks handled RPI and New Hampshire. Lowell is poised to make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament because of their strong leadership from upperclassmen Joe Gambardella, C.J. Smith, Dylan Zink, John Edwards and Michael Kapla. Gambardella is a legitimate Hobey Baker Award candidate and Zink is a top-five defenseman in Hockey East. Freshman goaltender Tyler Wall has been solid all season. Norm Bazin once again has his boys doing all the right things.

8 | VERMONT (14-6-2)

» LAST WEEK: Not ranked

The Catamounts are back in the Elite 8! They posted two wins this weekend against St. Lawrence and defending Hockey East champion Northeastern. Brendan Bradley and Brian Bowen charged the offense of Vermont with multi-point games in each of the two contests. Stefanos Lekkas was not tested as much as he was in the past, but answered the bell. A great start to the second half and a much needed non-conference win for Vermont helps legitimize its non-league record. After all the adversity these Catamounts dealt with in the beginning of the year, you have to respect what they have done. It is a new team with a new identity and it couldn't be working out any better for Kevin Sneddon. Vermont has six more Hockey East filled weekends on their schedule, all of which prove to be very meaningful in terms of post season aspirations.

DROPPING OUT

» Western Michigan (8)

Brendan Jones is ASN’s college hockey analyst. Follow him on Twitter at @MustBeJonesy.

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