The Big Ten just may be a big player in the national college hockey scene, thanks to Michigan.
With traditional powers Minnesota and Wisconsin not having dominant seasons and Penn State and Ohio State young programs still rising, the Wolverines have put together the top-ranked offense in the country to move up to sixth in our ASN Eight rankings.
The offense was in high gear this past weekend as the Wolverines scored 15 times in a 9-2, 6-2 sweep over rival Michigan State. Michigan is as talented offensively as any team in the country, scoring at a 4.6 goals per game clip while its power play ranks fourth at nearly 28 percent.
Sophomore Zach Werenski, who had been rumored to be leaving Michigan for the NHL after he captained the U.S. World Junior Team to a bronze medal in Finland over the holiday break, not only returned last weekend, he scored a goal in each game.
Big Blue is now 8-1-2 over the past 11 games and is eighth in the Pairwise rankings.
There was quite a bit of movement in the ASN Eight this week, as teams from the Rocky Mountain state wreaked havoc on their opponents — Denver sweeping at Omaha and Colorado College splitting with St. Cloud State.
The ASN Eight
1. NORTH DAKOTA
Record: 18-2-2 | Conference: NCHC | Last week: 1
Biggest home series of the season this weekend when former coach Dean Blais brings rival Omaha to The Ralph.
Record: 19-1-3 | Conference: ECAC | Last week: 2
Slipped past Harvard in OT, owning the tough ECAC and No. 1 in PairWise.
3. ST. CLOUD STATE
Record: 17-5-0 | Conference: NCHC | Last week: 4
Put 81 shots on Colorado College goalie Jacob Nehama and Ethan Prow hit three cross bars himself as high-flying offense temporarily grounded.
Record: 13-3-4 | Conference: Hockey East | Last week: 3
0-2-4 in overtime games this season, 1-3-1 in last four games.
5. BOSTON COLLEGE
Record: 14-4-2 | Conference: Hockey East | Last week: Not ranked
Earned three points against Providence last weekend and with a sweep against crosstown rival BU this weekend coach Jerry York gets his historic 1,000th victory.
Record: 13-3-3 | Conference: Big Ten | Last week: Last week: 8
Offensive juggernaut may face stiffest conference tests this weekend and next against Ohio State and Penn State.
Record: 11-2-2 | Conference: ECAC | Last week: 7
Already matched its win total from last season.
Record: 14-5-1 | Conference: NCHC | Last week: 5
Sweep at hands of Denver marked first losses in new Baxter Arena.
DROPPING OUT: Harvard (8-3-3 lost to Boston University and Quinnipiac last week)