Tuesday, November 9, 2010

B³ USHL Power Rankings: 11/10

Previous week's ranking in parentheses

Apologies for not getting this out until Wednesday. I've been extremely busy, but finally, here it is for this week.

1. (1) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (7-2-0, 14 pts)
Last Week: 1-1-0
Cedar Rapids maintains the top spot following a 7-4 win vs. Indiana and a 3-2 loss at Des Moines. Cedar Rapids leads the USHL in fewest penalty minutes at 95 minutes. I guess you have to give Coach Mark Carlson credit. No matter his personnel, he always coaches them to play his style.
2. (5) Dubuque Fighting Saints (7-3-1, 15 pts)
Last Week: 2-0-0
Dubuque responded to their 0-2 weekend against Cedar Rapids with convincing wins over Green Bay and Indiana. For that, and the fact that two of their losses are to Cedar Rapids, I bump them back up to second.

3. (4) Sioux City Musketeers (8-4-0, 16 pts)
Last Week: 2-1-0
Sioux City got run out of the barn at Omaha, 5-1, but responded with wins over Green Bay (shootout) and Youngstown (5-2). The Musketeers lead the West, but are also at least one game up on everyone right behind them. Of the top six teams in the USHL pointswise, Sioux City has allowed the most goals (31).

4. (2) Sioux Falls Stampede (7-3-0, 14 pts)
Last Week: 1-1-0
The Stampede lost at Lincoln, 3-1, but then skated by Youngstown, 8-4. At 5-0, Sioux Falls is the only undefeated team at home in the league.

5. (10) Des Moines Buccaneers (5-1-2, 12 pts)
Last Week: 2-0-0
Des Moines has won four straight, the most impressive being a 3-2 win over Cedar Rapids on Saturday. The Bucs have the second-best winning percentage in the USHL, and with at least two games in hand on every team ahead of them in the West standings, they could reasonably be leading the conference if they had played a few more games.

6. (3) Green Bay Gamblers (6-3-2, 14 pts)

Last Week: 0-1-1 
Green Bay got smoked by Dubuque, 6-0, and lost in a shootout to Sioux City as part of a weekend road trip through Iowa. The Gamblers' 26 goals scored is tied for second worst in the USHL.
  7. (9) Waterloo Blackhawks (6-2-1, 13 pts)Last Week: 2-0-0
Waterloo continues to make noise, recording their third and fourth straight wins this weekend. The Blackhawks beat Youngstown and Chicago at home by a combined 8-1 score. Although they have the third-best winning percentage in the USHL, all six wins are against teams with losing records.

8. (12) Omaha Lancers (5-3-1, 11 pts)
Last Week: 2-0-0
The Lancers are hard to read. They lose three straight, then come back with two romps over Sioux City (5-1) and Fargo (4-1). Omaha shouldn't get too comfortable though, as they now have six straight road games and won't be at home again until Thanksgiving.

9. (11) Tri-City Storm (4-2-4, 12 pts)  
Last Week: 1-0-0
The Storm only played once over the weekend, beating Fargo 4-3. They fall just behind Omaha, due to their two losses to the Lancers earlier this season.

10. (8) Fargo Force (5-6-2, 12 pts)
Last Week: 0-2-1
 Fargo missed its five key players who were playing with Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, losing all three games it played this weekend. Because of the circumstances, Fargo doesn't drop too much, but with Omaha and Lincoln playing well and only one and four points behind in the standings with four games in hand, Fargo is flirting with the cellar.

11. (7) Indiana Ice (4-5-1, 9 pts)
Last Week: 0-2-0
Like Green Bay, the Ice also went 0-for-2 on a weekend road trip through Iowa. Indiana dropped to Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, both very talented teams.

12. (15) Lincoln Stars (4-5-0, 8 pts)
Last Week: 2-0
Stars fans can rejoice, Lincoln is on a winning streak. Although it's just a two-game streak, Lincoln defeated quality teams in Sioux Falls (3-1) and Fargo (shootout). Although Fargo was shorthanded, Lincoln was also playing without two of its top offensive playmakers in Ryan Dzingel and Dominik Shine.

13. (16) Muskegon Lumberjacks (5-4-2, 12 pts)
Last Week: 3-0-0
The bottom two teams in last week's power rankings went 5-0 last weekend, thanks to the Lumberjacks' three wins. Just like that, Muskegon is up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They did beat Team USA twice and Chicago once, so the wins aren't anything to write home about just yet.

14. (6) Chicago Steel (5-7-1, 11 pts)

Last Week: 0-3-0
Chicago had an awful week, dropping to Des Moines, Waterloo and Muskegon by a combined total of 13-4. The Steel have lost five of their last six.

15. (13) Youngstown Phantoms (4-8-1, 9 pts)
Last Week: 0-3-0
Youngstown has now lost eight in a row, and amazingly isn't at the bottom of the power rankings, because another USHL team has lost eight in a row also. The Phantoms fell to Waterloo, Sioux Falls and Sioux City, all on the road and all by at least three goals. Youngstown's 49 goals given up is the most in the league.

16. (14) Team USA (3-8-1, 7 pts)
Last Week: 0-2-0
Both the U-17s and U-18s were beaten by Muskegon over the weekend, prompting Team USA's drop to the bottom. It's hard to argue for a team that has now lost eight games in a
row. Team USA and Youngstown are clearly behind the pack right now.


Yeti said...

Thanks again for putting this together, BT. Much appreciated. I have to admit, I was really hoping to see more blog readers comment about these rankings. It's been too quiet out there. If you have an opinion, speak up! That goes for any of the articles.

Personally, I would probably swap Waterloo with Green Bay, and also swap Muskegon with Indiana. I really thought the Ice would be playing much better at this point in the season. Conversely, the two expansion teams (Dubuque, Muskegon) are playing a lot better than I expected they would this early in the season. I'm not sure Waterloo brought back more than a handful of players from last season, but it seems like they are very deep team on offense. Former Stars draft pick Mike Montagna is playing very well so far this season for the Blackhawks. He has 10 points in nine games for the 'Loo.

Really looking forward to watching the Dubuque team in Lincoln next month. The Fighting Saints come to town on 12/11. Their roster is full of talent.

Travis said...

I too am looking forward to Dubuque coming to town.

Off topic, but I went to my first NHL game ever on sunday night in Chicago. It was awesome. Not sure if anyone has ever heard of the Blackhawk's famous national anthem, but it was honestly one of the coolest things i have ever seen. The entire crowd goes wild and cheers through the entire song. Makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Check it out on youtube if you get a chance.


BellTolls said...

Yeti, thanks for the comment. It's definitely a toss-up between some of these teams. Switching Waterloo with Green Bay was one of the last decisions I made. really no rhyme or reason to it, other than that Green Bay beat them 2-1 a few weeks back.

And I agree, it's been far too quiet. Where the heck is everyone? There's about 200 people on here (it seems like) during live chats, and only a couple commenting during the week. What do I have to do, rank Omaha at No. 1 to get some reaction??? Someone tell me what they would do differently? Do I have the wrong team at No. 1 right now? Who do you think is the worst USHL team right now? Is Lincoln too high, too low?

Kassee said...

I enjoy reading these power rankings and what I love even more is watching the Stars move up these standings! Anyone else planning a trip to Sioux Falls on Saturday?

Kassee said...

Off topic... looks like former star Jared Boll had a goal in Columbus' 8-1 victory over St. Louis. Its always cool to see former Stars doing well in the NHL!