Wednesday, December 22, 2010

B³ USHL Power Rankings: December 21

I'm going to fill in again for BT this week and give my take on the USHL power rankings.  These rankings are a lot of work to put together, but it's interesting to track how the other teams in the USHL are doing.  As always, I would appreciate any comments!

Previous week's ranking in parentheses

1. (2) Cedar Rapids Roughriders (17-4-2, 36 points, 1st place in USHL Eastern Conference)
The Roughriders went 2-0 last weekend, with home wins over the Omaha Lancers (2-1) and the Waterloo Blackhawks (5-0).  Goaltender Brady "Peanut butter and" Hjelle leads the USHL in wins, with 16.  The 'Riders are tied for first in overall points (36) with Dubuque, and Green Bay.

2. (3) Dubuque Fighting Saints (17-4-2, 36 points, 1st place in USHL Western Conference)
The "Saints" went 2-0 last weekend, with a 4-1 home win against the Youngstown Phantoms, and a 3-2 road win against the Des Moines Buccaneers.  Dubuque is averaging 3.53 goals scored per game, which is tops in the USHL.  The "Saints" are riding a six-game winning streak.

3. (1) Green Bay Gamblers (17-5-2, 36 points, 2nd place in USHL Eastern Conference)
The Gamblers went 1-1 last weekend, with a 5-2 road win over the Chicago Steel, and a 2-1 road loss against the Indiana Ice.  The Gamblers are on a eight-game home winning streak, and have not lost at home since 10/2/10 (opening night).

4. (6) Fargo Force (12-10-4, 28 points, 4th place in USHL Western Conference)
The Force went 2-0 at home last weekend with a VERY impressive 6-1 blowout of Team USA U-18, and a 4-3 OT/SO victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede.  This team is making a lot of noise now that they have a complete lineup.  

5. (5) Indiana Ice (11-10-2, 24 points, 4th place in USHL Eastern Conference)
The Ice had an up and down weekend, with a 4-3 home loss against Team USA-17 on  Friday night, then a very impressive 2-1 home win against the Green Bay Gamblers on Saturday night.  The Ice are 7-1 their last 8 games.

6. (7) Tri-City Storm  (11-7-4, 26 points, 5th place in USHL Western Conference)
The Storm went 2-0 on the road last weekend with wins against the Muskegon Lumberjacks (4-2), and the Chicago Steel (3-2 OT).  The Storm are 7-1 in their last 8 games, with the only loss coming against Dubuque by one goal.

7. (9) Sioux City Musketeers  (13-9-2, 28 points, 3rd place in USHL Western Conference)
The Muskies went 2-0 on the road last weekend with wins against the Lincoln Stars (5-1), and the Sioux Falls Stampede (2-1).  The Muskies always play good defense, and now it appears their offense is coming around.

8. (4) Omaha Lancers (13-7-3, 29 points, 2nd place in USHL Western Conference)
The Lancers went 1-1 last weekend, with a 2-1 road loss to the CR Roughriders, and a 4-2 home win against the Lincoln Stars.  Omaha head coach Bliss Littler was very critical of his teams performance even after the win against Lincoln.  In my opinion, they were outplayed in that game.

9. (10) Muskegon Lumberjacks  (11-9-5, 27 points, 3rd place in USHL Western Conference)
The Lumberjacks went 1-1 at home last weekend, with a 4-2 loss against the Tri-City Storm, and a 3-2 win over the Youngstown Phantoms.  The 'Jacks score a lot of goals (83), but give up a lot of goals (96) also.  Muskegon is 4-2 in their last 6 games.  They're the Lumberjacks, and they're ok.

10. (8) Lincoln Stars  (11-11-1, 23 points, 6th place in USHL Western Conference)
Lincoln went 0-2 last weekend, with a 5-1 home loss to the Sioux City Musketeers, and a 4-2 road loss against the Omaha Lancers.  The Stars have lost 5 in a row at home, and have only scored 2 goals in their last 3 games at the IceBox.  

11. (11) Sioux Falls Stampede  (11-9-2, 24 points, 5th place in USHL Western Conference)
The Stampede went 0-1-1 last weekend, with a 4-3 OT/SO road loss to the Fargo Force, and a 2-1 home loss to the Sioux City Musketeers.  The 'Pede are 1-4-2 in their last seven games.

12. (14) Des Moines Buccaneers  (10-8-2, 22 points, 8th place in USHL Western Conference)
The Bucs went 1-1 at home last weekend, with a 5-4 victory over the Waterloo Blackhawks, and a 3-2 defeat to the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  Des Moines is 1-5 in their last 6 games played.

13. (12) Waterloo Blackhawks  (9-9-3, 21 points, 5th place in USHL Eastern Conference)
The Blackhawks went 0-2 on the road last weekend with a 5-4 loss to the Des Moines Buccaneers, and a 5-0 shutout loss to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.  Waterloo is 1-4-1 in their last 6 games played.

14. (13) Youngstown Phantoms  (9-14-1, 19 points, 7th place in USHL Eastern Conference)
The Phantoms went 0-2 on the road last weekend, with a 4-1 loss to the Dubuque Fighting Saints, and a 3-2 loss to the Muskegon Lumberjacks.  Youngstown has lost four in a row.

15. (15) Team USA  (9-16-2, 20 points, 6th place in USHL Eastern Conference)
I still feel like I should not include Team USA in these rankings because they are split up into two squads (U-17, U-18).  Last weekend, the U-17's had an impressive 4-3 road win over the Indiana Ice, while the U-18's were surprisingly blown out on the road by the Fargo Force, 6-1.  

16. (16) Chicago Steel  (7-14-5, 19 points, 8th place in USHL Eastern Conference)
The Steel went 01-1 last weekend at home with a 5-2 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers, and a 3-2 OT loss to the Tri-City Storm.  Chicago is winless (0-5-1) in the month of December.

8 comments:

BellTolls said...

Thanks for covering, Yeti. Sorry I've been so busy lately and unable to contribute much. Here's a quick rundown of my what rankings look like at the Christmas break:

1. Dubuque
2. Cedar Rapids
3. Green Bay
--->Top 3 are all pretty interchangeable, but are also clearly the three best teams right now. I give Dubuque the nod because I think the West is tougher.
4. Tri-City (making some noise and a few games in hand on the West leaders)
5. Fargo (very good team that is coming around)
6. Indiana (as hot as anyone)
7. Omaha (always respond to poor play with good performances soon after)
8. Sioux City (solid weekend for the Muskies)
9. Muskegon
10. Des Moines
11. Sioux Falls
12. Lincoln (need to fix these home woes fast)
13. Waterloo
The bottom is pretty clear right now too:
14. Youngstown
15. Team USA
16. Chicago (should be at everyone's bottom)

Yeti said...

Not a problem, BT. I know you have been really busy as of late. No Stars games to report on for a week, so I have plenty of free time.

Like you said, the top three are interchangeable. All three teams are very, very good.

A side note...I am putting together a quick article highlighting the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships which begins next week on 12/26. Stay tuned for that.

Layla said...

How many games has Dubuque played against Western teams? Since from what I remember most of their games are against the east.

Yeti said...

Dubuque has played 6 games against western conference teams.

Cedar Rapids has played 7 games against western conference teams.

Green Bay has played 11 games against western conference teams.

Layla said...

Interesting that the 2 East teams (CR/GB) have played more games so far against the west than DU has.

BellTolls said...

Well thanks Layla and Yeti for blowing that theory, lol. See how pathetic my rankings are when I don't actually do the research. As Yeti probably knows by now, this is complicated stuff.

Yeti said...

I counted games against Des Moines...since they are technically in the west. But I believe they play most games against east opponents, like Dubuque.

It's confusing. All of it.

Layla said...

DU and DM are technically in the mythical Central division which only exists on paper apparently, since most of the Central teams are in the East. This is why I've said numerous times I think it is BS that they will be in the playoffs for the West when they only play each team in the west twice.
I wouldn't want to have to do rankings, LOL