1. Minnesota (17-3-4, 9-3-4 WCHA, RPI No. 2): Top-ranked Gophers continued impressive stretch by picking up three points against North Dakota, winning 5-1 before settling for a 4-4 tie that stopped a six-game winning streak. Minnesota is unbeaten at 7-0-2 since UNO’s 3-2 win in Mariucci Arena on Nov. 30. Erik Haula (10 goals, 19 assists, 29 points) has a 16-game point streak. Next: Friday vs. Minnesota State-Mankato, Saturday at Minnesota State-Mankato.
2. St. Cloud State (14-10, 11-5, No. 13): Impressive home sweep of Denver after a bye week gives the 19th-ranked Huskies a share of first place in the WCHA with 22 points. That’s four straight WCHA wins for the Huskies, whose last league series had been Dec. 14 and 15 against Colorado College. Drew LeBlanc (7 goals, 27 assists) has 34 points, trailing only UNO’s Ryan Walters (15-21-36) for the national lead. Next: At North Dakota.
3. UNO (13-9-2, 9-5-2, No. 17): The 13th-ranked Mavs look to cure their Bemidji State blues this weekend. They emerged from their bye week in a three-way tie for third place in the WCHA, with two games in hand on one of the tied teams as well as the sixth- and seventh-place teams. UNO doesn’t like to talk about its remaining schedule as being easy, but it’s definitely more favorable than other home-ice contenders. Next: At Bemidji State.
4. North Dakota (13-7-4, 8-4-4, No. 6): Sixth-ranked North Dakota could drop in the ratings after going 1-2-1 over its last four, getting just one point out of a weekend series at Minnesota the week after settling for a home split with Colorado College. But the RPI and PairWise numbers are strong. Hobey Baker Award candidate Corban Knight has 11 goals, 22 assists and 33 points (tied for third nationally), but was a minus-5 against the Gophers, including a minus-4 in Friday’s 5-1 loss. Next: St. Cloud State.
5. Denver (13-8-4, 8-6-4, No. 12): The Pioneers’ hot streak came to an end as St. Cloud State swept them by a combined 10-3, spreading the goals evenly in two games and handing Denver its first WCHA sweep since 2008-09, a streak of 60 series. Denver can expect to drop from seventh in the national ratings, but is still part of the three-way tie for third in the league with 20 points — though it has played two more league games than the rest of the top five. Next: Feb. 1 and 2, at Minnesota-Duluth.
6. Minnesota St.-Mankato (15-8-3, 9-8-1, No. 15): The 15th-ranked Mavericks left a point on the table, giving up two goals in the final 3:11 of regulation in a 3-3 tie with last-place Alaska-Anchorage on Friday (and putting them 0-2-1 in three games) before bouncing back to win 4-0 Saturday. Matt Leitner (10 goals, 19 assists) is tied for 11th nationally with 29 points. Next: Friday at Minnesota, Saturday home vs. Minnesota.
7. Wisconsin (9-8-5, 6-5-5, No. 24): Badgers lost for first time in nearly two months in a 2-1 setback Saturday at home against No. 8 Miami (Ohio), but this is still a hot and dangerous team that had gone 8-0-3 in its previous 11. Michael Mersch is tied for fifth nationally with 13 goals. Next: Alaska-Anchorage.
8. Minnesota-Duluth (10-11-3, 8-7-3, No. 32): Saturday night loss at Colorado College ended three-game WCHA winning streak that has helped the talented Bulldogs contend for home ice. Mike Seidel is tied for 13th nationally with 12 goals, half of which have come on the power play (tied for second in the league). Next: Feb. 1 and 2 vs. Denver.
9. Colorado College (10-14-2, 7-10-1, No. 33): The Tigers have stemmed the tide the past two weeks in earning splits against North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth, and have a week off before a trip to last-place Alaska-Anchorage. Rylan Schwartz is tied for third nationally (with North Dakota’s Knight) with 33 points on 11 goals and 22 assists — WCHA skaters occupy the top four spots. Next: Feb. 1-2, at Alaska-Anchorage.
10. Michigan Tech (7-12-4, 4-10-4, No. 42): Picked up three points in weekend series with Bemidji State, winning 4-0 Friday, to move up to a share of 10th place. Sophomore Blake Pietila is tied for third in the WCHA (with Mersch, UNO’s Josh Archibald, Minnesota’s duo of Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau, and Colorado College’s William Rapuzzi) and tied for fifth nationally with 13 goals. Next: Feb. 1 and 2 at UNO.
11. Bemidji State (5-12-5, 4-8-4, No. 48): The Beavers are on six-game winless streak (0-4-2), have gone 2-8-2 since Nov. 24 and are 3-11-4 since taking three of four points against UNO Oct. 26 and 27. In other words, look out UNO. Next: UNO.
12. Alaska-Anchorage (3-14-5, 1-13-4, No. 55): The Seawolves threw a major scare into Minnesota on Jan. 11, giving up two power-play goals in the final 3:11 in a 4-3 defeat, and picked up a tie with Minnesota State-Mankato by scoring twice in the final 3:11. Still, they are winless since Dec. 1 (0-9-1). Their RPI is better only than those of Army, American International, Alabama-Huntsville and Sacred Heart. Next: at Wisconsin.