COLLEGE HOCKEY NOW'S ELITE EIGHT CLOUD NINE FOR NO. 1 DENVER

1 | Denver

» RECORD: 24-6-4 » LAST WEEK: 1

The Pioneers looked like the best team in the country while sweeping St. Cloud over the weekend. Henrik Borgstrom buried the OT winner on Friday then scored what might be the goal of the year in Saturday’s win. He did all of this with his family – who traveled all the way from Finland — in the crowd. Troy Terry added four points as the Pios extended their winning streak to nine games.

2 | Minnesota Duluth

» RECORD: 20-5-7 » LAST WEEK: 2

The Bulldogs tied and beat Miami (Ohio) in a two-game series and enter the final weekend of the regular season four points behind Denver in the race for the Penrose Cup. That gap isn’t going to be easy to close either with a pair of games at Western Michigan coming up.

3 | Harvard

» RECORD: 22-5-2 » LAST WEEK: 3

The Crimson are thanking Cornell after the Big Red tied Union on the final day of the regular season to give Harvard a share of the ECAC title. The Crimson are on a 12-game unbeaten streak and handled Clarkson and St. Lawrence over the weekend. Ryan Donato had another stellar weekend with two goals and three assists. He has 35 points this season, second on the team.

4 | Minnesota

» RECORD: 21-9-2 » LAST WEEK: 4

The Gophers, like most teams, had a tough time with the young Wisconsin Badgers over the weekend. They split two contests in the Border Battle. If we have learned anything about the Badgers this season we know they are not an easy out. Gophers captain Justin Kloos was clutch again on Saturday with the game-winner late in the final stanza. “That was one of the most fun games I’ve played in here at Mariucci in my four years,” Kloos said after the 3-2 win.

5 | UMass Lowell

» RECORD: 22-9-3 » LAST WEEK: Not ranked

The River Hawks entered the weekend third in Hockey East and finished in a three-way tie for first after sweeping Boston College, including Friday on ASN. It’s the first time Hockey East has three teams sharing the regular-season title. UMass Lowell extended its winning streak to seven games. The No. 1 line of Joe Gambardella, C.J. Smith and John Edwards earned high praise from BC head coach Jerry York, who said they were possibly the best line in college hockey. Gambardella is a legitimate Hobey Baker Award candidate.

6 | Western Michigan

» RECORD: 19-8-5 » LAST WEEK: 5

Colorado College battled the Broncos to a tie on Friday but WMU won 5-1 on Saturday. The emergence of Colt Conrad and Hugh McGing gives the Broncos depth. They also have one of the best freshman goaltenders in the country in Ben Blacker, who made 67 saves in the series. That gives him 135 in his last four games. The last weekend of the regular season will be a tough test Duluth awaits.

7 | Boston University

» RECORD: 21-10-3 » LAST WEEK: 6

The Terriers are one of three Hockey East regular-season champions after splitting with Notre Dame, including a loss Friday on ASN. On Saturday BU seemed to be rolling again with a 4-1 victory. Clayton Keller took over in the third period with two goals. Patrick Harper, Dante Fabbro and Kieffer Bellows all had multi-point nights as well. They’re the guys BU needs to be playing well at this time of the year.

8 | Penn State

» RECORD: 20-8-2 » LAST WEEK: Not ranked

The Nittany Lions enter a huge series with Wisconsin this weekend coming off a sweep at Michigan State. Penn State is in position to earn at least an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, which would be the first in program history.

DROPPING OUT

» Union (7), Providence (8)

Brendan Jones is ASN’s college hockey analyst. Follow him on Twitter at @MustBeJonesy. Watch College Hockey Now Wednesdays at 6 p.m. ET on the American Sports Network.

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