Colorado College is No. 1 heading into an anticipated Western Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend at Wisconsin. A sweep of St. Cloud State last weekend kept the Tigers atop the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls, which were released Monday. CC received 30 of 34 firstplace votes in the USA Today poll and 39 of 40 first-place votes in the USCHO.com poll. In both polls, Michigan jumped to second after it swept Notre Dame last weekend. Cornell moved to third on the strength of wins over Yale and Brown. Maine fell to fourth, hampered by a 2-1 loss to now-No. 14 Boston University. Wisconsin is fifth, riding momentum from a road sweep of now-No. 11 North Dakota. In the Inside College Hockey power rankings, the Tigers remained first and Michigan stayed second. Michigan State is third, followed by Wisconsin and Maine. The Badgers are 6-1-1 and 5-0-1 in the WCHA, marking their best start in conference play since the 1981-82 season. Their lone blemishes are a 2-1 overtime loss to St. Lawrence and a 2-2 tie against St. Cloud State in the WCHA opener. At 9-1 and 4-0 in the WCHA, CC boasts the nation’s highest winning percentage (.900). The last time the Tigers won nine of their first 10 games was in 1966-67. CC coach Scott Owens calls Wisconsin the “hottest team in the country,” and he’s not putting too much stock in his team’s fast start. “We haven’t played the Wisconsins, the Denvers and the Minnesotas,” Owens said. “It’s nice to collect (WCHA) points when you think you can because you’re going to hit your two- or three-game skids at some point.” The Tigers are second in the WCHA with eight points, more than any team that has played two conference series. Wisconsin leads the league with 11 points, No. 13 Minnesota is third with seven points and No. 7 Denver and Minnesota Duluth are tied for fourth with six points apiece. On the recruiting trail When the early signing period starts Wednesday, CC expects to receive national letters of intent from four recruits: defenseman Kris Fredheim and forwards Matt Overman, Daniel Quilico and Bill Sweatt. Fredheim plays for the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Overman plays for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the U.S. Hockey League. Quilico plays for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the British Columbia Hockey League. Sweatt, the younger brother of CC defenseman Lee Sweatt, plays for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s under-18 team. CC’s recruiting class also includes two players who already have signed in defensemen Brian Connelly and Nate Prosser. Connelly plays for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, and Prosser plays with Overman in Sioux Falls. Slap shots Friday’s game will be broadcast on Adelphia Ch. 32, CSTV and FSN North. Saturday’s game has been pushed back an hour to 7:07 p.m. to accommodate Wisconsin fans who wish to attend an afternoon football game against Iowa. There will be no TV coverage. . . . Former CC forward Brian Swanson, who plays in a German hockey league, has been named to the U.S. Men’s National Select Team, which will compete in the TUI Nations Cup this week in Germany. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0256 or email@example.com
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