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Some random (and not-so-random) thoughts after the 17th week of the season:

* I keep telling myself that the PairWise means nothing at this time of the year. I don’t listen.

* I’m very interested to see where North Dakota comes up in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll on Monday. For the last two weeks, I’ve put the Sioux 10th on my ballot, and that actually has been better than their spot in the RPI. I was surprised both times to see where they showed up in the rankings — fifth two weeks ago and fourth last week.

I think I understand why. A lot of people (myself included) think the Sioux are a better team than their record, even better than they’re playing. But at some point, the results have to come, or it’s time to change the picture.

This might be the time. Denver left The Ralph with two wins this weekend, putting North Dakota under .500 in WCHA play (8-9-3). The Sioux have just one win in their last six games.

I know better than to rule the Sioux out. But let’s face it — they’re not a top-10 team right now.

* So the race for the CHA title will actually go into February. Bemidji State had a chance to lock up at least a share of the title with a win Saturday against Robert Morris, but the Colonials pulled the upset.

Seriously, though, how ridiculous is it that a team could have wrapped up a conference title in January?

* I got over to Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium a couple times this week to check out the rink going in for next Saturday’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic, and I’ve got to admit that the way they can put an ice rink in the middle of a football field is impressive.

It still hasn’t changed my opinion on outdoor games as a whole — they’re just plain overdone. And now we have Michigan hosting Michigan State in December, meaning there will be three outdoor events in the 2010 calendar year. That’s just too much.

* Here’s how I voted in this week’s poll:

1. Miami

2. Denver

3. Wisconsin

4. St. Cloud State

5. Colorado College

6. Minnesota-Duluth

7. Bemidji State

8. Ferris State

9. New Hampshire

10. Boston College

11. Michigan State

12. Cornell

13. Massachusetts

14. North Dakota

15. Maine

16. Vermont

17. Yale

18. Michigan

19. Massachusetts-Lowell

20. Union