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The best power play teams in college hockey, right now

Nearing the halfway mark of the season, we ranked the best power play units in college hockey. See who topped the list below.

*Through games Dec. 9, 2018

RELATED: 7 numbers from Penn State’s eight-goal victory over No. 5 Notre Dame

1. Harvard (ECAC)

Harvard men’s hockey leads the nation with a 37 percent power-play percentage. The Crimson have made good on 17 of its 46 power play goal attempts throughout the season so far, scoring at least one power play goal in 9 of its first 11 games. Even better, Harvard has a 44.8 percent in-conference conversion rate, capitalizing on 13 of 29 opportunities. Sophomore defenseman Reilly Walsh leads the team in power play goals with 5 on the season so far, followed by Adam Fox and Jack Drury, both with 3.

2. Yale (ECAC)

Next in line, also representing ECAC hockey, is Yale University. The Bulldogs follow behind Harvard, capitalizing on 30 percent of their opportunities. Yale has made good on 12 of its 40 attempted power play shots, scoring 36.3 percent of its total goals on the man advantage. The Bulldogs look to extend their current five-game winning streak, capped over the weekend by an upset win over then-No. 11 Union where Yale notched one of its three goals on a power play score from Jack St. Ivany. St. Ivany is one of five Bulldogs to have have two power play goals in the season.

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3. Penn State (Big Ten)

Ranked third in the nation is Big Ten competitor Penn State. Penn State has made good on 17 of its 58 opportunities on the power play, giving the Nittany Lions a 29.3 percent conversion rate. Only 18.8 percent of Penn State’s goals this season have come on the power play, and three of those goals just came in Penn State’s 9-1 win over Notre Dame on Dec. 8. Those three goals marked the most Penn State has scored on the man advantage in a single game this season. Evan Barratt, Nikita Pavlychev and Sam Sternschein lead the team with 3 power play goals apiece in the season so far.

3. Massachusetts (HEA)

Matching Penn State on the conversion rate is Hockey East’s early-season powerhouse, UMass. The Minutemen have also notched 17 of their 58 power play chances, garnering a .293 power-play percentage so far this season. Before an upset loss to Quinnipiac on Dec. 7, UMass had been enjoying a 9-game winning streak into the middle of the season. Thirty percent of UMass’s goals so far this season have come on the power play. Of those goals, forwards Mitchell Chaffee and Jacob Pritchard are responsible for nearly half. 

5. Army West Point (Atlantic Hockey)

Rounding out the most effective power plays in the nation is Army West Point. The Black Knights fall just shy of a three-way tie with UMass and Penn State, converting 82 power play opportunities into 24 goals for a 29.26 power-play percentage. Army has had an up-and-down first half of the season, going 7-6-1 in conference play and 8-8-1 overall. Almost half of the Black Knights’ scores have come on the man advantage. Out of the top 30 ranked teams in power-play percentage, Army’s 82 attempted shots is surpassed only by Michigan and Bowling Green. Forwards Zach Evancho and Dominic Franco have lead the team on the power play, each contributing five power play goals so far this season. 

Here are the top five teams, in chart form: 

1 Harvard 17 46 .370
2 Yale 12 40 .300
3 Penn St. 17 58 .293
Massachusetts 17 58 .293
5 Army West Point 24 82 .293

And the next five…

rank team ppg ppa pct.
6 St. Cloud State 17 63 .270
7 Minnesota St. 21 81 .259
8 Quinnipiac 19 75 .253
9 Princeton 11 44 .250
10 Omaha 19 79 .241

MORE: Northern Michigan goalie makes history with goal

*Teams are ranked based on power-play percentage which is calculated by dividing power play goals by power play opportunities or attempts.

Callan Sheridan is a graduate of Saint Peter’s University and has produced content for The Press Enterprise, the American Junior Golf Association and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Follow her on twitter at @calsh_13.

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