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Golden Nugz 11.8.11- Gophers ranked #1

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For the first time since 2008, the Gophers are ranked #1 in college hockey.

The Gophers (9-1) were ranked No. 5 last week in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and U.S. College Hockey Online polls.

They received 27 of 34 first-place votes in the USA Today poll and 38 of 50 in the USCHO poll.

The Gophers haven't been ranked No. 1 since 2008, before losing 6-3 on Nov. 28 to Michigan and tying Michigan State 4-4 on Nov. 29.

Per Roman, when US College Hockey online tweeted the Gophs' were the new #1, they received so many hits the site crashed. Gee you think Gopher hockey fans are excited to have a good team again?

Will the new ranking go to their heads? The team's, I mean, not the fan's. Not likely. Minnesota responded very well to their first big challenge of the year by sweeping North Dakota. I'm glad they get arch-rival #2 Wisconsin in Madtown this weekend because there's zero chance they're looking past the Badgers or concentrating on anything other than victory. Minnesota won't sweep every series, and while taking two from Bucky on their home ice would be huge, I'd think a split at the Kohl Center is a pretty reasonable outcome.

CHN has a good story about Kyle Rau's game winner last Saturday.

Gopher basketball survived an exhibition game scare against Augustana 72-60. Minnesota trailed 38-33 at the half, and despite an unstoppable Trevor Mbakwe scoring 16 of his 22 points in the second half, Augustana were able to pull within two at 57-55 before the Gophers pulled away for good.

Amelia Rayno saw some familiar problems and a few new concerns in last night's win.

Down with Goldy recaps the win. My favorite line:

These first two games were like watching a puppy who just learned about fish. Friday we find out if that dog can track sasquatch in the rain. Bucknell is no joke.

Oh by the way? Hate Week is here. Gopher football AND hockey take on Bucky this weekend. Madison.com interviews former Gopher assistant and current Badger running back coach Thomas Hammock about the importance of The Axe. Have to say, I really liked Hammock when he was here, and I know going to Wisconsin was a good career move for him, but it still stings a little that he left and went to Madison.

The boys at Bucky's 5th Quarter say for the Badgers, it's all about The Axe.

Badgers hockey coach Mike Eaves is mulling his options in goal.