The University of Minnesota is once more a #hockeyschool. The Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s tea is ranked #1 in the nation in the newest USCHO.com Poll that was released on Monday while the Gopher women have moved up to #2 in the country. Both teams should remain in those spots into the new year as neither team will play again until 2021. Both teams are still anxiously waiting for the second portion of both the Big Ten and WCHA schedules to be released.
The Gopher men are now 8-0 on the season after their fourth consecutive sweep last week. Minnesota went into Ann Arbor and defeated the previously #5 Michigan Wolverines 3-1 and 4-0. Minnesota was ranked #4 headed into that series, and with their sweep coupled by losses this past week by the previous #1 North Dakota Fighting Hawks, #2 Boston College Eagles and #3 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs the Gophers took over the top spot. Minnesota received 34 of a possible 40 first place votes with BC claiming three, UMD one and North Dakota two. It is the first time Minnesota has been ranked #1 in the nation since November 11, 2014.
Obviously the USCHO.com poll while a great honor is not nearly as important as the Pairwise rankings when it comes to seeding and qualification for the NCAA Tournament....in a normal season. With the Pairwise being useless this season with the lack of non-conference games between conferences, it’s possible the national media and coaches polls may take on a much larger level of importance in determining the NCAA field.
On the women’s side the Gophers moved up to #2 in the nation— their highest ranking on the season after a sweep of Minnesota State-Mankato last week. The Gophers are 5-1 on the season and lead the WCHA with 15 points heading into the holiday break. Minnesota earned four of a possible fifteen first place votes with WCHA rival Wisconsin Badgers earning ten to remain atop the poll. Northeastern Huskies earned the last first place vote and are in third place in the poll despite a loss to Boston College on Sunday. The Gophers have played six games this season, four more than both the Badgers and Huskies who have only gotten in two each due to COVID postponements.
Pride on Ice has returned to Minneapolis! As soon as schedule details are released for the 2021 portions of both schedules we will provide them to you here.