The Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s and women’s hockey teams are both ranked #1 in the USCHO.com polls that were released on Monday. It’s the fifth week in a row for the Gopher men and the first time this season for the Gopher women. It’s the first time both Minnesota hockey teams were ranked #1 at the same time since October 27, 2014.
The Gopher men lost their first game of the season splitting a series in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers this past weekend, but with previous #2 Boston College also losing one game this weekend the voters decided to keep Minnesota in the top spot receiving 31 of a possible 40 first place votes. New #2 North Dakota collected eight of the remaining nine with the final first place vote going to #4 St. Cloud State. Other Big Ten teams in the poll include Michigan at #9 and Wisconsin at #12 with Minnesota’s opponent this weekend Notre Dame the top team left out of the poll receiving votes.
The Gopher women are back in the top spot of the polls for the first time in almost exactly a year. Minnesota swept St. Cloud State in a unique three game home/home/road series that featured an extra game added due to both teams previous opponents having COVID issues. Minnesota returned from winter break looking a bit rusty in the opener last Thursday getting just a 2-1 win over SCSU, but Minnesota cruised to a 4-1 win Saturday and a 4-0 win Sunday where they put the cruise control on very early in each game.
Their reward this weekend is a trip to Madison to play the former #1 and current #2 team in the country in Wisconsin. The Badgers split a series with #3 Ohio State this past weekend at home and are now 4-2 on the season with both losses coming in series splits with the Buckeyes. Minnesota sits at 8-1 on the season with their lone loss also coming at the hands of the Buckeyes back in the opening series of the season. Minnesota will head to Columbus for a rematch with Ohio State in two weeks with an additional series against Wisconsin and then Ohio State again the next two weeks after that.
The Gopher men will host Notre Dame at 7 PM Friday and 5 PM Saturday while the women play at 2PM both Friday and Saturday against Wisconsin.