Nov. 18, 2008

Courtesy of Minnesota Athletics

Owning a season-opening 10-game unbeaten streak, Minnesota took over as the nation’s top-ranked team in both national men’s hockey polls.

The Gophers are currently 6-0-4 overall and are ranked No. 1 for the first time since Jan. 22, 2007. Minnesota was a unanimous choice in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, receiving all 34 first place votes. The Gophers received 42 of 48 first place tallies in the U.S. College Hockey Online/CBS College Sports poll. It marks the sixth straight week the Gophers have risen in the polls, moving up from the No. 2 position last week.

The top spot is nothing new for Minnesota, which has held the nation’s top ranking for at least one week in eight of the past nine seasons. The 2007-08 season was the only exception as the Gophers ascended as high as No. 3.

Minnesota is one of three remaining undefeated Division I teams along with Air Force (10-0-0) and Cornell (2-0-2). The only other time since 1940 that the Gophers were undefeated through 10 games was in 2001-02 when they were 11-0-2 before suffering a loss.

For the fourth straight weekend, the Gophers are coming off an opening-game tie and a second-game win. They tied Michigan Tech 2-2 on Saturday and blanked the Huskies 3-0 on Sunday. It was part of a wild weekend in Division I men’s hockey that saw the top nine teams in the poll all lose or tie one of their two games. Last week’s top-ranked team, Boston University, fell to No. 2, while Colorado College is No. 3 and Boston College is No. 4 in both polls.

Minnesota puts its top ranking on the line this weekend with a two-game series at 10th-ranked Denver.