Behind strong defense, St. Cloud State gets first No. 1 ranking since 2002
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- St. Cloud State (11-1-2, 6-1-1-0 NCHC) gained a No. 1 ranking in this week's USCHO.com poll, which was released on Monday. This marks the first time since the 2001-02 season that the Huskies have earned the top ranking in one of the polls.
Last week the Huskies were ranked second in the USCHO.com poll. SCSU was ranked No. 2 in this week's USA TODAY/USA Hockey poll released on Monday.
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The Huskies earned the top spot thanks in part to a big weekend sweep at Minnesota-Duluth on Dec. 6-7 by scores of 4-2 and 5-1. The start in 2013-14 is the second-best 14-game start for the Huskies. The best 14-game start in team history at the DI level was a 12-1-1 start at the beginning of the 2001-02 season. The 2001-02 season also marked the last time that the Huskies were ranked No. 1 in the polls, lasting from Dec. 3, 2001 to Feb. 18, 2002.
The Huskies will bring a seven-game unbeaten streak into the upcoming weekend series against No. 9/10 Union (N.Y.) (10-3-2, 7-1-0 ECAC). The Union Dutchmen also wll bring a seven-game unbeaten streak into this weekend's series at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. This is the longest unbeaten streak for the Huskies since winning nine consecutive games from Jan. 2, 2010 to Jan. 29.
The Huskies rank first in the nation among Division I teams on defense this season. SCSU sits atop the charts with a 1.79 goals allowed per average this season. The Huskies have only allowed 25 goals in 14 games this season. The Huskies rank eighth in the national among Division I teams on offense this season with a 3.71 goals-per-game scoring rate. In 14 outings this winter, the Huskies have notched 52 goals. On the topic of national leaders, SCSU ranks first in the nation with an 85.7 percent winning rate (11-1-2).