College hockey: Minnesota Duluth back on top of USCHO.com rankings
After a four-week hiatus, Minnesota Duluth is back on top in the latest USCHO.com poll, marking the Bulldogs' ninth time occupying the No. 1 spot this season — a program first.
UMD, which is 17-5-4 overall, hiked its winning streak to five games after downing St. Cloud State 2-1 in overtime to claim the North Star College Cup championship this past Saturday night. The Bulldogs accumulated 996 points and 46 of 50 first-place votes in this week's USCHO.com poll while No. 2 co-National Collegiate Hockey Conference leader Denver had three first-place votes and 947 points. The Pioneers were followed by the Boston University (888 pts.), Union (777 points and the remaining first-place vote), Harvard (749 pts.), Penn State (739 pts.), Minnesota (716 pts.), Boston College (605 pts.), Western Michigan (596 pts.) and UMass-Lowell (564 pts.).
Thus far in 2016-17, UMD owns a 10-3-0 collective record against Denver (1-1-0), Minnesota (1-0-0), Western Michigan (1-1-0), UMass-Lowell (0-0-2), No. 13 North Dakota (4-0-0), No. 17 Notre Dame (1-1-0) and No. 20 Michigan Tech (2-0-0). In addition, the Bulldogs are 2-0-0 versus Nebraska Omaha (which will pay a visit to AMSOIL Arena this Friday and Saturday), 4-1-0 against St. Cloud State and 1-0-1 versus Bemidji State. All three of those teams garnered votes in this week's poll.
UMD's nine-week occupation of the USCHO.com poll's No. 1 spot this winter is one week more than the 2011-12 Bulldogs enjoyed.