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College Hockey Rankings: Gophers Remain #1 In USA Today Poll, UMD Falls To #3

Despite being off last weekend, not much changed for Minnesota. The same can't be said for the rest of college hockey.

The Gophers (19-9-1, 15-5-0 WCHA) remain the top-ranked team in the USA Today/USA Hockey Poll for a second consecutive week, barely edging out number two Boston University (16-8-1, 13-6-1 Hockey East). The Terriers won their only game this week against then-number four Merrimack and received 9 first-place votes to Minnesota's 16.

The USCHO.com poll has BU number one and Minnesota second. Neither team has a majority of the fifty first place votes - Boston University has 12 and Minnesota has 22 with the rest being split between four other teams - which goes to show there is a lack of a consensus at the top. Much of that has to do with the Pairwise rankings given the Gophers are presently 7th in the poll which determine the NCAA tournament seedings.

Last week's top-ranked team, Minnesota Duluth (18-6-4, 12-5-3 WCHA), fell to third in both polls after splitting two games with unranked Alaska-Anchorage. The Bulldogs won 4-1 Friday on the strength of four goals by sophomore J.T. Brown but lost 3-2 Saturday and remain three points behind the Gophers in the WCHA standings.

Michigan, who swept Miami, and Boston College, who was idle, round out the USCHO top-five with Ferris State remaining at #6 after tying and defeating Northern Michigan.

Two teams which had different weekends sit at seventh and eighth. Massachusetts-Lowell rose two spots to #7 on the strength of sweeping Vermont while Merrimack fell four spots in spite of beating UMass after their loss to BU.

Notre Dame and Colorado College are ninth and tenth, respectively.

Two other WCHA teams are ranked by USCHO. Minnesota's opponent this weekend, Denver, is 14th and North Dakota moved up one spot to 16th. In addition, St. Cloud State received two votes after sweeping Wisconsin in Madison.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.