Gophers men's hockey earns top spot in both national polls

The University of Minnesota men's hockey team is ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2014 after getting off to an 8-0 start. ((credit: University of Minnesota Athletics))

The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team woke up to news Monday it hadn’t received in more than six years: The Gophers are the No. 1-ranked team in the country.

After earning a sweep at Michigan last Tuesday and Wednesday, the Gophers improved to 8-0-0 on the season. Minnesota hasn’t trailed in a single minute of play through those eight games.

The Gophers are ranked No. 1 in both the U.S. College Hockey Online and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Minnesota received 34 of 40 first place votes and 786 total points to move to No. 1 in the USCHO poll. They received 23 first place votes and 498 points in the USA Today poll.

It’s the first time the Gophers have been ranked the No. 1 team in the country in either poll since November of 2014. Minnesota is off to its best start since the 1987-88 season. The Gophers’ eight wins have all been sweeps of Big Ten opponents: Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan.

In those eight wins, the Gophers are out-scoring opponents by a combined 27-8. Minnesota has also won 10 straight games, dating back to last season.

The Gophers are now on break and waiting to hear from the Big Ten on the remainder of the 2020-21 schedule, which has been altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.