A week off was just what the doctor — and the pollsters — ordered for Minnesota, which ascended to the top of Monday’s USCHO.com/CSTV Networks Division I men’s poll for the first time since being installed as the early favorite in back in October.
The Gophers, who were idle last weekend, have won 11 of their last 12 games. They received 29 of 40 first-place votes to vault past previous No. 1 Miami, which split its series with CCHA opponent Alaska-Fairbanks and dropped into second place with seven first-place ballots.
Cornell continued its rise, climbing two spots to No. 3 after taking two wins from Colgate in ECACHL play, and picking up one first-place vote in the process. Cornell has lost just once in its last 14 contests going back to late November, when the Big Red were 4-3-1.
Wisconsin, with the remaining three first-place votes, held at No. 4 after splitting with Minnesota-Duluth, while Boston College dropped down to No. 5 after beating Massachusetts-Lowell before being upset by Massachusetts Saturday.
The Eagles’ crosstown rival, Boston University, moved up two positions to sixth, playing the same opponents as BC and sweeping. The Terriers have now won eight straight games, all in Hockey East play.
Michigan was No. 7 after splitting against Ohio State, while Colorado College came in eighth after a win and a loss versus No. 11 North Dakota, which held its position from last week in the wake of the split.
Idle Denver was No. 9, followed by 10th-ranked Michigan State, which climbed four spots after sweeping Notre Dame.
After North Dakota came No. 12 Vermont, and then Providence, which dropped four spots after taking just one of four points against the Catamounts last weekend. Maine was No. 14, trailed by St. Cloud State, which jumped four positions to No. 15 after a sweep of Alaska-Anchorage extended the Huskies’ winning streak to six games.
Rounding out the poll were No. 16 New Hampshire, then Harvard, Nebraska-Omaha, Lake Superior and Ferris State. The Mavericks and the Bulldogs replaced Colgate and St. Lawrence — both of which were swept last weekend — in the top 20.