Minnesota women ranked No. 1

The Gophers received 10 of 15 first-place votes.

Gopher Women's Hockey vs. North Dakota

Ian Larson

Gopher Women’s Hockey vs. North Dakota

John Hageman

The Minnesota womenâÄôs hockey team has been voted the top-ranked squad in the nation for the first time this season. In the latest U.S. College Hockey Online Division I poll, the Gophers (21-3-4) received 10 of 15 first-place votes . Previously top-ranked Mercyhurst (20-2-3) fell from the No. 1 spot for the first time this season after splitting its weekend series with Niagara. The second-ranked Lakers, who defeated Minnesota in last seasonâÄôs NCAA Frozen Four in Boston, were unbeaten in 16 consecutive games before losing to their College Hockey America rival 2-1 on Saturday. The Gophers took care of business last weekend by sweeping Minnesota State-Mankato at Ridder Arena, where they havenâÄôt lost all season. Minnesota head coach Brad Frost said the top ranking is an honor but said he would rather be No. 1 at the end of the season. âÄúItâÄôs nice to know that others think highly of us, but we have to prove that every game,âÄù Frost said early Monday afternoon. âÄúNothing has really changed from our standpoint.âÄù Frost added that he probably wouldnâÄôt tell his players the news at Monday afternoonâÄôs practice. Clarkson âÄî whom the Gophers swept 4-0 and 2-0 at Ridder Arena Nov. 27-28 âÄî New Hampshire and Minnesota-Duluth rounded out the top five. No. 5 Duluth will host the newly christened No. 1 Gophers in a two-game series this weekend . Minnesota can clinch the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship with a sweep of the Bulldogs. Also among the top 10 are No. 6 Harvard and No. 9 Wisconsin, the only two teams to have defeated the Gophers this season. In a trip to Harvard Dec. 4-5, Minnesota didnâÄôt score a goal but left with a 1-0 loss and a 0-0 tie. Wisconsin swept the Gophers 4-2 and 5-2 in Madison Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. Although Minnesota is the newest top team in the nation, Frost said the target on the teamâÄôs back hasnâÄôt grown any bigger. âÄúWeâÄôre going to play the same way, our hope is anyway, to make sure we come out, play hard for 60 minutes and let the chips fall where they may,âÄù he said.