Gophers get a boost up in the polls

Off to its best start in seven years, the University of Minnesota menâÄôs hockey team received some more good news Monday as the team jumped to fifth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine MenâÄôs College Hockey Poll. The Gophers (3-0-1 overall, 3-0-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) garnered 371 points in the poll and even earned one first-place vote. Colorado College remained the top-ranked team in the nation with all but four of the 34 first-place votes and 505 points total. The Gophers next two series will be against ranked teams, as Minnesota State is slated at 11th and New Hampshire holds the seventh-place slot. Stoa, Kangas earn awards On Monday, junior forward Ryan Stoa and sophomore goalie Alex Kangas ended a pair of Minnesota droughts âÄî both lasting over a year âÄî by earning WCHA Player of the Week awards. Stoa earned the conferenceâÄôs offensive award after scoring a trio of goals in the Gophers win and tie over Wisconsin this weekend. The junior from Bloomington has four goals and two assists through four games this season. StoaâÄôs offensive award was the first of its kind for a Gophers skater since Evan Kaufmann earned it the week of March 6, 2007. Kangas picked up the first WCHA Defensive Player of the Week Award, the first for Minnesota since Kellen Briggs was honored the week of Jan. 9, 2007. The sophomore netminder kept the Badgers to just two goals in each of last weekendâÄôs games while leaving Madison with a 0.931 save percentage for the weekend.