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UMD men's hockey: Bulldogs take over top spot in national polls following wins over Alaska

Minnesota Duluth is No. 1 in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls for the first time since Oct. 7, 2019.

Minnesota Duluth players celebrate a second-period goal against Alaska on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Minnesota Duluth is the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since Oct. 7, 2019, following a pair of home wins over Alaska last week.

The Bulldogs picked up 33 out of 50 first-place votes to take over the No. 1 spot in the latest poll released on Monday morning . UMD received 22 out of 34 first-place votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll that was posted on Monday afternoon.

The Bulldogs improved to 10-3-1 overall over the weekend via a pair of nonconference wins over Alaska at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. UMD won 5-1 on Friday night before needing overtime to beat the Nanooks on Saturday 1-0 . The Bulldogs are on the road this week for a nonconference series at Northern Michigan.

UMD's most recent run at No. 1 came at the start of the 2019-20 season when the program was coming off back-to-back national championships. The Bulldogs were the top team in both polls for the opening two weeks of the season.


The Bulldogs are currently one of five NCHC teams that reside in the top 10 of both polls along with St. Cloud State, Western Michigan, North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha. A sixth NCHC team, Denver, sits just outside the top 10 of both polls.

Minnesota State, Michigan and Quinnipiac are also receiving first-place votes in both polls. The Wolverines beat the Bulldogs 5-1 on Oct. 15 in the Ice Breaker Tournament at Amsoil Arena. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play a home-and-home series with Minnesota State over New Year's weekend.

The Mavericks were previously the top team in both polls, but split at Lake Superior State last week, losing 1-0 on Friday and winning 3-0 on Saturday.

There have been four different No. 1 teams over the last four weeks in both polls after the three previous No. 1 teams — Minnesota State, Michigan and St. Cloud State — went a combined 2-4 at the top. The No. 1-ranked team in either poll has gone 9-9 this season with SCSU's three-week run as No. 1 between Oct. 25-Nov. 8 being the only time a team has been able to hold onto the No. 1 ranking in both polls for multiple weeks.

This story was updated at 1:50 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2021, with the addition of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. It was originally posted at 11:45 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2021.

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