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Augustoviz: Gophers men's hockey drops to No. 2

Coach Don Lucia probably doesn't care too much, but his Gophers are no longer the No. 1 team in the nation in college hockey. Quinnipiac is.

Blog post by: Roman Augustoviz

Updated: February 11, 2013 - 12:34 PM

Quinnipiac has been getting closer in the vote totals to the Gophers for a few weeks. Now the Bobcats are No. 1 in all the polls. Decisively so.

In the uscho.com poll, Quinnipiac received 41 of a possible 50 first-place votes -- the Gophers got the other nine -- and had 983 points to the U's 949.

In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, the Bobcats got 28 first-place votes and 503 points, the Gophers only six first-place votes and 470 points.

There has been a lot of Twitter discussion on whether Quinnipiac is really better than the Gophers. But the fact is, the Bobcats have a better record, 21-3-4, and more importantly for pollsters, are on a 21-game unbeaten streak (18-0-3).

So thr Bobcats are No. 1 in all the polls today, displacing the Gophers who fall to No. 2.

The Gophers, who held the top spot for six weeks, are 19-5-4, but only 2-2-1 in their last five games.

In the PairWise rankings, which are the most important because they mimic how the NCAA fills and seeds its postseason tournament, Quinnipiac remains No. 1 and the Gophers No. 2.

PairWise is a statistical comparison, no opinions there.

If the NCAA tournament field was being selected today, five WCHA teams would be in: The Gophers, of course, along with North Dakota, sixth in the PairWise ratings; St. Cloud State, tied for eighth; Minnesota State, tied for 10th, and Denver, tied for 12th.

ETC.

* The three stars in St. Cloud State's 4-3 win on Saturday were all Huskies: forwards Nic Dowd and Jonny Brodzinski -- two guys who are a spelling challenge -- and defenseman Kevin Gravel.

* Junior center Erik Haula had two assists on Saturday, which gives him 22 assists and a team-leading 35 points. And remember, he missed three games with a hand injury.

* Junior defenseman Nate Schmidt is having an all-america season. He has goals in his past four games.

* The Gophers outshot St. Cloud State 39-21before a sellout crowd announced as 6,140. Sophomore goalie Ryan Faragher stopped 36 shots, at least 10 every period, and had an assist on the Huskies' first goal.

* The Huskies have a bye this weekend. So this is the Gophers' chance to close the five-point gap on SCSU. The U plays Wisconsin in a Friday-Sunday series. The first game is at the Kohl Center in Madison as usual, the second game is at Soldier Field in Chicago as part of a college hockey doubleheader. Notre Dame and Miami play in the first game.

This post is from the The Roman Empire blog

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