The Gophers, unlike most WCHA teams, are not quite halfway through their WCHA schedule.
They have played 12 of their 28 conference games and have two in hand on three of the four teams ahead of them in the standings.
First-place St. Cloud State, Denver, tied for second, and fourth-place Minnesota State Mankato all have played 14 games. North Dakota, the other team tied for second, has only played 12 games -- just like the Gophers.
So who has the toughest conference schedule left? Good question.
The Gophers eight opponents are 43-43-20 in conference games, for a .500 winning percentage. They play all four teams ahead of them in the standings and five of those games at at Mariucci Arena (the U has a home and home with the Mavericks).
Here is a look at the top six teams and the WCHA schedules they face:
North Dakota 48-40-16 .538
Comments: UND plays all five of the other teams in the top six.
Denver 40-34-14 .534
Comments: Tough finishing stretch with archrival Colorado College, North Dakota and Denver before last series with UAA
Gophers 43-43-20 .500
Comments: Play Alaska Anchorage, then start second half of conference schedule with make-or-break stretch of North Dakota, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State.
St. Cloud State 34-35-19 .494
Comments: Open second half with Denver and North Dakota, two teams right behind Huskies in standings.
Minnesota State 29-38-21 .449
Comments: Purple Mavericks have second easiest schedule left of the current contenders for MacNaughton Cup. They play only two teams with winning conference records: the Gophers and North Dakota.
Nebraska Omaha 34-46-24 .442
Comments: Red Mavericks play the six teams on bottom of conference, plus Denver and North Dakota.