Last time Gophers near top of national ratings was almost 3 years ago
October 31, 2011 — 2:26pm
The last time the Gophers men's hockey team was as high as No. 5 in the national ratings -- which they are this week in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll -- was in late January 2009.
They were rated No. 5 going into the Minnesota State Mankato series on Jan. 30 and 31 and lost both games to the Mavericks 6-2, 3-1. That dropped them to No. 9 and they lost twice to Wisconsin 3-2, 5-4 the following weekend. They were never higher than No. 11 after that.
The Gophers are 7-1-0 this season and leading the nation in scoring, averaging just over five goals per game. They also started well in 2008-09 and were unbeaten through 11 games (7-0-4). They finished that season 17-13-7, meaning they were 10-13-3 after that fast start.
After a 6-0-3 start in WCHA in 2008-09, their final record was barely above .500 at 12-11-5, which put them in fifth place.
Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow @RomanStrib on Twitter. E-mail Roman.