Minnesota State Mankato, leading the nation in victories (16-4-1), is the nation's top-ranked men's hockey team for the first time in program history. The Mavericks of the WCHA ascended to the top spot in the USCHO poll after a weekend sweep of Lake Superior State and an 11-1-1 stretch since Nov. 7.

The Gophers, meanwhile, tumbled to 16th, after getting swept by Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Minnesota is the top-ranked Big Ten team, but it has a 1-2-1-0 record in conference. The Gophers, 3-6-1 in their past 10, will look to get back to winning this weekend with Wisconsin coming to Mariucci Arena. The Badgers have won just twice all season.

The Mavericks jumped Boston University (No. 2), North Dakota (3) and Harvard (4) in the polls. Minnesota Duluth rounds out the top five.

The Gophers and Mavericks will meet Jan. 23 at the North Star College Cup at Xcel Energy Center. UMD and Bemidji State round out that four-team field.

Staff reports