The Gophers continue to improve their standing in the college hockey polls, jumping two spots to No. 15 in the USCHO rankings on Monday.

Their seven-game unbeaten streak ended Saturday night with a 4-3 overtime loss to Penn State, but the Gophers won the series opener 2-1. The Gophers were alone at the top of the Big Ten standings after Friday night’s victory, however Penn State’s overtime rally and wins by Michigan and Michigan State on Saturday kept the standings stuck where they were a week ago.

The Gophers and Michigan share first place, and Penn State and Michigan State are just two points behind with three weekends to go in the regular season.

Michigan fell to No. 17 after splitting with Ohio State.

North Dakota remains at No. 1 with Minnesota State Mankato, Michigan Tech, Boston University and Miami rounding out the top five. Minnesota Duluth is No. 6.

The Gophers also continue to improve in the PairWise rankings and are now tied for 10th. They return to Mariucci Arena this week for a Thursday-Friday series against Michigan State.

• Single-session tickets for the WCHA Final Five are now available for the league’s championship tournament March 20-21 at Xcel Energy Center. Tickets are $35 and Friday’s session includes both semifinal games. The championship will be Saturday.


United adds midfielder

The Minnesota United padded their midfield depth Monday, announcing the signing of Brazilian midfielder Ibson to a three-year deal. Ibson, 31, becomes the ninth midfielder on the team, days after the club signed Ghanian Kalif Alhassan.

Ibson has been transitioning into a more defensive midfielder role.

“He’s got an ability to play box to box on a soccer field,” United coach Manny Lagos said. “He’ll contribute a lot defensively, positionally in the middle of the field … and then he certainly is someone that can get forward in gaps in the attack.”


• Erica Meyer, who batted .600 in five softball games over the weekend for the Gophers, was chosen co-Big Ten player of the week with Michigan’s Kelsey Susalla.

• The Gophers men’s golf team is in 12th place entering the final round of the 15-team Puerto Rico Classic.