U's women's hockey team moves into No. 1 spotMinnesota Sports
-- The University of Minnesota women's hockey team is the new No. 1 team in the nation.
MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota women's hockey team is the new No. 1 team in the nation.
The Golden Gophers knocked off previously top-ranked Wisconsin over the weekend with a 1-0 win on Saturday. The team's skated to 1-1 tie on Friday. Minnesota is 18-3-1, while the Badgers are 19-2-1. Minnesota-Duluth is ranked eighth in this week's poll, while Bemidji State is the No. 9 women's team in the country.
Minnesota-Duluth remains the top-ranked men's college hockey team in the country. The defending national champion Bulldogs are 14-3-3 and swept No. 8 Western Michigan over the weekend. UMD is a unanimous choice this week, garnering all 50 first-place votes in the USCHO.com poll. Minnesota is ranked fifth this week.
The MIAC has named its weekly award winners in men's and women's hockey. Gustavus Adolphus freshman goaltender John McLean of Eagan is the men's Athlete of the Week. He helped net the Gusties three non-conference wins in recent weeks. Augsburg freshman forward Rachel Hennessy of Williston, North Dakota is the female honoree.
The Minnesota Wild are back on the ice this evening as they host the San Jose Sharks at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Wild have dropped 11 of their last 12 games and are coming off a 3-1 setback at Calgary on Saturday to fall to 21-15-6 on the season. Minnesota departs on a four-game road swing starting on Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Former Wild head coach Todd Richards will make his debut behind the Blue Jackets bench tonight in Chicago. Columbus fired head coach Scott Arniel today and named Richards interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The 45-year-old Crystal, Minnesota native went 77-71-16 in two seasons as head coach of the Wild. Richards was hired by the Blue Jackets last June as an assistant coach. He played four years at the University of Minnesota and is the Gophers all-time leading scorer among defenseman.