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WCHA Notebook: Minnesota falls in the polls after upset loss to Yale

The Golden Gophers fall to No. 5 after losing to Yale, 4-3. Ohio State and Wisconsin stay on top of the polls while Minnesota Duluth drops to No. 8 and St. Cloud State receives votes.

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St. Cloud State goalie Sanni Ahola turned aside a shot by Minnesota forward Taylor Heise during the Gophers 2-1 win over the Huskies on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn / Gopher Sports

Ohio State and Wisconsin are still at the top of the national polls but the rest of the teams in the top 20 were shaken up as the month of November comes to a close. Minnesota fell to No. 5 after a loss to previously fifth-ranked Yale, Minnesota Duluth dropped one spot to No. 8, while St. Cloud State and Minnesota State receive votes.

Recap all of the action and find out what's in store for the first weekend of December for each of the WCHA teams below.

OHIO STATE (#1), 13-1-2 Overall, 12-1-1 Conference:

The Buckeyes remain as the top team in the nation after posting a tie and a win against No. 6 Colgate.

Game one might go down in history as a 3-3 tie, but the Buckeyes technically won the shootout in the seventh round after transfer Makenna Webster found the back of the net.

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Ohio State came out much more dominant in game two, earning it a 6-2 victory. Both Emma Maltais and Jennifer Gardiner had three points apiece.

Fifth-year defender Sophie Jaques earned the WCHA Defender of the Week title for the fifth time this year after the mid-week series, and was also named Defender of the Month for November. Teammate Raygan Kirk earned Goaltender of the Week honors after stopping 30 shots on goal in game two. Jenna Buglioni is the WCHA Forward of the Month as well.

The Buckeyes have a chance to further solidify their position as the No. 1 team in the WCHA and in the nation this weekend in a rematch against Minnesota Duluth. Ohio State previously swept the Bulldogs back in October. Game times are set for Dec. 2 and 3 at 3 p.m. CT in Duluth.

WISCONSIN (#2), 11-2-1 Overall, 8-1-1 Conference:

The Badgers had a week of rest after previously earning a tie and win against rival Minnesota in mid-November.

Wisconsin will be back in action this weekend with plenty of conference points on the line in a road series against Bemidji State.

The Badgers currently sit at third place in the WCHA, four points behind second-ranked Minnesota, while the Beavers are seventh.

Puck drop between UW and BSU is set for Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.

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MINNESOTA (#5), 10-3-2 Overall, 9-1-2-2 Conference:

The Golden Gophers had mixed results this weekend in Nevada as they competed in the Henderson Collegiate Hockey Showcase.

Minnesota had a solid first game, pulling off a 5-1 victory against No. 12 Penn State. Five different players found the back of the net for the maroon and gold.

Unfortunately, game two was much different. The Gophers allowed four goals to No. 5 Yale in the first period, which would end up being the difference in a 4-3 defeat.

Minnesota freshman Madison Kaiser earned WCHA Rookie of the Week honors for her performance over the weekend.

The Gophers drop to No. 5 in this week's polls, but have a chance to earn a pair of wins and some critical conference points this weekend in a home-and-home series against Minnesota State (RV). Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. on Dec. 2 in Minneapolis and 2 p.m. on Dec. 3 in Mankato.

MINNESOTA DULUTH (#8), 10-3-2 Overall, 9-1-2-2 Conference:

The Bulldogs were off this past weekend, taking a break after previously sweeping Harvard the weekend before.

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Minnesota Duluth goaltender Hailey MacLeod earned Rookie of the Month honors for the month of November.

UMD has a huge rematch series coming up to kick off the month of December. Ohio State will travel up north in a top-10 matchup.

The Buckeyes and the Bulldogs met back in October, which resulted in an OSU sweep, but both games were only decided by a single goal (3-2 OT and 3-2).

Ohio State is currently sitting at first place in the WCHA with 37 points, while Minnesota Duluth is in fifth with 15 points — only one behind Minnesota State at 16.

The rematch games are set for Dec. 2 and 3, both at 3 p.m., at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

ST. CLOUD STATE (RV), 9-8 Overall, 4-8 Conference:

The Huskies had a solid weekend sweep of Lindenwood on the road. SCSU outscored the Lions by a total score of 11-4.

St. Cloud won 7-2 in the first matchup, with Jenniina Nylund and Taylor Lind both scoring two goals a piece.

Lindenwood put up more of a fight in game two, but the Huskies still came out with a 4-2 victory.

St. Cloud goaltender Sanni Ahola earned WCHA Goaltender of the Month honors for November, while her teammate Jenniina Nylund earned the Forward of the Week title and was the Howie's Hockey Tape Performer of the Week.

The Huskies will have a rematch series against St. Thomas this weekend. The two teams previously met up in October, which resulted in an SCSU sweep. St. Cloud State currently sits at sixth in the WCHA with 13 points, while St. Thomas still fights to find their first conference point in 2022-23.

Puck drop is set for Dec. 2 in St. Cloud at 3 p.m. and Dec. 3 in Mendota Heights at 2 p.m.

MINNESOTA STATE (RV), 7-7 Overall, 5-7 Conference:

The Mavericks had a rest week over Thanksgiving break after previously sweeping St. Thomas.

Minnesota State has a tough series coming up as they will play a home-and-home series against fifth-ranked Minnesota. The two teams met already earlier this year which resulted in a Gopher sweep by scores of 11-0 and 9-4.

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Minnesota sits at second place in the WCHA while Minnesota State is in fourth. The two teams are 13 points apart.

Game times are set for Dec. 2 in Minneapolis at 6 p.m. and Dec. 3 in Mankato at 2 p.m.

BEMIDJI STATE, 4-13-1 Overall, 1-11 Conference:

The Beavers played a pair of games over the holiday weekend, posting a loss to No. 4 Quinnipiac and a win over unranked Sacred Heart.

Bemidji State couldn't find the back of the net in a 5-0 loss to the Bobcats. Hannah Hogenson stopped 34 of 39 shots on goal.

The next night was much better for BSU in a 4-1 win over the Pioneers. Four different players found the back of the net, and netminder Hogenson gave up only a single goal.

The Beavers have a tough task ahead of them as they will play a home series against No. 2 Wisconsin. The two teams met up back in October, which resulted in a Badger sweep by scores of 8-0 and 7-1.

Puck drop is set for Dec. 2 at 3:01 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2:01 p.m. in Bemidji.

ST. THOMAS, 3-11 Overall, 0-10 Conference:

St. Thomas took a break over Thanksgiving to rest after being swept by Minnesota State the week prior.

The Tommies currently sit at the bottom of the WCHA standings as it is still on the hunt for their first conference point.

UST has a chance to find those very first conference points this weekend in a home-and-home series against St. Cloud State (RV).

The two teams met earlier in the season, which resulted in an SCSU sweep with game scores of 1-4 and 0-4.

Game times are set for Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. in St. Cloud and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. in Mendota Heights.

Related Topics: WOMEN'S HOCKEY
Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and was a part of the University Honors Program.
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