MINNEAPOLIS Heading into last weekend, the Minnesota Gophers hockey team had earned the No. 1 ranking in the country based on impressive wins against Boston College (then ranked No. 1) and Notre Dame (No. 2 at the time) but wasn't even leading its own conference.
In its final season in the WCHA, Minnesota didn't take the lead in the conference until last Friday's win against North Dakota and then held onto a share of first place after a tie on Saturday night. In all, seven teams were within three points of the lead in the WCHA, with the Gophers and St. Cloud tied at the top with 22 points.
Losses such as Friday night at home to Minnesota Stateshouldn't come as a shock to followers of the WCHA. But losses like Minnesota's 2-1 loss also become tougher to withstand.
Minnesota State's Brett Knowles scored with 44 seconds left to give the Mavericks (16-8-3, 10-8-1 WCHA) a 2-1 road win against the Gophers on Friday and pushed top-ranked Minnesota (17-4-4, 9-4-4) into second place and ...