UMass vaults to the top spot in men’s hockey poll

It's the first time in the history of the program.

UMass hockey
Umass Amherst sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee skates up ice while followed by sophomore right winger John Leonard. –Matthew Healey for The Boston Globe

For the first time in the history of the program, the UMass men’s hockey team is ranked No. 1 in the country, receiving 26 first-place votes in the USCHO’s Division 1 men’s poll.

The Minutemen improved to 12-1 with a 7-4 win over UConn Friday night, scoring four goals in the third period to break a 3-3 tie. Sophomore Mitchell Chaffee and freshman Bobby Trivigno each scored twice in the win.

That victory, combined with St. Cloud State tying a pair of games with Miami and Minnesota Duluth losing to North Dakota, allowed UMass to vault from No. 3 to the top spot. St. Cloud State (11-1-2) dropped to No. 2, with Minnesota State moving up to No. 3 and Minnesota Duluth falling to the fourth spot.

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The win over UConn also capped a 7-0 month for UMass in November, the first time the Minutemen went undefeated over a one-month stretch since December of 1970. UMass defeated three ranked teams in November as it stretched its winning streak to nine games, a program record and the longest active streak in the nation.

St. Cloud State held on to the top spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, with UMass moving up to No. 2.

UMass will be back in action this weekend for a home-and-home series with No. 8 Quinnipiac, which improved to 13-2 with a sweep of Princeton last weekend.

Providence took three out of four points against UNH to remain in the 10th spot in both polls. Northeastern, which handed St. Cloud State its only loss of the season in October, defeated Merrimack to move up to No. 12 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, and remain at 13 in USCHO’s rankings. Boston College took three out of four points against Boston University over the weekend, but neither team has been ranked in the Top 20 since Oct. 15.

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