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Wisconsin women's hockey: Badgers ranked No. 1 in USCHO.com poll

The Badgers jumped ahead of conference rival Minnesota for the first time in more than two years.

Nicole Haase

Sweeping the Ohio State Buckeyes this weekend and opening the season 6-0 while Minnesota faltered against Minnesota-Duluth has put Wisconsin in the driver's seat and garnered 13 of 15 first-place votes in the USCHO.com poll released this week.

The last time Wisconsin was ranked No. 1 in the country was March 5, 2012. That same week is the last time anyone other than Minnesota has been ranked No. 1.

Usurping Minnesota's reign at the top adds extra drama to an already heightened week, as the Badgers will host the Gophers at LaBahn Arena this weekend. The Badgers have not beaten the Gophers since Oct. 14, 2011 -- the teams have tied twice in that span, but have also lost 13 times. Wisconsin's senior class had played five games in the red and white when the last win against Minnesota happened. They're now looking to finish their Badger careers in a similar fashion.

It should be a good matchup, as the Badgers have out-scored their opponents 30-4 in the first six games of the season. Senior Karley Sylvester leads the country with 12 points and freshman Annie Pankowski is second with 11. Redshirt senior Brittany Ammerman is tied for third with nine points.

Wisconsin hosts Minnesota at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5 and are expected so sell out, so buy them in advance.