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Ahead of rivalry series, Wisconsin Badgers pass Minnesota for top spot in national women's hockey rankings
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UW WOMEN'S HOCKEY

Ahead of rivalry series, Wisconsin Badgers pass Minnesota for top spot in national women's hockey rankings

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Daryl Watts photo

Daryl Watts and the Badgers host Minnesota on Friday and Saturday.

The University of Wisconsin women's hockey team and Minnesota have traded the top two spots in the national rankings again, with the Badgers going ahead in time for a Border Battle series.

UW moved up to No. 1 in the USCHO.com Division I women's poll on Monday with eight of 15 first-place votes after Minnesota lost to Ohio State on Friday.

The Badgers, who were idle last weekend, host the No. 2 Golden Gophers on Friday and Saturday at LaBahn Arena. They will be the seventh and eighth straight games that the rivals have played against each other while occupying the top two spots in the USCHO poll.

Minnesota took over the top spot last Monday after the Badgers stumbled at Bemidji State on Jan. 11.

Defending NCAA champion UW started the season at No. 1 until it suffered a loss and tie at No. 2 Minnesota on Nov. 2-3. The Badgers went back to the top in the 15-voter panel on Dec. 2.

The upcoming series between UW (21-2-1, 11-2-1-0 WCHA) and Minnesota (20-2-3, 12-2-2-1) will go a long way in deciding the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season champion. The first-place Gophers hold a five-point lead over the second-place Badgers, who have two games in hand.

UW also holds the No. 1 spot in the PairWise Rankings, which mimic the selection and seeding processes for the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State stayed at No. 5 in the poll after splitting with Minnesota. Minnesota Duluth moved up one spot to ninth.

See the full rankings here.

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