Ah, the perks of being a nationally recognized program. No matter if your record is just a shade above .500, string together back-to-back good weekends and you're back in the polls.

Case in point, the Minnesota men's hockey team is No. 20 in this week's USCHO.com poll following a three-point weekend against Wisconsin at the hostile Kohl Center. It was the Gophers' first series without a loss since taking three points at home from Minnesota-Duluth on Dec. 10-12, and moved them into position to claim the final home-ice spot for the WCHA playoffs, one point clear of No. 19 Colorado College.

Regardless of whether Minnesota actually deserves to be ranked, it is certainly playing its best hockey of the season. With conference doormat Michigan Tech coming to Mariucci this weekend, the Gophers can put some distance between themselves and the Tigers, who host 7th-ranked UMD, and perhaps pass up the Badgers, whom they trail in the WCHA standings by a point.