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

    Umass Amherst sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee (21) skates up ice while followed by sophomore right winger John Leonard (9) in the third period against Princeton at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Massachusetts on November 24, 2018. UMass defeated Princeton 3-2 in overtime. Matthew Healey for The Boston Globe
    Matthew Healey for the Globe
    Sophomore Mitchell Chaffee had two goals and two assists in UMass’s 7-4 win over UConn.

    For the first time in the history of the program, the UMass men’s hockey team is ranked No. 1 in the country.

    The Minutemen received 26 of 50 first-place votes in the latest USCHO Division 1 poll, released Monday.

    They improved to 12-1 with a 7-4 win over Connecticut 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.

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    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 November for UMass, the first time the Minutemen went undefeated over a one-month stretch since December 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 3 out of 4 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.

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    Boston College took 3 out of 4 points against Boston University over the weekend, but neither team has been ranked in the Top 20 since Oct. 15.

    Related: ‘I’m sure we surprised a lot of people’: How UMass hockey turned it around

    Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.