ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The St. Cloud State Huskies are the new No. 1-ranked team in the latest college hockey polls.
"It's hard not to notice it, there's a lot of noise surrounding it," said Huskies forward Grant Cruikshank of the recent rankings. "We feel like it doesn't matter where we sit in the rankings, we just want to get better."
"I told the boys earlier today to tune out any of the outside noise. The only number that we care about is at the end of the year," said St. Cloud State head coach Brett Larson.
The Huskies are coming off a weekend sweep of third-ranked Denver over the weekend, improving to 18-6 so far this season.
The team has found a special balance throughout the lineup. Seven players have at least 17 points this season.
"That's what I really like about the team, we are not a one-man show by any means," said Larson.
"It's nice to have depth throughout the lineup. We have a lot of guys that can score. We have a lot of guys step up on any given night, which has been huge for us," said Huskies defenseman Jack Peart, who was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2021.
That balance shows up in between the pipes as well, both goalies Jaxon Castor and Dominic Basse each have nine wins and a combined 1.8 goals against average.
"You've got two goalies that are playing well. They're pushing each other, I think that's created a really healthy competition," said Larson.
St. Cloud State has won three in a row, and 11 of 14.
"We love getting to be with one another," said Peart. "We love getting to practice and work to get better, and that's what I think makes this team special."
The Huskies made it the National Championship game in 2021, where they fell to UMass, a loss that continues to serve as a motivator for this year's team.
"For us, that's a huge motivator. I don't know if there's anything more painful than getting that close and having it snatched away from you," said Larson.
"I think we do recognize that we really do have a special group and really make our mark here. We want to win a National Championship, it's something that's never been done here," said Cruikshank.
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