Minnesota Earns Preseason No. 1 Ranking
Sept. 17, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team earned the preseason No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women’s College Hockey Poll, released by USA Hockey on Tuesday.
Minnesota received 179 points and 18 first-place votes in the preseason poll. The Gophers are followed by Boston College (160 points, one first-place) and Clarkson (106 points) to round out the top three. Three Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) teams are ranked in the top 10 as the Gophers are joined by No. 5 North Dakota and No. 7 Wisconsin.
En route to recording a perfect 41-0-0 season in 2012-13, the Gopher women’s hockey team was the unanimous No. 1 selection each week last season. Minnesota begins the 2013-14 season riding a 49-game winning streak, looking to defend back-to-back national titles.
ECAC Hockey and Hockey East Association each have three teams in the preseason rankings, while College Hockey America has one ranked program. A total of 16 teams received votes, including conference foes Minnesota Duluth (eight) and Ohio State University (four) among the teams receiving votes outside the top 10.
The 17th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the four NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey.
Minnesota opens play with a pair of exhibition games against Team Japan on Thursday, Sept. 26 and the University of British Columbia on Friday, Sept. 27. Admission is free to both games. The Gophers begin the regular season on the road at Colgate Oct. 4-5 before hosting WCHA rival Wisconsin in their home-opening series at Ridder Arena Oct. 11-12.
Others receiving votes: Minnesota Duluth, 8; Darmouth, 4; Ohio State, 4; St. Lawrence, 3; Quinnipiac, 2; Providence, 1.