The defending national champion Wisconsin women’s hockey team will start the year as the No. 1 team in women’s college hockey according to the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women’s College Hockey Preseason Poll.
The Badgers grabbed the top ranking after collecting 190 points and all 19 first-place votes after a 34-2-5 record last season and the school’s third NCAA title in four years.
Last year’s national runner-up Mercyhurst College ranks second with the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Duluth holding down the 3 and 4 spots.
Wisconsin opens the 2009-10 season at home this Friday and Saturday nights against North Dakota. The Badgers will unveil the 2009 National Championship banner before the start of the game.