The first men’s college hockey poll of the year is out and Wisconsin will open
the season ranked 15th, according to the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Preseason Poll.
The Badgers, who spent the entire 2011-12 season outside the top 15, appear in the poll for the first time since Feb. 21, 2011, when they were ranked No. 14.
Wisconsin opens the upcoming season returning 15 of its top 16 scorers, as well as its two goaltenders, while adding a small, but talented freshman class.
Defending NCAA champion Boston College shares the preseason No. 1 ranking with Minnesota, who the Eagles defeated in the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four semifinals. Rounding out the top five teams in the poll are Michigan at No. 3, fourth-ranked North Dakota and No. 5 Union.
The Badgers open their home schedule at the Kohl Center on Saturday, Oct. 6 with an exhibition contest against the U.S. Under-18 Team at 8 p.m. Wisconsin begins the regular season a week later, with a two-game road series against Northern Michigan in Green Bay at the Resch Center on Oct. 12 and 13.