The Wisconsin women’s hockey team was picked to win the WCHA in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches.
The defending WCHA regular season and tournament champions, UW earned 48 points and six first-place votes, while Minnesota collected 44 points and a pair of first-place votes to finish second.
North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth were picked to finish third and fourth respectively.
Wisconsin won the WCHA last season for the fifth time in program history, finishing 24-3-1-1 in league play. The Badgers went on to win the WCHA tournament title for a second-straight season before bowing out in the semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four in Durham, New Hampshire.
Senior goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens, the 2016 USCHO Player of the Year, was selected as the conference’s preseason player of the year after winning the WCHA Player of the Year honor last year.
Wisconsin opens the 2016-17 season on the road at St. Cloud State on Sept. 23-24.