The first USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 poll has been released, and we have a tie atop the rankings.
The defending national champions from Boston College and the team they beat in the national semifinals a year ago, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, each received 476 total votes from the voting panel. The Eagles get the nod for the top spot by virtue of their 20 first-place votes (the Gophers received 12).
Jerry York’s Eagles will look to win their fourth title in six years and reach their ninth Frozen Four since the year 2000. In third place are the Michigan Wolverines, who received 408 votes and the other two first-place votes. The Wolverines are just one point ahead of the perennial powers from North Dakota. Union, fresh off the school’s first appearance in the Frozen Four, sits fifth, with Cornell, UMass-Lowell, Denver, Miami and Notre Dame rounding out the top 10.
Western Michigan, Minnesota Duluth, Boston University, Ferris State and Wisconsin were slotted 11-15 in the poll. Harvard, Maine, Quinnipiac, Michigan State, Colorado College, New Hampshire, Ohio State, St. Cloud State, Merrimack, Providence, Yale, Air Force, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech all received at least one vote.
Prior to the season, which kicks off in October, we’ll break down each team in Division I and keep an eye on Division III and the women’s side of things as well.