Men's hockey opens season No. 6

Badgers one of five WCHA teams among top eight

Wisconsin is the No. 6 team in the nation in the preseason USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine top 15 poll, released Monday afternoon.

The Badgers finished last season ranked eighth after a 22-13-8 season that ended with an overtime loss to Maine in the national quarterfinals. Wisconsin returns 19 players from that team.

Wisconsin received two first-place votes and 289 points overall. Boston College is the preseason No. 1, with 449 points and nine first-place votes. Michigan claimed the most firsts (16) and is No. 2 overall with 441 points.

The top half of the poll is dominated by teams in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. In addition to Wisconsin, North Dakota (No. 3), Minnesota-Duluth (5), defending national champion Denver (7) and Minnesota (8) grace the rankings.

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