COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - After finishing the 2011-12 season ranked 10th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, the Miami hockey team will pick up nearly right where it left off as the RedHawks are ranked ninth in the 2012-13 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll, released Monday.
Miami, which is coming off a 24-15-2 season that saw the RedHawks make their seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, earned 203 points in the poll. The 'Hawks are one of five CCHA teams ranked in the poll and are the second-highest among their conference foes behind only No. 3 Michigan. No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 11 Western Michigan and No. 14 Ferris State, last year's national runner-up, are the other CCHA teams ranked.
Boston College, the defending national champions, and Minnesota shared the top spot in the poll, each earning 476 points. The Eagles, however, earned 20 first-place votes to just 12 for the Golden Gophers. Behind the Wolverines, who earned two first-place votes, is North Dakota at No. 4 and Union College at No. 5.
Cornell comes in at No. 6 in the poll, followed by UMass-Lowell, who edged Miami in overtime in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, at No. 7. Denver is just ahead of the RedHawks in eighth with 220 points while the 10th-ranked Irish totaled 186 points, 17 less than Miami.
After the defending Mason Cup champion Broncos at 11, Minnesota-Duluth is ranked 12th followed by Boston University at No. 13. The Bulldogs, who won the CCHA regular season a year ago, and Wisconsin round out the preseason poll in 14th and 15th, respectively. Three other CCHA teams (Michigan State, Ohio State and Northern Michigan) received votes for the poll.
Along with the CCHA's five teams, the WCHA also placed five teams in the poll while Hockey East had three and the ECAC was represented by two teams. In addition to facing the four CCHA teams ranked in the poll, Miami will also play the 15th-ranked Badgers in Madison, Wis. on Jan. 18-19.
The 18th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the five NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey. The next poll will be released Monday, Oct. 8.
For the complete USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll, click here.
Miami opens the 2012-13 season with an exhibition game against Western Ontario on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. before welcoming Colgate Oct. 12-13 to begin the regular season.