The Miami University hockey team has been tabbed as the No. 2 team in the nation according to the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine 19th Annual Preaseason Poll. Massachusetts-Lowell is the top-ranked team in the country with 20 of the 34 first-place votes.
Miami boasted a record of 25-12-5 last season on its way to an eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, including a first-round win over Minnesota State, which is ranked 10th in College Hockey News’ poll. The RedHawks also captured the final CCHA regular-season championship last year.
Miami returns a strong freshman class from last season led by goaltenders Ryan McKay and Jay Williams and CCHA Rookie of the Year/First Team All-CCHA selection Riley Barber. McKay set Miami single-season records for goals-against average (1.39), which was second nationally, and save percentage (.946), while Williams ranked sixth all-time at Miami in both categories. Barber led all rookies in the NCAA last year with 39 points, including a team-best 15 goals. The RedHawks also return junior All-American and newly-named captain Austin Czarnik, who was the CCHA Player of the Year and a Hobey Baker finalist last season after leading the league with 40 points. Overall, Miami returns 20 players from last season, including 17 letterwinners.
The entire USA Today poll is listed below
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (First-place votes in parentheses)
1 University of Massachusetts Lowell, 484 (20)
2 Miami University, 444 (9)
3 University of Wisconsin, 364 (1)
4 Boston College, 359
5 University of Minnesota, 347
6 University of North Dakota, 300
7 University of Notre Dame, 285
8 Yale University, 269
9 St. Cloud State University, 230
10 University of Michigan, 167
11 Quinnipiac University, 135
12 Union College, 124
13 University of New Hampshire, 116
14 Minnesota State University, 110
15 Providence College, 103
Others receiving votes: Rensselaer, 80; University of Denver, 74; Cornell University, 32; Western Michigan University, 28; Niagara University, 12; Merrimack College, 8; Boston University, 4; Ferris State University, 4; Michigan Tech University, 1.