USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll: Wisconsin opens preseason ranked No. 3

Michael Mersch returning for his senior season is a big reason why expectations are high in Madison. - Larry Radloff Photography

On the heels of being voted to win the Big Ten, Wisconsin is ranked No. 3 in the nation to start the season by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine.

Early expectations continue to grow for the Wisconsin hockey team, as another news outlet has high praise for the Badgers. This time around, it's the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, which ranks Wisconsin No. 3 in its preseason poll.

The Badgers received 364 points in the poll, behind No. 2 Miami (444) and No. 1 UMass-Lowell (484). Wisconsin received one first-place vote, while Lowell received 20 and Miami nine. Defending national champion Yale received four first-place votes.

The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey.

Last week, the Badgers were named the preseason favorites to win the new Big Ten Hockey conference as voted on by the league's coaches. Previous to that, the Badgers were ranked No. 3 in the nation by College Hockey News and No. 5 by Let's Play Hockey.

Three Big Ten schools are ranked in the top 10. Along with Wisconsin, Minnesota is ranked No. 5 and Michigan checks in at No. 10.

Wisconsin opens its season Oct. 11 vs. Northern Michigan at the Kohl Center.

Full 2013 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll

1. UMass Lowell, 484 (20) 3
2. Miami, 444 (9)
3. Wisconsin, 364 (1) 13
4. Boston College, 359 8
5. Minnesota, 347 5
6. North Dakota, 300 7
7. Notre Dame, 285 9
8. Yale, 269 (4) 1
9. St. Cloud State, 230 4
10. Michigan, 167 NR
11. Quinnipiac, 135 2
12. Union, 124 10
13. New Hampshire, 116 11
14. Minnesota State, 110 12
15. Providence, 103 NR

Others receiving votes: Rensselaer, 80; Denver, 74; Cornell, 32; Western Michigan, 28; Niagara, 12; Merrimack, 8; Boston University, 4; Ferris State, 4; Michigan Tech, 1.

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