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Wisconsin women's hockey: Badgers No. 2 in USCHO and WCHA coaches poll

Clarkson was the first non-WCHA team to win the national championship, but preseason polls don't expect that trend to continue.

Two preseason college women's hockey polls peg Minnesota and Wisconsin to finish Nos. 1 and 2, both in the country and within their league.

The Badgers finished third in the nation last season behind national champion Clarkson and WCHA rival Minnesota. Wisconsin lost the national semifinal to Minnesota.

In the USCHO.com poll, Minnesota received 12 first-place votes. Harvard, Boston University and Clarkson each received one first-place nod. Wisconsin did not receive any.

WCHA conference foe North Dakota makes the poll at No. 8 and Minnesota Duluth rounds it out, tied for 10th with Quinnipiac.

In the WCHA coaches poll, Minnesota was picked to repeat as champion, while Wisconsin was chosen to place second. The Badgers did receive two first-place nods in this poll. In a bit of a surprise, the coaches think Minnesota-Duluth will finish ahead of North Dakota.

The rest of the poll has Ohio State at No. 5, Minnesota State at No. 6, Bemidji State at No. 7 and St. Cloud State finishing in last place.

The Badgers haven't beaten Minnesota since October 2011, and they will face them at home in an early-season test Oct. 17-18. The gap between the two programs may have been wider when Amanda Kessel was expected to suit back up for the Gophers, but with Kessel suffering from lingering concussion symptoms and the Badgers ushering in one of the most highly touted recruiting classes in recent memory, the top of the WCHA and therefore the top of women's hockey may be up for grabs.