The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team was among many teams in the “receiving votes” category of the preseason USCHO.com poll that was released on Monday. The Badgers clocked in at No. 25, five spots out of the final position in the poll which traditionally only ranks 20 teams.
#Badgers receiving votes in preseason USCHO poll. 9th Penn State, 10th Ohio State, 12th Michigan, 14th Minnesota, 2020/21 Honorary B1G member 15th Arizona State and 20th Notre Dame all ranked for the @B1GHockey pic.twitter.com/G0dQD46iHC— BOOky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) October 26, 2020
As stated in the tweet above, the Big Ten Conference was well represented in the first rankings featuring five teams, and an honorary sixth member as well:
- No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions
- No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes
- No. 12 Michigan Wolverines
- No. 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers
- No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devils (honorary B1G this year)
- No. 20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The preseason No. 1 team is the loathsome North Dakota Fighting Hawks, who finished last year at No. 2, while Boston College, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State and Denver round out the top-five. No. 6 Cornell, who ended last year as the top ranked team, received the second most first place votes with four.
We are all still waiting for the final Big Ten schedule to be released, but Badgers radio announcer Brian Posick said that the season will be starting on Nov. 13 and that Wisconsin will be starting that day, along with Michigan, Minnesota and Notre Dame.
Confirmed by @TonyGranato The @BadgerMHockey season will start the season on November 13th. Michigan, Minnesota and Norte Dame will start that day too. Matchups and sites could be announced this week.— Brian Posick (@brian_posick) October 26, 2020
The Daily Gopher mentioned in their preseason rankings post that: “It is expected that the schedule will look a bit different this season to both try and cut down on travel for teams and to maximize the potential available tv windows. It has been rumored that the Big Ten will be looking at weird gamedays and starting times to achieve this goal.”
The men’s hockey team will be playing all of their home games at LaBahn Arena, the home of the women’s hockey team, this year. “There are a few different reasons to do this, but without fans at our games, we think LaBahn Arena will help create the best possible game atmosphere for our team,” head coach Tony Granato said.
We'll be starting our 2020-21 season in LaBahn Arena— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) October 26, 2020
Thanks for sharing @Badgerwhockey and thanks to @caleklein1 and crew for working your magic over the weekend
Looking forward to when we get to play in front of fans at the Kohl Center againhttps://t.co/kNEk9G71Gr pic.twitter.com/3Bqo1g97Vz
The Badgers will begin the season without fans at its home games. Should that change during the season, Wisconsin could move its games back to the Kohl Center. LaBahn Arena can hold 2,273 fans while the Kohl Center holds 15,359 for hockey.
It should be noted that there have not been any updates from the WCHA regarding the women’s hockey schedule but, obviously, we will keep you posted once those details are announced.