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Wisconsin women’s hockey is preseason No. 1 again

This is the second straight year that the Badgers enter the season as the top ranked team.

NCAA HOCKEY: MAR 22 Div I Women’s Frozen Four - Clarkosn v Wisconsin Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine women’s preseason poll was released on Tuesday and it, correctly, has the Wisconsin Badgers pegged as the No. 1 team in the country. This is the second straight year that the Badgers have achieved this ranking and the sixth time overall.

UW earned nine of the 19 first-place votes and 178 total points, while Cornell, who ended last season at No. 1, checked in at No. 2 with 153 points and seven first-place votes. Northeastern (149 votes, two first place) and WCHA conference mates Minnesota (140 votes, one first place) and Ohio State round out the top-five. Minnesota Duluth, also a WCHA member, clocked in at No. 8 giving the conference 40% of the preseason top-10.

Wisconsin, who finished last season ranked No. 2, won its eighth WCHA regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 14th time in program history before the 2019-20 season was called off due to COVID-19.