September 24, 2012

BC, Minnesota tie for top spot in USA Today preseason poll

By Jesse Connolly

The first men's college hockey poll from USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine was released on Monday, and it looks like the BC Eagles will pick up right where they left off. 

The defending national champs, fresh off their third title in the last five season, will begin the year in a tie for the No. 1 spot alongside Minnesota. BC received a total of 476 points, garnering 20 first-place votes. Minnesota had 12 first-place votes.

The Eagles, who went 33-10-1 in 2011-12, finished the campaign on a 19-game winning streak. The team they beat to earn that 19th victory in the finals of the Frozen Four, Ferris State, placed 14th on the list.

Norm Bazin's River Hawks came in seventh after finishing 24-13-1 last season. The BU Terriers (23-15-1 last year) ranked 13th. 

Harvard was the top runner-up with 58 points. Six other teams from New England received votes: Maine (24), Quinnipiac (24), UNH (17), Merrimack (7), Providence College (6), Yale (6).

Boston College will begin the regular season on Oct. 13 when they visit Northeastern.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.