The Gophers men's and women's hockey teams find themselves atop the preseason college hockey polls to start the 2014-15 season.
According to the Star Tribune, it's the first time the Gophers have been picked atop a preseason national poll since 2003. Last week the Big Ten also picked Minnesota as the preseason favorite to win the conference for a second consecutive year (the second year of the Big Ten hockey conference).
Minnesota returns much of its firepower from last season. Forwards Kyle Rau and Sam Warning are back along with defensemen Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly. They also return goaltender Adam Wilcox, who was last year's the Big Ten Player of the Year and the Big Ten Goalie of the Year.
North Dakota, Providence, Boston College and Union made up the top five in the USCHO poll, while Colgate was preseason ranked fifth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.
The Gophers weren't the only team from Minnesota to be ranked though.
- St. Cloud State was seventh in the USCHO.com poll and sixth in the USA Today poll.
- Minnesota State was ranked 13th in both polls.
- Minnesota Duluth also received votes in both rankings.
The Gopher women topped the same two preseason polls last week.
Minnesota had 146 points and received 12 of 15 first place votes in the USHCO poll, followed by Wisconsin (117), Boston College (112), Harvard (98), Cornell (94). The top five was nearly identical in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, but Boston University edged out Cornell.
The Gopher women were also the preseason favorite to win the Western College Hockey Association this season.
Also like the Gopher men, the Gopher women finished as the NCAA runner up last season. They were beaten by Clarkson, in the championship.