UMD, MSU ranked ahead of Gophers; Michigan picked to win Big Ten

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Minnesota's college hockey landscape is once again stacked entering the 2015-16 season.

In the preseason USCHO.com poll released Monday, the Minnesota Gophers are ranked behind the Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks and Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, who came in at No. 2 trailing only Boston College.

Minnesota State is ranked sixth, three spots ahead of the ninth-ranked Gophers.

St. Cloud State came in at No. 17 in the poll.

A record ten teams received at least one first place vote. Boston College led the way with 19 first-place votes followed by UMD (12) and Boston University (6). Providence also got six first-place votes but came in seventh in the poll. Minnesota State and the Gophers each received one vote for the top spot.

Michigan picked to win Big Ten

Despite Minnesota being ranked ahead of Michigan in the USCHO poll, the Wolverines were tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten title this season.

The vote was conducted by Big Ten coaches, who picked Minnesota to finish second. Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin round out the six-team conference order.

Gophers forwards Hudson Fasching and Justin Kloos were picked as preseason players to watch. Fasching was a unanimous selection.

Minnesota opens the season Oct. 10 against Vermont.

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