The Minnesota Gophers are tied with the Boston College Eagles atop the preseason NCAA hockey rankings from USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine.
Minnesota were the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular season and MacNaughton Cup champions last season; they advanced to the Frozen Four before losing to eventual champs Boston College, 6-1 in the semifinals. The Gophers finished the season ranked No. 4 in the nation with a 28-14-1 record.
Boston College received 20 first-place votes to only 12 for the Gophers, but both teams tied with 476 total points in the rankings. The Gophers share the top preseason ranking with the team that eliminated them last season because Minnesota returns an impressive six of their top seven scorers.
Minnesota and Boston College are followed in the rankings by Michigan at No.3 and the Gophers' WCHA rival North Dakota at No. 4; Union College rounds out the top 5. Minnesota will get a chance to take on co-No. 1 Boston College in an early game of the Mariucci Classic, held over the holidays.
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