The Minnesota Golden Gophers’ men’s hockey will open their 2015-16 season on Saturday at home against Vermont, and they got some preseason accolades on Monday. In a top-15 ranking done by USA Today and USA Hockey Magazine, the Golden Gophers are ranked No. 8 and they are the highest-ranking Big Ten team in that preseason poll. Michigan is the only other Big Ten squad that was ranked in the poll, coming in at No. 13.
Minnesota received 242 total votes and one first-place vote in the poll of coaches and reporters each of the six Division I conferences. Other teams with some local interest that were ranked in the poll are Minnesota-Duluth (No. 3), North Dakota (No. 4) and Minnesota State-Mankato (No.9). Another Minnesota school that received votes in this poll, but fell out of the top-15, is St. Cloud State (35 votes).