College Hockey:
Wolverines Top USCHO Preseason Poll

— The Michigan Wolverines have been picked as the preseason number-one team in the USCHO.com men’s Division I Poll. Michigan earned 17 of 40 first-place votes in securing the preseason nod.

Michigan finished 2003-04 with a 27-14-2 record, claiming the CCHA regular-season championship and reaching the NCAA tournament for the 14th consecutive year.

The Wolverines lost Dwight Helminen to the professional ranks in the offseason, but goaltender Al Montoya decided to return to college after being drafted in the first round by the New York Rangers.

Maine, the NCAA runner-up last season, landed in second place by garnering nine first-place votes. Fellow Hockey East member Boston College received two first-place votes and was picked third.

Minnesota-Duluth, a Frozen Four participant last season, begins a run of WCHA teams in the poll. The Bulldogs received four first-place votes to come in fourth and are followed by North Dakota, which claimed two first-place votes. Minnesota is in sixth, defending NCAA Champion Denver debuts in seventh, and Wisconsin comes in eighth. The Pioneers received four first-place votes while the Badgers got one.

Michigan State was ranked ninth and New Hampshire, which also tallied a first-place vote, rounds out the top ten.

The first ECAC school, Dartmouth, makes an appearance at No. 11, followed by Ohio State, and then Cornell in 13th. Colorado College and Miami round out the preseason Top 15 teams for 2004-05.

15 other schools also received votes.

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