How do you know college hockey season is right around the corner? The USCHO.com preseason poll is released.
Preseason polls are entertaining because votes are often all over the map. (And I don't put myself above the "all over the map" comment regarding my ballot either.)
Boston College came in as No. 1 in the poll with 19 first-place votes followed by Minnesota-Duluth with 12. Those programs were 1-2 on my ballot as well. I gave BC the edge but I really like Duluth. I mean I really like Duluth. If they can be more consistent the Bulldogs have an excellent shot at a national title.
Eight other schools received first-place votes: Boston University and defending national champ Providence each got six. Two came in for UMass-Lowell while North Dakota, Minnesota State, Harvard, Minnesota and Miami all received one first-place vote each.
I gave a nod to Atlantic Hockey favorite Robert Morris at No. 20 on my ballot. The Colonials return a ton and have a chip on their shoulder from losing in the semifinals last season to miss the NCAA tournament. Right now, I think they are capable of playing with some of the best in the country on most nights. In the national poll, they were the first among those receiving votes with 63 points.
RIT also was in the receiving points category with 39.
My preseason ballot:
1. Boston College
3. Boston University
4. Minnesota State
8. Michigan Tech
11. North Dakota
17. St. Cloud State
18. Bowling Green
19. St. Lawrence
20. Robert Morris