Boston College Hockey Starts Season As No. 1 In USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine's Preseason Rankings

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The defending NCAA champions start the season where they left off -- at number 1.

The defending NCAA champion Boston College men's hockey program begins its 2012-13 campaign where it left off -- atop the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll released on Monday. Well, technically, the Eagles only share the nation's No. 1 preseason ranking with Minnesota. Boston College finished with 476 points and 20 (of 34) first-place votes while the Gophers also finished with 476 but just 12 first-place votes. Apparently the pollsters forgot all about BC's drubbing of Minnesota during last year's National semifinal down in Tampa.

Coach York took a minute from polishing his latest Beanpot / Hockey East regular season / Hockey East tournament / National Championship TROPHIES to receive the news that the Eagles will start the season with a bullseye on its back.

The two teams will face one another on the second day of the Mariucci Classic on Sunday, December 30 in Minneapolis.

Here's how the rest of the preseason poll shakes out:

1. Boston College (20)
1. Minnesota (12)
3. Michigan (2)
4. North Dakota
5. Union
6. Cornell
7. UMass-Lowell
8. Denver
9. Miami
10. Notre Dame
11. Western Michigan
12. Minnesota-Duluth
13. Boston University
14. Ferris State
15. Wisconsin

In addition to the game against the Gophers at Mariucci, the Eagles have a total of eight games against teams ranked in the preseason top 25. In addition to three against no. 7 UMass-Lowell and no. 13 Boston University, Boston College will host no. 10 Notre Dame at Conte Forum on Friday, November 10 in non-conference play.

In other preseason ranking news, the Eagles were picked by the media to repeat as Hockey East champs. To the surprise of no one. Boston College received 21 of a possible 25 first-place votes, while last year's runner-up, UMass-Lowell, received three first-place votes (Maine received the other).

The rest of the ballot was as follows:

1. Boston College (21)
2. UMass-Lowell (3)
3. Boston University
4. New Hampshire
5. Providence
6. Maine (1)
7. Merrimack
8. Northeastern
9. Massachusetts
10. Vermont

Boston College also placed two on the preseason All-Hockey East Team -- 2012 NCAA Tournament MVP and sophomore forward Johnny Gaudreau and senior goaltender Parker Milner. Maine senior Joey Diamond, Boston University junior Matt Nieto and UMass-Lowell sophomore Scott Wilson were the other forwards selected. Boston University junior Garrett Noonan and UMass-Lowell junior Chad Ruhwedel were named on defense.

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