A week after landing in the No. 8 spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine NCAA Division I women’s preseason poll, that’s exactly where Minnesota Duluth was slotted in the USCHO.com preseason poll released on Monday.
The Bulldogs finished 2019-20 at No. 8 in the USCHO poll after going 18-12-6 overall last season and finishing fourth in the WCHA at 11-8-5. UMD returns five of its top six point-getters from last season — including leading scorer Gabbie Hughes — plus Naomi Rogge back from a knee injury after missing all of last year.
Like the other poll, four WCHA teams — including UMD — were ranked in USCHO’s top 10 and in the exact same spots too with Wisconsin at No. 1, Minnesota fourth and Ohio State fifth. The Badgers and No. 2 Cornell both received seven first-place votes while the 15th and final one went to No. 3 Northeastern.
Only the women’s WCHA has announced a schedule for 2020-21 yet, and it’s only a partial schedule for November and December. The Bulldogs drop the puck in less than two weeks on Nov. 20-21 at Minnesota State-Mankato before returning home to host the Gophers over Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 27-28 at Amsoil Arena.