Senior defenseman Kyle Lawson and the Irish will start the season ranked fifth in the nation according to the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine preseason poll.

Irish Ranked Fifth In First Preseason Poll For 2009-10 Season

Sept. 28, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team, coming off a 2008-09 season that saw them turn in a 31-6-3 overall record, win the CCHA regular season and postseason championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year, will open the 2009-10 campaign ranked fifth in the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine preseason poll that was released today.

The Irish, who were 21-4-3-3 in the CCHA a year ago, were ranked behind Miami (OH), Denver, Boston University and Michigan in the opening poll. The RedHawks, who lost in the 2009 NCAA title game to Boston University, received four of 34 first-place votes and received 457 points. The Denver Pioneers received 13 first-place votes and had two fewer points than Miami with 455. Boston University had 12 first-place votes and 438 points while Michigan had no first-place votes and 384 points.

The Irish received the final five first-place ballots and finished the voting with 370 points.

Rounding out the top 10 teams were Minnesota (6th), Cornell (7th), North Dakota (8th), Princeton (9) and UMass-Lowell in 10th.

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association had just Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame ranked in the top 15 with all three starting the year ranked in the top five.

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) placed five teams in the top 15 with Hockey East having four, the CCHA with three and the ECACHL with three teams.

For Notre Dame, this marks the third consecutive year and the fifth year overall that the Irish have opened in the preseason polls. Last year, the Irish were selected third in the preseason and were eighth in the 2007-08 poll. The other two times came in 1972-73 (8th) and 1973-74 when they were picked second in the preseason poll.

Over the last two seasons, Notre Dame has been ranked in the national polls every week of the season and has been ranked in 58 consecutive weeks as the Irish head into the start of the 2009-10 campaign. They finished last year ranked fourth in the final USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine poll.

The Irish open the 2009-10 season on Friday, Oct. 9 when they open a weekend series with the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers at Notre Dame’s Joyce Center.

          The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey Poll (Preseason)
2008-09 Final `08-'09 School Record Pts Rank
1. Miami (OH) (4) 23-13-5 457 22. Denver (13) 23-12-5 455 73. Boston University (12) 35-6-4 438 14. Michigan 29-12-0 384 55. Notre Dame (5) 31-6-3 370 46. Minnesota 17-13-7 270 NR7. Cornell 22-10-4 254 128. North Dakota 24-15-4 227 139. Princeton 22-12-1 223 1510. UMass-Lowell 20-16-2 175 NR11. Yale 24-8-2 149 1012. Boston College 18-14-5 117 NR13. St. Cloud State 18-17-3 106 NR14. Wisconsin 20-16-4 80 NR15. Vermont 22-12-5 73 3
Receiving votes: New Hampshire, 71; Minnesota-Duluth, 64; Ohio State, 60;Air Force, 43; Northern Michigan, 31; Colorado College, 8; Northeastern, 8;Bemidji State, 6; Harvard, 3; Mercyhurst, 3; Niagara, 3; St. Lawrence, 2.