Sept. 22, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team, coming off a 2007-08 season that saw them advance to the NCAA Frozen Four and the national championship game, open the 2008-09 campaign ranked third in the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine preseason poll that was released today.
The Irish, who were 27-16-4 overall last season, were ranked behind Boston College and Michigan in the opening poll. The Eagle, who defeated Notre Dame in the national championship game in April, received 27 of the 34 first-place votes, good for a total of 490 points. Michigan picked up four first-place votes and recorded 432 points. The Irish received no first-place votes and checked in with 376 votes. North Dakota, with one first-place vote and 371 points and Colorado College with two firsts and 355 points round out the top five.
Rounding out the top 10 teams were Denver (6th), New Hampshire (7th), Miami (8th), Minnesota (9th) and Boston University (10th).
The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) placed five teams in the top 15 with Michigan State (12th) and Northern Michigan (14th), joining Michigan, Notre Dame and Miami.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) placed six teams in the top 15 with Hockey East having two (Boston College and Boston University) while the ECAC had one (Clarkson).
For Notre Dame, this marks the second consecutive year and the fourth year overall that the Irish have opened in the preseason polls. Last year, the Irish were selected eighth in the preseason with the other two times coming in 1972-73 (8th) and 1973-74 when they were picked second in the preseason poll.
Last year, for the first time in the program’s 41-year history, Notre Dame was in the national polls every week of the season, finishing third overall in the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine poll.
The Irish open the 2008-09 season on Saturday, Oct. 11 when they travel to Denver, Colo., to face the sixth-ranked Denver Pioneers in the 2008 College Hockey Hall of Fame Game at Denver’s Magness Arena.
The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason College Hockey Poll
2007-08 Final `07-'08 School Record Pts Rank1. Boston College (27) 25-11-8 490 12. Michigan (4) 33-6-4 432 23. Notre Dame 27-16-4 376 34. North Dakota (1) 28-11-4 371 45. Colorado College (2) 28-12-1 355 86. Denver 26-14-1 299 97. New Hampshire 25-10-3 287 68. Miami (OH) 33-8-1 263 59. Minnesota 19-17-9 223 1210. Boston University 19-17-1 203 NR11. Clarkson 22-13-4 173 1012. Michigan State 25-12-5 159 713. Wisconsin 16-17-7 103 1314. Northern Michigan 20-20-4 75 NR15. St. Cloud State 19-16-5 69 14
Receiving votes: Princeton, 51; Cornell, 30; Harvard, 30; Minnesota State, 28;Air Force, 24; Massachusetts, 9; UMass-Lowell, 9; Niagara, 9; Vermont, 6;Maine, 3; Northeastern, 3.