Two preseason college hockey polls agree: The Gophers are No. 3.
The USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey polls were released Monday, with identical top 3s: defending national champion Denver at No. 1, Boston University No. 2 and Minnesota at No. 3.
Big Ten teams claimed three other spots in both polls’ top 12: Notre Dame (No. 8 in both), Penn State (No. 10 in both) and Wisconsin (No. 12 in USCHO, tied for No. 11 in USA Today/USA Hockey).
Three other Minnesota schools are ranked: Minnesota Duluth (No. 6, tied for No. 11), St. Cloud State (No. 9, No. 6) and Minnesota State Mankato (No. 18, No. 15).
The Gophers take the ice for the first time Sunday with a 5 p.m. exhibition game against Alberta at 3M Arena.
• John Hamre, a former director of hockey operations at Wisconsin, was appointed to the same position with the Gophers. Andy Kent also was named the team’s volunteer goalie coach, coach Don Lucia announced.
Gophers, Badgers fall in volleyball poll
A day after suffering its first loss of the season, the Gophers volleyball team dropped two spots to No. 3, tied with Penn State, in the AVCA poll released Monday.
Wisconsin, which also suffered its first loss, dropped from fifth to seventh. Michigan State, which beat both teams on the road, entered the poll at No. 16.
Florida was the new No. 1, with 58 first-place votes, with Stanford second. Texas rose from sixth to fifth.
Texas is fifth and Nebraska eighth. Other Big Ten teams in the poll are Purdue (No. 19) and Michigan (No. 23).
• Gophers senior middle blocker Molly Lohman was chosen the Big Ten co-defensive player of the week after her performance against Michigan and Michigan State. She shared the award with Michigan State’s Autumn Bailey, who had 14 kills and 13 digs in Sunday’s upset of the Gophers. It’s the first weekly honor for Lohman this season and second of her career.
Lohman led the Gophers in blocks and hitting percentage this weekend after a split in the opening weekend of Big Ten play. Against the Wolverines and Spartans, Lohman tallied 19 blocks. Against Michigan, Lohman posted a school record for blocks in a match with 14 (two solo, 12 assists). She also hit .526 against the Wolverines when she had 10 kills and did not commit an error. Against Michigan State, she had five blocks (one solo, four assists).