Defending national champion Minnesota Duluth is the overwhelming choice as the No. 1 team in the U.S. College Hockey Online preseason men's preseason poll released Monday.

The Bulldogs, who won their second NCAA championship in April at Xcel Energy Center, received 44 of 50 first-place votes. The three Big Ten teams that advanced to the Frozen Four — Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan — complete the top four in order, followed by Providence at No. 5.

St. Cloud State is No. 6, Minnesota State Mankato is No. 10, North Dakota is No. 11 and the Gophers are No. 13.

Gophers picked fourth in Big Ten: Minnesota is picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll, behind No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Notre Dame. Penn State is picked to finish fifth, followed by Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Gophers forwards Tyler Sheehy and Rem Pitlick were named to the 15-member Big Ten preseason watch list.

UMD, St. Cloud State picked 1-2 in NCHC: Minnesota Duluth and defending champion St. Cloud State are picked to finish first and second, respectively, in the NCHC preseason media poll.

North Dakota is No. 3, followed by Western Michigan, Denver, Colorado College, Omaha and Miami (Ohio).

MSU Mankato picked to win WCHA: Defending champion Minnesota State Mankato is picked to win the WCHA title in polls by both the league's coaches and media. Northern Michigan, Bowling Green, Michigan Tech and Bemidji State complete the top five in the coaches poll.

The media poll has the same five teams, with Bowling Green and Northern Michigan trading spots at No. 2 and No. 3.

Gophers-UMD at 7 p.m.: The Gophers announced their Oct. 7 home opener against Minnesota Duluth will be at 7 p.m. There also will be a tailgate party starting at 3 p.m. on the lawn in front of Mariucci Arena. Viewing of the 3:25 p.m. Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles game will be available, too.

Randy Johnson

U volleyball awards

Gophers volleyball players Stephanie Samedy (co-player of the week), Samantha Seliger-Swenson (setter of the week) and Adanna Rollins (co-freshman of the week) received weekly Big Ten awards after the team swept its competition the opening weekend of Big Ten play. It's the first honor for all three of them in the 2018 season.