Led by top-ranked North Dakota, the NCHC occupies three of the top five spots in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason men's poll released Monday.
Following the Fighting Hawks in the poll were No. 2 Boston College and No. 3 Minnesota Duluth and No. 4 Denver of the NCHC. Minnesota State Mankato rounded out the top five.
The Gophers are No. 13 in the poll, fourth-highest among Big Ten teams.
Penn State is No. 9, Ohio State No. 10 and Michigan No. 12.
Bemidji State is ranked No. 15, while St. Cloud State received one vote.