Men's College Hockey: Badgers ranked 12th in preseason poll - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Men's College Hockey: Badgers ranked 12th in preseason poll

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MADISON (WKOW) -

 The Wisconsin men’s hockey team will begin the 2017-18 season with an extra boost of confidence after being ranked No. 12 in the USCHO.com preseason poll, released on Monday.

The Badgers make their first appearance in the preseason polls since the 2014-15 season after UW won the inaugural Big Ten Tournament the season prior.

Last year, UW finished the season ranked at No. 17 after going 20-15-1 on the season, placing second in the conference and advancing to the Big Ten Tournament championship game.

Defending NCAA champion Denver received 48 first-place votes to rank No. 1 while Boston University and Minnesota rank second and third, respectively. No. 4 Harvard and No. 5 UMass Lowell round out the top five.

The Badgers will face six teams ranked in the poll this season, including No. 3 Minnesota, No. 7 North Dakota, No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 10 Penn State, No. 13 Boston College and No. 19 Ohio State. Additionally, Wisconsin will compete against Michigan Tech, Michigan and St. Lawrence, who all received votes.

The Badgers are one of five Big Ten teams open ranked in the top 20.

To view the complete USCHO.com poll, click here.

Wisconsin opens the 2017-18 season on Sunday by welcoming Michigan Tech to the Kohl Center for the U.S Hockey Hall of Fame Game. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m.

(UW Athletics contributed information to this article.)

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