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UND ranked No. 4 in first preseason national poll

The Fighting Hawks open the season with a home exhibition game against the University of Manitoba on Oct. 1.

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UND hockey players listen as head coach Brad Berry gives directions during a morning practice at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — UND will start the men's hockey season ranked in the top five nationally.

The Fighting Hawks checked in at No. 4 in the first USCHO national preseason poll, which was released Monday.

Defending NCAA national champion Denver will start the year at No. 1, followed by NCAA Frozen Four squads Minnesota and Minnesota State-Mankato.

No. 4 UND is followed by No. 5 Minnesota Duluth, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Quinnipiac, No. 8 Northeastern, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 10 UMass.

Other National Collegiate Hockey Conference teams in the top 20 are St. Cloud State (No. 13) and Western Michigan (No. 14). Omaha (receiving votes), Colorado College and Miami are unranked.

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There will be no easing into the schedule for UND.

Brad Elliott Schlossman module image

Hi everyone. Get prepared for lots of hockey content next week, when the Herald will begin rolling out previews. For now, here are a few other stories...

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando will be inducted in November in St. Paul.
The Fighting Hawks are skating in Ralph Engelstad Arena while the weight room renovation project nears completion.

The Fighting Hawks will play two of the top seven teams in the country during the season's first three weeks.

After opening with unranked Holy Cross, UND hosts No. 7 Quinnipiac before traveling to No. 2 Minnesota. The Fighting Hawks split with both Quinnipiac and Minnesota last season.

UND enters the season in pursuit of a fourth-straight Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions. The Fighting Hawks shared the title with Denver last season and won it outright in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

UND has several key players returning to the lineup, including forward Riese Gaber, forward Judd Caulfield, defenseman Tyler Kleven and defenseman Ethan Frisch.

The Fighting Hawks also brought in three transfers — goalie Drew DeRidder and defenders Ty Farmer and Ryan Sidorski — and four NHL draft pick rookie forwards in Jackson Blake (Carolina Hurricanes), Owen McLaughlin (Philadelphia Flyers), Ben Strinden (Nashville Predators) and Dylan James (Detroit Red Wings).

USCHO preseason poll

1. Denver (37 first-place votes), 974 points
2. Minnesota (8), 914
3. MSU-Mankato (3), 826
4. North Dakota, 787
5. Minnesota Duluth, 748
6. Michigan (2), 680
7. Quinnipiac, 669
8. Northeastern, 641
9. Notre Dame, 588
10. UMass, 520
11. Harvard, 455
12. Boston University, 396
13. St. Cloud State, 386
14. Western Michigan, 333
15. Providence, 283
16. Ohio State, 225
17. UMass Lowell, 220
18. Clarkson, 189
19. Cornell, 118
20. Michigan Tech, 90

Also receiving votes: Boston College 72, Penn State 65, UConn 62, Northern Michigan 61, Bemidji State 40, American International 39, Arizona State 29, Bowling Green 15, Maine 15, Omaha 15, Wisconsin 15, Colgate 10, Sacred Heart 7, Merrimack 6, Air Force 5, Brown 1, Canisius 1

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Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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