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Minnesota Hockey: Gophers Preseason #1 in Big Ten

The Coaches see a 6th straight regular season title for the Gophers

The Gophers have been tabbed to win another Big Ten title

The Gopher hockey team was named the Preseason #1 team in the Big Ten in the Preseason Big Ten Coaches Poll released on Monday. The Gophers also had four players named to the Big Ten Watch List, more than any other school.

The Big Ten coaches see the Gophers as the favorites to win their fourth straight Big Ten regular season championship and their sixth consecutive regular season title overall. Following the Gophers are Ohio State at #2, Michigan at #3, Penn State at #4, Wisconsin at #5, and Michigan State bringing up the rear.

Of some surprise may be the rise of the Buckeyes to the #2 spot, but Ohio State returns most of its offense from a year ago, meanwhile Michigan is missing six of their top seven scorers from a year ago.

The Gophers also had four players named to the thirteen player Preseason Watch List. The Gophers listed include senior captain Justin Kloos who is the active leading scorer in the Big Ten and is second nationally, senior alternate captain defenseman Jake Bischoff, junior wing Leon Bristedt, and sophomore goalie and defending Big Ten Goalie of the year Eric Schierhorn. Both Kloos and Schierhorn were unanimous selections.

The other nine players on the Preseason Watch List include:

Alex Kile, F, Michigan

Mason Appleton, F, Michigan State

Josh Healey, D, Ohio State

Mason Jobst, F, Ohio State

Nick Schilkey, F, Ohio State

David Goodwin, F, Penn State

Vince Pedrie, D, Penn State

Luke Kunin, F, Wisconsin

Grant Besse, F, Wisconsin

Kunin and Pedrie were unanimous selections.

The Gophers begin their season October 7th in Alaska with a game against Alaska-Anchorage. They follow that up with a game against Alaska (Fairbanks) on October 9th, before coming home for an exhibition against the US Under-18 Team on October 14th. Finally, The Gophers open the regular season at Mariucci against St. Cloud State on October 21st.