North Dakota, which was ranked No. 6 in the same poll following the 2011-12 season, received 407 voting points to trail only top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Boston College, No. 2 Minnesota and No. 3 Michigan. BC received 20 of the 34 first-place votes.
Six of UND's scheduled opponents in 2012-13 were ranked in the preseason top 15, including No. 2 Minnesota, No. 8 Denver, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 12 Minnesota Duluth, No. 13 Boston University and No. 15 Wisconsin.
Last season, UND went 26-13-3, won a league-record third straight Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA Final Five Champions, and advanced to the NCAA regional finals for the sixth time in eight years under head coach Dave Hakstol.
UND returns 17 letterwinners from last year's team, as well as freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi, who was the 2011-12 WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year before missing all but four games with a knee injury.
UND will host Manitoba (Oct. 6) and the U.S. Under-18 Team (Oct. 12) in exhibition action before opening the regular season Oct. 19-20 at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll
|Rk.||School (1st place)||Record||Pts.||Rank|
|1||Boston College (20)||33-10-1||476||1|
Others Receiving Votes: Harvard 58, Maine 24, Quinnipiac 24, Michigan State 19, Colorado College 19, New Hampshire 17, Ohio State 17, St. Cloud State 15, Merrimack 7, Providence 6, Yale 6, Air Force 3, Northern Michigan 1, Michigan Tech 1.