The preseason pollsters say defending champion Minnesota-Duluth will be the team to beat again in college hockey. At the same time, those pollsters also gave some votes to UMaine and they begin the year in the conversation at #29.

The Black Bears are coming off an 18-16-4 season. Mitch Fossier and Chase Pearson return to the lineup. They were the top two scorers a year ago. Goalie Jeremy Swayman returns for a second season.

Maine will find out soon enough about Minn-Duluth. The Bears travel to play a weekend series October 19th and 20th. The season opens with an exhibition game with the University of Prince Edward Island on October 8th, then hosting a weekend series vs St. Lawrence October 12th and 13th for the first countable games.

Four Hockey East teams are ranked in the top 20 - Providence, Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern.

Check out the full USCHO poll...

Rnk Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
Rnk Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Minnesota Duluth (44) 0-0-0 982 1
2 Notre Dame (2) 0-0-0 857 2
3 Ohio State (2) 0-0-0 835 3
4 Michigan (2) 0-0-0 790 4
5 Providence 0-0-0 698 7
6 St. Cloud State 0-0-0 697 6
7 Cornell 0-0-0 676 8
8 Boston University 0-0-0 597 10
9 Denver 0-0-0 552 5
10 Minnesota State 0-0-0 488 9
11 North Dakota 0-0-0 437 17
12 Boston College 0-0-0 398 19
13 Minnesota 0-0-0 387 18
14 Princeton 0-0-0 357 15
15 Northeastern 0-0-0 345 11
16 Penn State 0-0-0 302 13
17 Clarkson 0-0-0 299 12
18 Michigan Tech 0-0-0 115 16
19 Western Michigan 0-0-0 109 NR
20 Northern Michigan 0-0-0 98 20

Other Receiving Votes: Air Force 94, Union 90, Bowling Green 62, Harvard 58, Massachusetts 35, Wisconsin 27, Colorado College 23, UMass Lowell 20, Maine 18, Omaha 17, Canisius 14, Mercyhurst 11, Quinnipiac 8, Miami 2, Brown 1, Connecticut 1