Western Michigan is ranked No. 8 nationally and Michigan No. 9 in College Hockey News’ preseason Top-10 poll released Wednesday.
Miami of the CCHA checks in at No. 1, followed by Boston University, Notre Dame, Colorado College, Boston College, North Dakota and Denver. Yale is ranked No. 10.
The Broncos went from an 8-win team in 2010 to a 19-win team last season, earning their first NCAA tournament appearance in 15 years. They defeated Michigan in the CCHA tournament semifinals before losing to Miami. Michigan advanced to the national championship game, losing in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth.
WMU officially joined the National Collegiate Hockey Conference – which begins play in 2013-14 – this morning.
How powerful will the NCHC be? Well, No. 1 Miami, No. 4 Colorado College, No. 6 North Dakota, No. 7 Denver and the No. 8 Broncos are among the eight teams competing in it, along with Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and St. Cloud State. It will arguably be the top league in all of college hockey.
The Broncos open play Oct. 7-8 at home against Alabama-Huntsville. Michigan will face Niagara Oct. 4 at Yost Arena.