The American Collegiate Hockey Association released its annual preseason coaches’ poll Wednesday. Ohio is No. 5.
The Bobcats finished the 2017-18 season at No. 5 after going 27-9-3 and losing in the national quarterfinal to league rival Illinois.
“I think we’re probably where we should be,” coach Sean Hogan. “I would’ve liked to be in the top four, but preseason rankings don’t matter. We still have to go out and perform.”
The coveted top four spots heading into the 2018-19 season start with defending national champion Adrian at No. 1, Minot State at No.2, Illinois at No.3 and Lindenwood at No. 4.
The top four spots are coveted because whichever teams can finish in the top four at the end of the season earn first-round byes in the national tournament.
With three of the five top five spots belonging to Central States Collegiate Hockey League teams, the ACHA’s premier conference once again has dominated the preseason press.
Other CSCHL teams in the top 15 are No. 6 Robert Morris-Illinois and No. 11 Iowa State.
Ohio starts off its league schedule with a trip to Iowa State in mid-October. That is also the first ranked team Ohio will play this season season.
Three of Ohio’s non-league opponents made the preseason top 25: No. 9 Liberty, No. 14 Davenport and No. 18 Kent State.
Ohio’s first weekend series will be at home against John Carroll from Sept. 28-29.