MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota is the Big Ten favorite in a preseason poll of the conference’s hockey coaches.

The Gophers also lead the league with four players on the Big Ten Watch List announced Monday.

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Justin Kloos, Jake Bischoff, Leon Bristedt and Eric Schierhorn represent Minnesota on the 13-player list. Koos and Schierhorn were two of four unanimous selections by Big Ten coaches.

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The Gophers are coming off their third consecutive Big Ten regular-season title. Minnesota enters this year’s schedule as preseason favorite in the Big Ten, followed by Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Minnesota opens the 2016-17 season Oct. 7 against Alaska Anchorage and plays Alaska Oct. 9. Both games will be played in Anchorage. The Gophers’ regular-season home opener is against St. Cloud State on Oct. 21.

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