Abby Roque photo

Badgers sophomore Abby Roque got one vote for the WCHA preseason player of the year.

DAVID STLUKA, UW ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

The University of Wisconsin women's hockey team was picked to finish behind Minnesota in the 2017-18 Western Collegiate Hockey Association race.

Four of the seven league coaches picked the Golden Gophers for first place and three chose the Badgers, who have won the last two regular-season championships.

Minnesota Duluth and Ohio State tied for third place, with Bemidji State fifth, St. Cloud State sixth and Minnesota State seventh.

Ohio State goaltender Kassidy Sauve was picked as the league's preseason player of the year with six votes. UW sophomore forward Abby Roque got the other vote.

Some of the best college players are missing the season while playing with national teams in the lead-up to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Badgers forwards Annie Pankowski (U.S.) and Emily Clark (Canada) are among them.

Minnesota forward Grace Zumwinkle was chosen the preseason rookie of the year.

The Badgers open the season on Saturday with an exhibition game against the South Korean national team at LaBahn Arena. The regular season starts Sept. 22 at home against Lindenwood.

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