Early-season accolades are always a welcome sight for teams that are expected to do well before the season actually starts. It is starting to become a trend in Kalamazoo.

The Western Michigan Broncos are back on the preseason poll for the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) to open 2019-2020, where they will begin at 14th in the nation. Western is one of five National Collegiate Hockey Conference squads on the poll, with the two-time defending champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in the top spot receiving 49 of the 50 first place votes. Seven of the eight NCHC teams received votes in the preseason poll.

In the conference preseason poll for the NCHC, the Broncos were projected to finish third in the conference behind Duluth and the Denver Pioneers. The Brown and Gold received three first-place votes.

The Broncos bring back a lot of veteran leadership into 2019-2020 with nine seniors and bringing back their six of their top eight players in points, led by junior forward Josh Passolt. Senior forward Hugh McGing and Wade Allison were named to the NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team. It is Allison's second straight season on the preseason poll. The tight-knit Broncos, with just four freshman, could have something special on the ice this season.

The Broncos get their season under way this Saturday (October 5th) as they welcome the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks at Lawson Ice Arena. Several great tickets are available for the exhibition "Border War Battle". Face-off is at 7pm.

The regular season begins October 11th and 12th in Toledo for the Ice Breaker Invitational, along with Ohio State, Bowling Green and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The Broncos then welcome the Bowling Green Falcons in the back half of their home-and-home on Saturday, October 19th at 7pm. Tickets for the official home opener are also available.