FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – For just the second time in six years, the coaches and media agree on who should own the No. 1 position in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s annual preseason polls. Notre Dame received enough points from the conference’s 11 head coaches and 72 media members to be named the preseason favorite in both polls.
In the coaches poll, the Fighting Irish captured eight first-place votes and two seconds, while Miami took two first-place votes as well as five seconds to come in just nine points behind the favorite. Michigan had the remaining first-place vote to finish third with Western Michigan placing 10 points back at fourth. Alaska collected 63 total points to finish fifth.
The media also voted in favor of Notre Dame, with Miami coming in second and Michigan again rounding out the top three. The Irish picked up 44 of a possible 72 first-place votes, while the RedHawks garnered 16 and the Wolverines received 12 first-place votes. The Broncos and Nanooks finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the media poll as well.
The Fighting Irish, who finished in second place in the regular season and made it to the Frozen Four, return 17 letterwinners including senior defenseman Sean Lorenz, last season’s CCHA Best Defensive Defenseman. Notre Dame brings back nine of its top twelve scorers as well, most notably the one-two punch of sophomore forward T.J. Tynan and sophomore forward Anders Lee. Both are CCHA Preseason All-Conference First-Team selections and combined for 47 goals and 98 points last season.
The RedHawks are the defending CCHA Tournament champions and return 16 letterwinners, including CCHA Preseason All-Conference First Team selections senior Cody Reichard in goal and junior Reilly Smith at forward. Miami also returns five defensemen from a squad that won 23 games last season, including CCHA Preseason All-Conference Second Team selections seniors Will Weber and Chris Wideman.
The Wolverines bring back 16 players from a squad that won the CCHA regular-season title and appeared in the National Championship game, including CCHA Preseason All-Conference First Team selection sophomore defenseman Jon Merrill and CCHA Preseason All-Conference Second Team selection senior forward David Wohlberg. Western Michigan comes off of a fourth-place regular-season finish led by sophomore forward Chase Balisy, a CCHA Preseason All-Conference Second Team selection. Sophomore forward Cody Kunyk, who notched 30 points as a freshman, and senior goaltender Scott Greenham, a CCHA Preseason All-Conference Second Team selection, return to lead Alaska.
A total of 72 media members ranked the 11 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. Points were awarded on an 11-10-9-8, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end.
|1||Notre Dame (8)||108|
|10||Lake Superior State||30|
|1||Notre Dame (44)||819|
|7||Northern Michigan (tie)||425|
|10||Lake Superior State||298|
# # # CCHA # # #