Here are the polls with the Herald's first-place votes and points first, followed by the Cap Times' numbers:
1. Colorado College (8) 78 ... (22) 247
2. North Dakota (2) 67 ... (3) 210
3. Denver 62 ... 192
4. (tie) Minnesota 53 ... 156
4. (tie) Wisconsin 53 ... 156
6. St. Cloud State 48 ... 133
7. Minnesota State 38 ... 124
8. Minnesota Duluth 24 ... 78
9. Michigan Tech 14 ... 51
10. Alaska-Anchorage 13 ... 32
Three coaches picked Colorado College goalie Richard Bachman as preseason player of the year, with Denver forward Tyler Bozak, St. Cloud forward Ryan Lasch and Duluth goalie Alex Stalock each getting two votes, and CC forward Chad Rau getting one. North Dakota freshman forward Jason Gregoire and Duluth's Jack Connolly each received three votes for preseason rookie of th year, with two Minnesota players, defenseman Aaron Ness and forward Jordan Schroeder each getting two.
The media picked Rau (14 votes) for player of the year, followed by Bachman (4), Bozak (2), North Dakota's Tyler Bozak (2) and Lasch (2). Rookie honors went to Denver's Joe Colborne (7 votes), followed by Ness (5), Schroeder (5), Wisconsin's Jake Gardiner (2), Gregoire (1), Wisconsin's Derek Stepan (1) and North Dakota's David Toews (1).
The media also picked an all-league team, which ended up: forwards-Rau, Lasch, Duncan; defensemen-Jamie McBain (UW) and Chay Genoway (UND); goalie-Bachman.
In interest of full disclosure, PucKato participated in the media poll, and here was my stab in the dark:
1. Colorado College
3. North Dakota
4. Minnesota State
6. St. Cloud State
9. Michigan Tech
Player of the year: Rau ... rookie of the year: Gardiner ... all-conference: Rau, Lasch, MSU's Trevor Bruess up front, Genoway and McBain on D and Bachman in goal (with strong consideration for MSU's Mike Zacharias, but it was hard not to vote for the reigning player of the year).
So what do you think of the Mavericks' seventh spot? I can't say I'm surprised. When you look at the league and last year's finish, it would be hard for most observers to think that Minnesota and Wisconsin would both finish in the lower half of the conference two years in a row.
CC, DU and UND appear to be the strongest teams (although the Sioux must replace Jean-Philippe Lamoureux in goal), and you could probably put MSU, UM, UW and SCSU in a hat and pull them out to fill out a ballot. This seems to be the first year voters haven't overrated Duluth. I just don't see Tech and Anchorage getting out of the cellar.