Tuesday, September 20, 2016

WCHA Coaches Poll: BG is favorite, MSU 3rd

Bowling Green has been picked as the favorite to win the MacNaughton Cup as the WCHA regular-season champion by the league's coaches in the fourth annual Mankato Free Press WCHA Men's Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll.

The coaches picked Ferris State senior forward Gerald Mayhew as the conference's Preseason Player of the Year and Minnesota State freshman forward Parker Tuomie as the Preseason Rookie of the Year.

Bowling Green, which has finished third in the standings in each of the last three seasons, received eight of the 10 coaches' first-place votes and had 89 points in the poll. Michigan Tech had the other two and finished second with 79 points. 

Minnesota State was third with 71 points. Michigan Tech and Minnesota State shared the league championship a year ago. 

Ferris State, the winner of last year's WCHA playoff title, was picked fourth, one point out of third place. The Bulldogs' Mayhew had 25 points in league play last year (9 goals, 16 assists), which ranked third in the scoring race and his 41 points overall (16 goals, 25 assists) led the conference in scoring. 

Northern Michigan (54 points) was picked fifth, followed by Bemidji State (48), Lake Superior State (44), Alaska Anchorage (29), Alabama Huntsville (23) and Alaska (21).  

Tuomi, a native of Germany, finished 11th in the United States Hockey League scoring race last season, scoring 54 points (30 goals, 24 assists) for the Sioux Falls Stampede. His goal total ranked seventh in the USHL. 

Mankato Free Press WCHA Men's Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Bowling Green (8) 89 
2. Michigan Tech (2) 79 
3. Minnesota State 71 
4. Ferris State 70 
5. Northern Michigan 54 
6. Bemidji State 48 
7. Lake Superior State 44 
8. Alaska Anchorage 29 
9. Alabama Huntsville 23 
10. Alaska 21 

Predicted order of finish. Teams received 10 points for a first-place vote, 9 for a second, etc. Coaches could not vote for their own teams. 

Preseason WCHA Player of the Year:
Gerald Mayhew, Sr. F, Ferris State (7 votes) 
Others receiving votes: Mark Friedman, Jr. D, Bowling Green (1); Brandon Hawkins, Jr. F, Bowling Green (1); Chris Nell, Jr. F, Bowling Green (1) 
Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year
Parker Tuomie, F, Minnesota State (4 votes) 
Others receiving votes: Cam Clarke, D, Ferris State (2); Colton Leiter, F, Alaska (1); Marc Michaelis, F, Minnesota State (1); Collin Peters, F, Northern Michigan (1); Angus Redmond, G, Michigan Tech (1) 
Preseason All-WCHA Team 
Forwards—Gerald Mayhew, Sr., Ferris State; Dominik Shine, Sr., Northern Michigan; Brandon Hawkins, Jr., Bowling Green (tie); Corey Mackin, So., Ferris State (tie) 

Defensemen—Mark Friedman, Jr., Bowling Green; Matt Roy, Jr., Michigan Tech 

Goaltender Chris Nell, Jr., Bowling Green 

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards—Gerry Fitzgerald, Jr., Bemidji State; C.J. Franklin, Jr., Minnesota State; Brendan Harms, Tyler Heinonen, Sr., Michigan Tech; Sr., BSU; Joel L'Esperance, Jr., Michigan Tech. Defensemen—Mark Auk, Jr., Michigan Tech; Daniel Brickley, So., Minnesota State; Shane Hanna, Sr., Michigan Tech; Sean Walker, Sr., Bowling Green. Goaltenders—Michael Bitzer, Jr., Bemidji State; Gordon Defiel, Jr., Lake Superior State; Cole Huggins, Sr., Minnesota State; Darren Smith, So., Ferris State. 

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