Monday, September 24, 2018

Mavericks picked first in WCHA coaches poll

Defending MacNaughton Cup champion Minnesota State was picked to finish first again in the WCHA standings in a poll of the league’s coaches. The Mavericks received 7 of 10 first-place votes and 88 points in all in the sixth annual Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches Poll. Minnesota State won last season’s title with a 22-5-1 league record (29-10-1 overall) and 67 points in the standings.


Last season’s runner-up, Northern Michigan, was picked second, receiving two first-place votes and 80 points. The Wildcats were 19-7-2 in conference play last season (25-15-3). They were followed in the poll by Bowling Green in third place with 76 points. Michigan Tech, which won the inaugural Jeff Sauer Trophy as the WCHA’s playoff champion last spring, was picked fourth and received the other first-place vote.

Bemidji State was picked fifth with 54 points, followed by Ferris State in sixth with 49 points. Rounding out the list were Lake Superior State (seventh place, 40 points), Alaska (eighth, 36), Alabama Huntsville (ninth, 35) and Alaska Anchorage (10th, 18).

Northern Michigan forward Adam Rockwood was voted WCHA Preseason Player of the Year. Rockwood, a senior from Coquitlam, British Columbia, led the WCHA in overall-game scoring last year with 48 points, including 40 assists. His 32 points in conference play ranked fourth, second among this season’s returning scorers.

Ferris State defenseman Cooper Zech was voted WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year. The freshman from South Lyon, Mich., played for the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League last season where he was the BCHL’s Defenseman of the Year, leading the league with 58 assists and scoring 69 points in 58 games. He also had 23 points, including 19 assists in 20 playoff games as the Wild won the RBC Cup.

Rockwood was one of four Northern Michigan players voted to the Preseason All-WCHA Team. He was joined by senior forward Troy Loggins, junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu and senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen. Others on the team were: Minnesota State junior forward Marc Michaelis and Bowling Green junior defenseman Alec Rauhauser. Rauhauser was the WCHA Defenseman of the Year and Tolvanen was the WCHA Goaltender of the Year last season. Rauhauser, Tolvanen, Michaelis and Loggins were All-WCHA First-Team selections last season. Rockwood and Beaulieu were both Second Team picks.

1. Minnesota State (7) 88 pts
2. Northern Michigan (2) 80
3. Bowling Green 76
4. Michigan Tech (1) 64
5. Bemidji State 54
6. Ferris State 49
7. Lake Superior State 40
8. Alaska 36
9. Alabama Huntsville 35
10. Alaska Anchorage 18

(first-place votes in parenthesis)

Preseason Player of the Year: Adam Rockwood, F, Northern Michigan (4)

Others receiving votes: Jake Jaremko, F, Minnesota State (3); Marc Michaelis, F, Minnesota State (2); Troy Loggins, F, Northern Michigan (1).

Preseason Rookie of the Year: Cooper Zech, D, Ferris State (5)

Others receiving votes: Dryden McKay, G, Minnesota State (2); Griffin Loughran, F, Northern Michigan (1); Tim Theocharidis, D, Bowling Green (1); Chris Van Os-Shaw, F, Minnesota State (1).

Preseason All-WCHA
F-Adam Rockwood, Northern Michigan
F-Marc Michaelis, Minnesota State
F-Troy Loggins, Northern Michigan
D-Alec Rauhauser, Bowling Green
D-Philip Beaulieu, Northern Michigan
G-Atte Tolvanen, Northern Michigan

Others receiving votes: Forwards-Jake Jaremko, Minnesota State; Brandon Kruse, Bowling Green; Jake Lucchini, Michigan Tech; Corey Mackin, Ferris State. Defensemen-Rykar Killins, Ferris State; Ian Scheid, Minnesota State; Connor Mackey, Minnesota State. Goaltenders-Ryan Bednard, Bowling Green.

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