Wildcats Tabbed for Seventh in WCHA Preseason Polls

Wildcats Tabbed for Seventh in WCHA Preseason Polls

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey was predicted to finish seventh in both of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association preseason polls.

In the Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Wildcats received 40 total points to earn their seventh-place bid. Minnesota State University-Mankato was tabbed to lead the league with 90 points and nine of the ten first-place votes. Bemidji State University received the final first-place nod, finishing second with 81 total points, while Michigan Technological University rounded out the top-three with 70 points.

Freshman forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) received votes from the coaches in the Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year Award. Minnesota State's Jake Jaremko was the top vote-getter for the award with four.

In the UAHHockey.com WCHA Preseason Media Poll, NMU was again picked to finish seventh with 59 points between Lake Superior State University (62) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (43). The predicted standings of the media poll were identical to the coaches poll.

Additionally, junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) was selected as Preseason All-WCHA Second Team with Bemidji's Michael Bitzer landing on the first team.

NMU begins their season with a home-and-home series with LSSU beginning Friday, October 6, when the Wildcats head to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for a 7:07 p.m. start time. The following day, both squads will come to the Berry Events Center for the Wildcats' home-opener at 7 p.m. Former Wildcat Head Coach, Rick Comley, will be honored with the rink being dedicated in his honor during the pregame festivities.  

2017-18 Mankato Free Press WCHA Men's Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rk          Team (1st place votes)           Points

1.           Minnesota State (9)                      90

2.           Bemidji State (1)                            81

3.           Michigan Tech                                70

4.           Bowling Green                                67

5.           Ferris State                                      59

6.           Lake Superior State                       51

7.           Northern Michigan                        40

8.           Alaska                                               35

9.           Alabama Huntsville                       29

10.         Alaska Anchorage                          18

Predicted order of finish. Based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.

Preseason WCHA Player of the Year (Coaches may vote for their own player)

Daniel Brickley, Jr., D, Minnesota State (4) and Marc Michaelis, So., F, Minnesota State (4)

Others receiving votes: Michael Bitzer, Sr., G, Bemidji State (1); Gerry Fitzgerald, Sr., F, Bemidji State (1)

Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year (Coaches may vote for their own player)

Jake Jaremko, F, Minnesota State (4 votes)

Others receiving votes: Brendan Harris, F, Bemidji State (2); Connor Mackey, D, Minnesota State (2); Reggie Lutz, F, Minnesota State (1); Joseph Nardi, F, Northern Michigan

Preseason All-WCHA Team

Forwards:

Marc Michaelis, So., Minnesota State; C.J. Suess, Sr., Minnesota State; Mitch McLain, Sr., Bowling Green

Defensemen:

Daniel Brickley, Jr., Minnesota State; Mark Auk, Sr., Michigan Tech

Goaltender:

Michael Bitzer, Sr., Bemidji State

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards – Gerry Fitzgerald, Sr., Bemidji State; J.T. Henke, Sr., Lake Superior State; Corey Mackin, Jr., Ferris State; Tyler Spezia, Sr., Bowling Green.Defensemen – Zach Frye, Sr., D, Alaska; Kurt Gosselin, Jr., Alabama Huntsville; Mitch Reinke, So., Michigan Tech; Ian Scheid, So., Minnesota State. Goaltender – Olivier Mantha, Sr., Alaska Anchorage.

2017-18 UAHHockey.com WCHA Men's Hockey Preseason Media Poll

Rk          Team (1st place votes)           Points

1.           Minnesota State (12)                  137

2.           Bemidji State                                115

3.           Michigan Tech (1)                        110

4.           Bowling Green (1)                        108

5.           Ferris State                                      81

6.           Lake Superior State                       62

7.           Northern Michigan                        59

8.           Alaska                                               43

9.           Alabama Huntsville                       36

10.         Alaska Anchorage                          19

Predicted order of finish. Based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.

Preseason WCHA Player of the Year

Daniel Brickley, Jr., D, Minnesota State

Others receiving votes: Marc Michaelis, So., F, Minnesota State; Mitch McLain, Sr., F, Bowling Green; Michael Bitzer, Sr., G, Bemidji State

Preseason All-WCHA First Team

Forwards:

Mitch McLain, Sr., Bowling Green; Marc Michaelis, So., Minnesota State; Corey Mackin, Jr., Ferris State

Defensemen:

Daniel Brickley, Jr., Minnesota State; Kurt Gosselin, Jr., Alabama Huntsville

Goaltender:

Michael Bitzer, Sr., Bemidji State

Preseason All-WCHA Second Team

Forwards:

Gerry Fitzgerald, Sr., Bemidji State; C.J. Suess, Sr., Minnesota State; Joel L'Esperance, Sr., Michigan Tech

Defensemen:

Mitch Reinke, So., Michigan Tech; Mark Auk, Sr., Michigan Tech

Goaltender:

Atte Tolvanen, Jr., Northern Michigan

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards – Kyle Bauman, Sr., Bemidji State; Gavin Gould, So., Michigan Tech; J.T. Henke, Sr., Lake Superior State; Max Humitz, So., Lake Superior State; Brad McClure, Sr., Minnesota State; Tyler Spezia, Sr., Bowling Green. Defensemen – Clint Lewis, Sr., Minnesota State; Alec Rauhauser, So., Bowling Green; Joe Rutkowski, So., Ferris State; Collin Saccoman, So., Lake Superior State; Ian Scheid, So., Minnesota State; David Trinkberger, So., Alaska Anchorage; Zach Whitecloud, So., Bemidji State; Justin Woods, Sr., Alaska. Goaltenders – Justin Kapelmaster, So., Ferris State; Olivier Mantha, Sr., Alaska Anchorage; Jason Pawloski, Jr., Minnesota State.