Wildcats Picked Second, Third in WCHA Preseason Polls

Wildcats Picked Second, Third in WCHA Preseason Polls

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey was predicted to finish second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason Coaches' Poll the league office announced Monday afternoon. In the UAHHockey.com Media Poll, the Wildcats were selected third coming off of one of their best seasons in recent history.

NMU received 80 points, including a pair of first-place votes, in the coaches' poll to finish second and were picked third in the media poll after earning 150 points, five first-place nods. Reigning MacNaughton Cup winner, Minnesota State University, Mankato, was the top team in both polls. Bowling Green State University finished third in the coaches' poll but jumped ahead of NMU in the media poll. Michigan Technological University and Bemidji State University finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in both polls.

Senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) was the coaches' pick for WCHA Preseason Player of the Year. He led the Wildcats in points a season ago with 48, while his 40 assists were the most in the NCAA. His efforts in 2017-18 earned him Second-Team All-WCHA honors at the end of the season.

Senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) received one Preseason Player of the Year vote in the coaches' ballots, but was the media pick for Preseason Player of the year. Loggins was second on the team a year ago with 47 points and 24 goals. He was named second-team all-conference after leading the league with 16 goals in WCHA action.

Freshman forward Griffin Loughran (West Seneca, New York) received one vote for the WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year award. Loughran helped guide the Fargo Force (USHL) to a Clark Cup title in 2017-18 after scoring 18 goals and adding 24 assists.

The Wildcats were the only team to have multiple selections on the coaches' poll Preseason All-WCHA Team, taking four of the six spots. Rockwood and Loggins were both named to the team for the forward position. Junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) was named to the team, as was senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland).

In the media poll, Loggins was named to the first team as a forward, while Beaulieu and Tolvanen were also named to the first team on the defensive side. Rockwood was voted as a second-team forward with junior forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) also earning a spot on the second team.

A season ago, Beaulieu was named a second-team All-American after leading all NCAA defenseman with 42 points and 11 goals. He was named Second-Team All-WCHA after recording the fifth-most single season points by a defenseman in NMU history.

Tolvanen was named to the all-league preseason team after having firmly cemented himself in the NMU record book over his previous three seasons. He is in the top-10 of each career goaltender category in the Wildcats record book. Last season, he was named First-Team All-WCHA at the end of the season after recording a 23-10-1 record which were the fourth-most wins in the NCAA.

Craighead was named a third-team all-league performer after the 2017-19 campaign where he set career-highs with 17 goals and 34 points. He finished the season with six game-winning goals, the most in the NCAA.

NMU begins their season with a road series at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan on October 12 and 13. Both contests will start at 7:05 p.m. in Munn Ice Arena. The first home series for the Wildcats will be the team's first WCHA matchup when Bemidji St. comes to the Berry Events Center October 26 and 27 for 7 p.m. puck drops both nights.

Complete results of both preseason polls can be seen below.


WCHA Coaches' Poll UAHHockey.com Media Poll

Rk. Team – Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Minnesota St. – 88 (7)
2. Northern Michigan – 80 (2)
3. Bowling Green – 76
4. Michigan Tech – 64 (1)
5. Bemidji State – 54
6. Ferris State – 49
7. Lake Superior St. - 40 
8. Alaska – 36
9. Alabama-Huntsville – 35
10. Alaska-Anchorage – 18

Rk. Team – Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Minnesota St. – 182 (13)
2. Bowling Green – 159 (1)
3. Northern Michigan – 150 (5)
4. Michigan Tech – 133
5. Bemidji St. – 110
6. Ferris St. – 102
7. Alabama-Huntsville – 69
8. Lake Superior St. – 57
9. Alaska – 47
10. Alaska-Anchorage – 28

Preseason WCHA Player of the Year (Votes)
Adam Rockwood, Sr., F, Northern Michigan (4)

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

Preseason WCHA Player of the Year
Troy Loggins, Sr., F, Northern Michigan

Others receiving votes: Jake Jaremko, Minnesota State; Marc Michaelis, Minnesota State; Adam Rockwood, Northern Michigan; Atte Tolvanen, Northern Michigan

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


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

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards – Jake Jaremko, So., Minnesota State; Brandon Kruse, So., Bowling Green; Jake Lucchini, Sr., Michigan Tech; Corey Mackin, Sr., Ferris State. Defensemen – Ryker Killins, Sr., Ferris State; Connor Mackey, So., Minnesota State; Ian Scheid, Jr., Minnesota State. Goaltender – Ryan Bednard, Jr., Bowling Green.

Preseason All-WCHA First-Team
F: Marc Michaelis, Minnesota State
F: Jake Jaremko, Minnesota State
F: Troy Loggins, Northern Michigan
D: Alec Rauhauser, Bowling Green
D: Philip Beaulieu, Northern Michigan
G: Atte Tolvanen, Northern Michigan

Preseason All-WCHA Second-Team
F: Adam Rockwood, Northern Michigan

F: Jake Lucchini, Michigan Tech
F: (tie) Darien Craighead, Northern Michigan
F: (tie) Brandon Kruse, Bowling Green
F: (tie) Parker Tuomie, Minnesota State
D: Ian Scheid, Minnesota State
D: Chris Pohlkamp, Bowling Green
G: Ryan Bednard, Bowling Green

Others receiving votes: Stephen Baylis, Bowling Green; Corey Mackin, Ferris State; Gavin Gould, Michigan Tech; Jay Dickman, Bemidji State; Reggie Lutz, Minnesota State; Steven Jandric, Alaska; Zach Frye, Alaska; Justin Baurdy, Bemidji State; Kurt Gosselin, Alabama-Huntsville; Jake Jackson, Michigan Tech; Ryker Killins, Ferris State; Mitch Meek, Michigan Tech; Chris Pohlkamp, Bowling Green; Nolan Nicholas, Alaska-Anchorage; Nick Kossoff, Lake Superior; Zach Driscoll, Bemidji State