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SCSU Third in preseason poll

SCSU Third in preseason poll Click to Enlarge Photo:

Sep 25, 2014 at 10:32 am

MINNEAPOLIS – After finishing second in the inaugural season of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, North Dakota has been tabbed as the favorite to win the NCHC regular-season title in 2014-15 by media, as the conference released the NCHC Preseason Poll Thursday in advance of its Media Day.

 

North Dakota totaled 181 points from the 25 media members who voted in the poll, including receiving 12 first-place votes, the most of any team. Three different teams received at least one first-place vote with Miami coming in second in the preseason poll with 167 points and nine first-place votes. St. Cloud State, the defending Penrose Cup champions, was selected to finish third, receiving 151 points in the poll, including four first-place votes.

 

Coming in fourth in the NCHC Preseason Poll was Denver, who finished 2013-14 strong by capturing the inaugural NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship. The Pioneers collected 117 points, while Minnesota Duluth was right behind in fifth with 112 points. Omaha placed sixth in the poll, compiling 73 points, while Western Michigan was just behind in seventh with 67 points. Rounding out the preseason poll was Colorado College, which finished seventh a season ago and received 32 points from the media.

 

North Dakota returns 20 letterwinners from a 2013-14 squad that finished 25-14-3 overall, including placing second in the NCHC at 15-9-0 after losing out on the regular-season title to SCSU on the final night of the season. UND advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four a season ago and is primed for another strong run, boasting a roster with 14 NHL draft picks, including junior goaltender Zane McIntyre, who was a unanimous NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team selection.

 

Miami, who was the NCHC preseason favorite a season ago, struggled in the NCHC’s inaugural season, finishing eighth with a record of 15-20-3 overall and 6-17-1-1 in conference play. But the RedHawks showed promise late in the season, making a run to the Frozen Faceoff championship game before falling to Denver. Miami brings back 19 letterwinners from that team, including NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team selections senior forward Austin Czarnik and junior forward Riley Barber, who finished first and second respectively in the overall NCHC scoring race in 2013-14.

 

St. Cloud State, the lone other team to receive first-place votes, won the inaugural regular-season title with a record of 15-6-3-0 and finished 22-11-5 overall while reaching the NCAA West Regional Final. The Huskies bring back 21 letterwinners from that team, led by junior forward Jonny Brodzinski, who was selected to the NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team.

 

The NCHC’s second season begins with four exhibition games Saturday, Oct. 4 while regular-season play begins Friday, Oct. 10 with seven of the eight teams in action. Conference play opens the following Friday, Oct. 17 as Omaha travels to Western Michigan and North Dakota heads to Colorado College. Watch over 100 games live throughout the season on NCHC.tv.

 

NCHC Preseason Poll

  1. North Dakota – 181 points (12 first-place votes)
  2. Miami – 167  (9)
  3. St. Cloud State – 151 (4)
  4. Denver – 117 (0)
  5. Minnesota Duluth – 112 (0)
  6. Omaha – 73 (0)
  7. Western Michigan  - 67 (0)
  8. Colorado College – 32 (0)
Matt Wood

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