Woody on Hockey

Alaska is hockey heaven -- the Alaska Aces are perennial ECHL contenders, the UAA Seawolves play in the nation's premier college league and NHL star Scott Gomez headlines a contingent of pros. Join the conversation about the Aces and Alaska hockey with Doyle Woody, who has covered the game here at all levels for 29 years.

Contact: dwoody@adn.com

Here's a historically encouraging way of looking at UAA's WCHA series in Grand Forks - 10/25/2012 3:43 pm

Aces: Ambroz released (Plus, Courchaine note) - 10/25/2012 1:26 pm

Aces: Gee, those are some decent linemates Imbeault just got; plus, numbers changes - 10/25/2012 10:45 am

Aces add a defenseman in fourth-year pro Alain Goulet - 10/25/2012 9:59 am

A bunch of Alaska connections play in the Austrian League where Alexandre Imbeault began the season - 10/24/2012 5:41 pm

Man, UAA's Early Schedule Is Odd - 10/24/2012 5:07 pm

Former Aces Center Imbeault Is Now Current Aces Center Imbeault (UPDATED) - 10/24/2012 1:16 pm

North Pole's Copley Is WCHA Rookie Of The Week - 10/23/2012 12:19 pm

POLLS, POLLS!: WCHA Coaches Pick UAA For Last; Coaches And Media Bury UAF

Man, UAA and UAF took it on the chin prediction-wise today -- both hockey clubs were predicted to endure dismal seasons.

WCHA coaches in the 42nd annual Grand Forks Herald poll (which is below) tabbed Minnesota and North Dakota to finish 1-2. Those schools did last season, of a sort -- Minnesota won the regular-season title, NoDak bagged the playoff title.

And UAA, last in the league last season, was again picked to finish last this season, which is the last campaign for the WCHA as a power conference before it turns into something significantly weaker. UAF joins the WCHA next season because the CCHA will become toast.

Anyhow, CCHA coaches picked the Nanooks to finish 10th among 11 teams, and predict Notre Dame will win the league. CCHA media pick the Nanooks stone-cold last, and believe Michigan will win the league.

Below is the WCHA poll and some award predictions by the coaches.

42nd annual Grand Forks Herald coaches poll

1. Minnesota 121 (11)

2. North Dakota 110 (1)

3. Denver 91

4. SCSU 90

5. Wisconsin 70

6. Duluth 69

7. Colorado College 56

8t. Omaha 51

8t. Michigan Tech 51

10. MSU-Mankato 37

11. Bemidji State 31

12. Anchorage 15

Preseason player of the year: Nick Bjugstad, F, Minnesota (8); Mark Zengerle, F, Wisconsin (2); Matt White, F, Omaha (1); Ben Hanowski, F, SCSU (1)

Preseason rookie of the year: Rocco Grimaldi, F, North Dakota (7); Mike Reilly, D, Minnesota (3); Nic Kerdiles, F, Wisconsin (1); Andrew Welinski, D, Duluth (1)

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