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)