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College Hockey:
WCHA coaches and media agree Minnesota State is team to beat in new-look league

The revamped WCHA may have a lot of uncertainties heading into the 2013-14 season, but both the league’s coaches and media agree that Minnesota State is the team to beat after both groups tabbed the Mavericks to finish first this year in two separate polls.

The media poll was conducted by Jack Hittinger of the Bemidji Pioneer, while the coaches’ poll, sponsored by the Mankato Free Press, was conducted by Shane Frederick of the paper.

In addition, both the coaches and media named an All-WCHA preseason team.

2013 WCHA PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL

School (First-Place Votes)
Total Points
1. Minnesota State (9)81
2. Ferris State65
3. Michigan Tech (1)64
4. Bowling Green58
5. Alaska54
6. Northern Michigan40
7. Bemidji State35
8. Lake Superior State25
9. Alaska-Anchorage18
10. Alabama-Huntsville10

2013 WCHA COACHES’ PRESEASON ALL-WCHA TEAM

Player
Position
Class
School
Matt LeitnerFJr.Minnesota State
Ryan CarpenterFJr.Bowling Green
Alex PetanFSo.Michigan Tech
Zach PalmquistDJr.Minnesota State
Jason BinkleyDJr.Ferris State
Stephon WilliamsGSo.Minnesota State

Leitner was named preseason player of the year and Minnesota State forward Zach Stepan was tabbed preseason rookie of the year in both polls. Michigan Tech’s Brent Baltus and Northern Michigan’s Shane Sooth also received votes for player of the year in the coaches’ poll, while Petan, Carpenter, Cody Kunyk (Alaska) and Blake Tatchell (Alaska-Anchorage) also earned votes for player of the year.

Others receiving votes on the All-WCHA Team: Forwards – Blake Tatchell (Alaska-Anchorage), Matt Bailey (Alaska-Anchorage), Cody Kunyk (Alaska), Garrett Thompson (Ferris State); Defensemen – Colton Parayko (Alaska), Matt Prapavessis (Bemidji State), Mike Sullivan (Bowling Green), Ralfs Freibergs (Bowling Green), Scott Czarnowczan (Ferris State), Kevin Czuczman (Lake Superior State), C.J. Ludwig (Northern Michigan); Goaltenders – Kevin Kapalka (Lake Superior State)

WCHA MEDIA PRESEASON POLL

School (First-Place Votes)
Total Points
1. Minnesota State (22)244
2. Ferris State (2)218
3. Alaska168
4. Bowling Green149
5. Michigan Tech144
6. Northern Michigan137
7. Lake Superior State117
8. Bemidji State (1)108
9. Alaska-Anchorage54
10. Alabama-Huntsville36

WCHA MEDIA PRESEASON ALL-WCHA TEAM

Player
Position
Class
School
Matt LeitnerFJr.Minnesota State
Alex PetanFSo.Michigan Tech
Ryan CarpenterFJr.Bowling Green
Jason BinkleyDJr.Ferris State
Zach PalmquistDJr.Minnesota State
Stephon WilliamsGSo.Minnesota State

For preseason rookie of the year, Tomas Sholl (Bowling Green), Brendan Harms (Bemidji State), Mathias Dahlstrom (Northern Michigan) and Cliff Watson (Michigan Tech) received votes and Garrett Thompson (Ferris State) and Stephon Williams (Minnesota State) earned votes for player of the year.

Others receiving votes on All-WCHA Team: Forwards – Cody Kunyk (Alaska), Reed Seckel (Northern Michigan), Stephan Vigier (Northern Michigan); Defensemen – Matt Prapavessis (Bemidji State), Ralfs Freibergs (Bowling Green), Colton Parayko (Alaska), C.J. Ludwig (Northern Michigan); Goaltenders – C.J. Motte (Ferris State), Andrew Walsh (Bemidji State)


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  • joe

    This conference is a joke.

    • icelund

      The conference itself may not be as competitive as Hockey East, the NCHC or the Big 10, but Minnesota State at least is far from a joke.

    • Matt Forget

      Well, wasn’t this comment useful, insightful, and informative? My favorite part is the in-depth analysis as to why this conference is a joke, with wel-thought out analyses based on past performance, relative performance to other teams, and other empirical data used in a very logically-sound argument.

      Have fun eating your words when they pull an ECACH and do better than expected. The only thing that is a “joke” is a college hockey fan who worries more about how “awesome” a league is rather than just rooting for his team to do well, and respecting when others do well.

      • joe

        Yes every year the ECACH has one or two decent teams, but its a 12 team conference and most of the teams are garbage. Same thing with the nWCHA, MSU-M and Ferris may be above average for a year or two, but the rest of the league are bottom feeders of the old WCHA and CCHA.

        • BeaverFever

          You are the joke and truly cannot call yourself a hockey fan. I remember when St Cloud State was a bottom feeder and last year they made the frozen four. I remember all of two years ago when Mankato was a bottom feeder and now, ranked to 10 in CHA Pre-Season. I have seen UMD struggle many years, then took home a crown in 2011. Yale, well, enough said. UMass-Lowell, another.
          They joy for fans of non-B1G schools is watching their team have that year. It may not come often, but for many it comes.
          Michigan Tech and LSSU have each won 3 national crowns. NMU has one. Bowling Green has one. If your memory is as bad as your attitude, I’ll refresh it. Ferris State made the frozen four and national finals in 2012. Bemidji State made the frozen four in 2009.
          It will happen again, and when it does, my only hope is that it is the team you root for that they knock off along the way.

          • joe

            I love all the people that try to justify how “competitive” the nWCHA in based on national titles won 20+ years ago.

          • BeaverFever

            Actually, is was 19 years ago when LSSU won last. By that logic, let’s look at some “powerful teams.” UND, it’s been 13 years. Colorado College, last was in 1957. Miami of Ohio, never. UNO, never. Ohio State, never. St Cloud State, never. Western Michigan, never.
            I’m not arguing that they are not good teams, just stating that sometimes, “competitive teams” fall short.
            If you read the last paragraph again, you will see that the “non-competitive” teams in the nWCHA have made some statements in 2009 and 2012. Tell Denver, Cornell, and Notre Dame that these teams weren’t “competitive.”
            Enough said. Drop the puck!

    • Tom

      As i recall Ferris State went to the final 2 a couple of years ago, and was 1 of only two teams that earned a 1st round bye in the CCHA tournament the last 4 years the other is Miami of Ohio. Plus every senior (5) on last year team has signed a pro contract.

  • JakeB

    Really…You all said that about the ECACH last year… Have a good year WCHA.

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