Fighting Sioux Pick Of WCHA; Swanson Tabbed As Preseason MVP

North Dakota is favored to three-peat as WCHA regular-season champion this year, according to the 28th annual Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald WCHA Coaches’ Poll, released Tuesday.

The Fighting Sioux, who finished last season 30-8-1 overall and 21-6-1 in the conference, received eight of the nine first-place votes in the poll. Coaches do not rank their own teams in the poll.

Colorado College received one first-place vote and is picked to finish second. Wisconsin is at No. 3, with Minnesota at St. Cloud State rounding out the top five. The coaches chose Minnesota-Duluth sixth, Denver seventh, Michigan Tech eighth and Alaska-Anchorage as the No. 9 team in the conference.

Brian Swanson was tabbed the coaches’ preseason Most Valuable Player. The Colorado College forward received 4.5 votes, 2.5 ahead of North Dakota goaltender Karl Goehring. Sioux forward Jason Blake got 1.5 votes and Denver forward Paul Comrie received one.

Minnesota freshman goaltender Adam Hauser received three votes to be named preseason Rookie of the Year. Tyler Arneson (F, St. Cloud State), Nate DeCasmirro (F, St. Cloud State), Jordon Leopold (D, Minnesota), Matt Pettinger (F-Denver), Mike Stuart (D, Colorado College) and Dave Tanabe (D, Wisconsin) each received one vote.