The first-place votes were split between Bemidji State and Niagara in the final CHA preseason coaches poll, but the Beavers earned more points to take the top spot.
Bemidji State and Niagara each earned two first-place votes, but the Beavers had eight overall points while the Purple Eagles had seven.
Robert Morris came in third, with Alabama-Huntsville taking fourth.
Beavers junior forward Matt Read was a unanimous choice to be the league’s player of the year.
Bemidji State and Robert Morris each had two players on the preseason all-CHA team. That team included Read, Niagara senior forward Chris Moran, Robert Morris junior forward Nathan Longpre, Bemidji State sophomore defenseman Brad Hunt, Robert Morris junior defenseman Denny Urban and Alabama-Huntsville junior goaltender Cameron Talbot.
The Beavers will be looking for their third straight CHA regular season title. They won the regular season and playoff titles last season before making a run to the Frozen Four.
The CHA is disbanding following the season. Robert Morris and Niagara are moving to Atlantic Hockey, while Bemidji State has been accepted into the WCHA.
Here is the full poll:
Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Bemidji State (2) 8
2. Niagara (2) 7
3. Robert Morris 6
4. Alabama-Huntsville 3