BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Sept. 24, 2018 – Defending regular season champion Minnesota State was picked to once again hoist the MacNaughton Cup in 2018-19, according to polls of the men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) coaches and media. Northern Michigan forwards Adam Rockwood and Troy Loggins split the coaches’ and media’s votes, respectively, as WCHA Preseason Player of the Year, while Ferris State defenseman Cooper Zech was the coaches’ choice as WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Minnesota State, which has won an NCAA-best 151 games over the last six seasons and has captured at least a share of the WCHA regular season title in three of the last four campaigns, received seven of 10 first-place votes (88 points overall) in the sixth annual Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Mavericks took 13 of 19 first-place votes (182 points overall) in the second annual UAHHockey.com WCHA Preseason Media Poll.
Last season’s runner-up, Northern Michigan, received two first-place nods and was picked second in the coaches’ poll following its first 25-win campaign since 2001-02. Bowling Green, which has four-consecutive 20-win seasons, was picked third, while back-to-back WCHA playoff champion Michigan Tech received one first-place vote and was tabbed fourth. Bemidji State was picked fifth with 54 points, followed by Ferris State in sixth with 49 points. Rounding out the list were Lake Superior State (seventh place, 40 points), Alaska (eighth, 36), Alabama Huntsville (ninth, 35) and Alaska Anchorage (10th, 18).
The media poll reversed the Falcons (second place) and Wildcats (third); however, Northern Michigan received five first-place votes to Bowling Green’s one. Michigan Tech, Bemidji State and Ferris State were identical (fourth through sixth), but the media’s WCHA Playoffs field included Alabama Huntsville (seventh place) and Lake Superior State (eighth). Alaska (ninth) and Alaska Anchorage (10th) rounded out the poll.
Rockwood, a senior from Coquitlam, British Columbia and the coaches’ choice as WCHA Preseason Player of the Year, led the league in overall-game scoring last year with 48 points for the Wildcats, including an NCAA-best 40 assists. Loggins, a senior from Huntington Beach, Calif., earned the media nod after setting career highs in 2017-18 with 23 goals (including an NCAA-best five short-handed strikes), 24 assists and 47 points.
Zech, a blue-liner from South Lyon, Mich., was voted WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year by the league’s coaches. The Ferris State freshman played for the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League last season where he was the BCHL’s Defenseman of the Year, leading the league with 58 assists and scoring 69 points in 58 games. He also had 23 points, including 19 assists in 20 playoff games as the Wild won the RBC Cup.
Rockwood was one of four Northern Michigan players voted to the coaches’ Preseason All-WCHA Team. He was joined by Loggins, junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (a second-team All-American in 2017-18) and senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (the reigning WCHA Goaltender of the Year). Others on the team were: Minnesota State junior forward Marc Michaelis and Bowling Green junior defenseman Alec Rauhauser (last season’s WCHA Defenseman of the Year and a second-team All-American).
The media’s Preseason All-WCHA First Team consisted of Loggins, Michaelis and 2017-18 WCHA Rookie of the Year Jake Jaremko (Minnesota State) as forwards, along with defensemen Rauhauser and Beaulieu, and goaltender Tolvanen.
The WCHA launches its 67th season the weekend of Oct. 6-7, with five teams playing nonconference games (Alabama Huntsville, Alaska, Alaska Anchorage, Bowling Green and Lake Superior State) and three programs hosting exhibition contests (Bemidji State, Ferris State and Minnesota State). WCHA league openers are set for the weekend of Oct. 26-27, as Alabama Huntsville hosts Lake Superior State, Ferris State welcomes Alaska Anchorage, Minnesota State entertains Alaska and Northern Michigan faces off against Bemidji State.
After the regular season concludes the weekend of March 1-2, the third annual, on-campus WCHA Postseason Tournament will feature the quarterfinal (March 8-10) and semifinal (March 15-17) rounds of the “2019 WCHA Playoffs,” followed by the single-game, “2019 WCHA Championship” on March 23.
Fans can follow the entire 2018-19 WCHA season, from opening night through the WCHA Championship, with live and on-demand streaming exclusively on FloHockey.tv. Either a monthly ($30) or annual PRO ($150) subscription unlocks access to premium content across the entire FloSports network, which can be viewed on all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Roku or Apple TV 4.
|2018-19 Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll|
|Rk||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|1.||Minnesota State (7)||88|
|2.||Northern Michigan (2)||80|
|4.||Michigan Tech (1)||64|
|7.||Lake Superior State||40|
|Predicted order of finish. Based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.|
WCHA Preseason Player of the Year
Adam Rockwood, Sr., F, Northern Michigan (4)
Others receiving votes: Jake Jaremko, So., F, Minnesota State (3); Marc Michaelis, Jr., F, Minnesota State (2); Troy Loggins, Sr. F, Northern Michigan (1).
WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year
Cooper Zech, D, Ferris State (5)
Others receiving votes: Dryden McKay, G, Minnesota State (2); Griffin Loughran, F, Northern Michigan (1); Tim Theocharidis, D, Bowling Green (1); Chris Van Os-Shaw, F, Minnesota State (1).
Preseason All-WCHA Team
Forwards: Adam Rockwood, Sr., Northern Michigan; Marc Michaelis, So., Minnesota State; Troy Loggins, Sr., Northern Michigan
Defensemen: Alec Rauhauser, Jr., Bowling Green; Philip Beaulieu, Jr., Northern Michigan
Goaltender: Atte Tolvanen, Sr., Northern Michigan
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards – Jake Jaremko, So., Minnesota State; Brandon Kruse, So., Bowling Green; Jake Lucchini, Sr., Michigan Tech; Corey Mackin, Sr., Ferris State. Defensemen – Ryker Killins, Sr., Ferris State; Connor Mackey, So., Minnesota State; Ian Scheid, Jr., Minnesota State. Goaltender – Ryan Bednard, Jr., Bowling Green.
|2018-19 UAHHockey.com WCHA Preseason Media Poll|
|Rk||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|1.||Minnesota State (13)||182|
|2.||Bowling Green (1)||159|
|3.||Northern Michigan (5)||150|
|8.||Lake Superior State||57|
|Predicted order of finish. Based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.|
Preseason WCHA Player of the Year
Troy Loggins, Sr., F, Northern Michigan
Others receiving votes: Jake Jaremko, So., F, Minnesota State; Marc Michaelis, Jr., F, Minnesota State; Adam Rockwood, Sr., F, Northern Michigan; Atte Tolvanen, Sr., G, Northern Michigan.
Preseason All-WCHA First Team
Forwards: Marc Michaelis, Jr., Minnesota State; Jake Jaremko, Fr., Minnesota State; Troy Loggins, Sr., Northern Michigan
Defensemen: Alec Rauhauser, Jr., D, Bowling Green; Philip Beaulieu, Jr., D, Northern Michigan
Goaltender: Atte Tolvanen, Sr., Northern Michigan
Preseason All-WCHA Second Team
Forwards: Adam Rockwood, Sr., Northern Michigan; Jake Lucchini, Sr., Michigan Tech; Darien Craighead, Jr., Northern Michigan (tie); Brandon Kruse, So., Bowling Green (tie); Parker Tuomie, Jr., Minnesota State (tie)
Defensemen: Ian Scheid, Jr., Minnesota State; Chris Pohlkamp, Sr., Bowling Green
Goaltender: Ryan Bednard, Jr., Bowling Green
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards – Stephen Baylis, Sr., Bowling Green; Jay Dickman, Sr., Bemidji State; Gavin Gould, Jr., Michigan Tech; Jake Jackson, Sr., Michigan Tech; Steven Jandric, So., Alaska; Reggie Lutz, So., Minnesota State; Corey Mackin, Sr., Ferris State. Defensemen – Justin Baudry, Sr., Bemidji State; Kurt Gosselin, Sr., Alabama Huntsville; Ryker Killins, Sr., Ferris State; Mitch Meek, So., Michigan Tech; Nolan Nicholas, Jr., Alaska Anchorage. Goaltenders – Zach Driscoll, So., Bemidji State; Nick Kossoff, Sr., Lake Superior State.
WCHA Preseason Media Teleconference Audio
WCHA President and Men's League Commissioner Bill Robertson
WCHA Supervisor of Officials Greg Shepherd
Alabama Huntsville Head Coach Mike Corbett
Alaska Anchorage Head Coach Matt Curley
Alaska Head Coach Erik Largen
Bemidji State Head Coach Tom Serratore
Bowling Green Head Coach Chris Bergeron
Ferris State Head Coach Bob Daniels
Lake Superior State Head Coach Damon Whitten
Michigan Tech Head Coach Joe Shawhan
Minnesota State Head Coach Mike Hastings
Northern Michigan Head Coach Grant Potulny
About the Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll
The 2018-19 Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll was conducted by Shane Frederick, staff writer, The Free Press Media. ( www.mankatofreepress.com; www.mankatofreepresshockey.blogspot.com; Twitter/ @puckato)
About the UAHHockey.com WCHA Men’s Hockey Preseason Media Poll
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Men’s League
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, will proudly mark its 67th season of men’s competition in 2017-18. The 10-team Division 1 conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.