Updates Around The League
- WCHA Drops the Puck on Season 22 Friday: The Western Collegiate Hockey Association opens its 22nd season of competition this weekend when (8/8) Minnesota Duluth visits Minnesota State on Nov. 20-21 and (4/4) Minnesota hosts (5/5) Ohio State, Nov. 21-22.
- Wisconsin Tops WCHA Preseason Coaches' Poll: Defending Julianne Bye Cup champion Wisconsin opens the season as the preseason choice of the league coaches to win the 2020-21 WCHA regular season title. The Badgers are seeking their ninth league crown, all under head coach Mark Johnson, and their fifth championship in the last six seasons. Wisconsin is 101-15-11 (.838) in league play since the start of the 2015-16 season.
- Watts Named Preseason Player of the Year: Wisconsin senior forward Daryl Watts was tabbed WCHA Preseason Player of the Year by the league's head coaches. The Toronto, Ont., native led the NCAA with 74 points on 25 goals and 49 assists a season ago
- Minnesota's Murphy Earns Preseason Rookie Nod: Minnesota's Abbey Murphy was the coaches' choice for WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year. Murphy was a member of the U.S. U-18 team that won the 2020 IIHF U-18 World Championship last year.
- WCHA in the Top 10: Four WCHA teams landed in the top eight of both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason polls, with all four teams receiving the same ranking on both lists. Preseason league favorite Wisconsin is No. 1. Minnesota checks in at No. 4 with defending WCHA Final Faceoff champion Ohio State at No. 5 and Minnesota Duluth at No. 8.
By the Numbers
- 299: Victories for Minnesota at Ridder Arena. The Golden Gophers boast a 299-49-22 (.838) mark in 19 seasons at their home rink.
- 96: Blocked shots by Minnesota State defenseman Anna Wilgren in 2019-20, the fourth-highest total in the NCAA last season.
- 22: Points on seven goals and 15 assists for Bemidji State senior forward Clair DeGeorge last season, the top point total among Beaver returnees in 2020-21.
- 17: Season-opening wins for Wisconsin. The Badgers are 17-3-1 all-time in on opening night.
- 10: Goals by St. Cloud State then-freshman Olivia Cvar in 2019-20, the most among WCHA rookies last season.
- 5: Game-winning goals for Minnesota Duluth defenseman Ashton Bell a season ago, the most by any blueliner in the NCAA.
- 3: Consecutive 20-win seasons for Ohio State after its 24-8-6 campaign in 2019-20.
The Week Ahead
- (8/8) Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota State: The Bulldogs visit Minnesota State to open the 2020-21 WCHA campaign on Friday. UMD finished 3-0-2 against MSU a year ago, including a tie in the Minnesota Cup that saw the Bulldogs advance with a goal in the 3-on-3 overtime period.
- (5/5) Ohio State at (4/4) Minnesota: The Buckeyes return to Ridder Arena to open the season on the same ice sheet where they rallied for a pair of overtime wins to take home the WCHA Final Faceoff title last season.
- Bemidji State at St. Cloud State: The season-opening series between the Beavers and Huskies was postponed on Nov. 15 after St. Cloud State paused all women's ice hockey activities for seven days due to a series of positive COVID-19 tests within the program. Make-up dates for the series are to be determined.