Gophers, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Bemidji State picked to finish atop conference; Minnesota's Hannah Brandt and Sarah Potomak tabbed as preseason award favorites
Minnesota's Hannah Brandt was selected as WCHA Preseason Player of the Year

EDINA, Minn. – Sept. 15, 2015 – The four teams that finished last season ranked in the top 10 nationally are the coaches' preseason picks to finish atop the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings in 2015-16, led by defending league regular season and national champion Minnesota.

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1 Minnesota (6) 48
2 Wisconsin (2) 44
3 North Dakota 35
4 Bemidji State 31
5 Minnesota Duluth 26
6 Ohio State 20
7 St. Cloud State 13
8 Minnesota State 7
(note: coaches could not vote for their own teams in the poll and points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system)

WCHA Preseason Player of the Year (votes)

Hannah Brandt, Sr., F, Minnesota (7); Sarah Nurse, Jr., F, Wisconsin (1)

WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year (votes)

Sarah Potomak, Fr., F, Minnesota (4); Jincy Dunne, Fr., D, Ohio State (2); Mikaela Gardner, Fr., D, Wisconsin (1); Sophia Shaver, Fr., F, Wisconsin (1)

The Golden Gophers are coming off a campaign which saw them win their third national championship in four seasons, the sixth in school history and the 15th in 16 seasons for the WCHA. Head Coach Brad Frost's team has also won the last three WCHA regular season crowns, finishing 2014-15 with 72 points on the strength of a 22-2-4 league mark. Minnesota collected six first place votes and 48 points in the annual poll of the league's eight head coaches.

Wisconsin, another Frozen Four team from last season, placed second in the coaches' poll with 44 points and two first-place votes. In a close vote between 2015 Final Face-Off participants, North Dakota (35 points) edged out Bemidji State (31 points) for third place.

Minnesota Duluth, with 26 points, was selected to finish in fifth place, while Ohio State (20 points) was tabbed for sixth. St. Cloud State and Minnesota State rounded out the poll.

Minnesota senior forward Hannah Brandt, the two-time defending WCHA Player of the Year, was the coaches' choice for the same honors again in 2015-16. Gophers' freshman forward Sarah Potomak is the preseason favorite for WCHA Rookie of the Year, edging out Ohio State's Jincy Dunne and a pair of Badgers (Mikaela Gardner and Sophia Shaver).