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Bemidji State picked fifth in WCHA preseason polls, Minnesota State again the favorite

BSU freshman Aaron Miller (16) races for the puck in the first period against the University of North Dakota on Friday at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI—The Bemidji State men's hockey team was picked to finish fifth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in preseason polls of league coaches and the media.

Minnesota State was the favorite to repeat as WCHA regular season champion in both the Mankato Free Press coaches' and UAHHockey.com media polls. The Mavericks received seven of 10 first-place votes (88 points overall) in the coaches' poll, and 13 of 19 first-place votes (182 points overall) in the media poll.

The Beavers garnered 54 points in the coaches' poll, and 110 in the media poll to be slotted fifth in each.

Northern Michigan and Bowling Green were second and third in the coaches' poll, but were reversed in the media poll. Michigan Tech came in fourth in both polls. NMU and MTU collected first-place votes from the coaches, while BGSU and NMU did so from the media.

The bottom halves of the polls included Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Alaska, Alabama Huntsville and Alaska Anchorage.

Northern Michigan forwards Adam Rockwood and Troy Loggins were named the coaches' and media's picks, respectively, for WCHA Preseason Player of the Year. Ferris State defenseman Cooper Zech was the coaches' selection as WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year.

Northern Michigan landed four players on the Coaches' Preseason All-WCHA Team and three on the media's Preseason All-WCHA First Team.

No Bemidji State players were selected to either team, though senior forward Jay Dickman, senior defenseman Justin Baudry and sophomore goaltender Zach Driscoll received votes for the media's teams.

Those three Beavers and a host of young players have assembled in Bemidji ahead of the season. BSU's roster features nine newcomers—six forwards, two defensemen and transfer goalie Driscoll.

"We're going to have some freshmen that are going to have to play, and some are going to be playing on the power play," BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. "We're just going to be asking a lot out of those guys."

The Beavers will begin the 2018-19 campaign with an exhibition against Lakehead University on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Sanford Center. The regular season will kick off with a home-and-home series against North Dakota starting in Bemidji on Friday, Oct. 12.

2018-19 Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches' Poll

1-Minnesota State (7) 88

2-Northern Michigan (2) 80

3-Bowling Green 76

4-Michigan Tech (1) 64

5-Bemidji State 54

6-Ferris State 49

7-Lake Superior State 40

8-Alaska 36

9-Alabama Huntsville 35

10-Alaska Anchorage 18

2018-19 UAHHockey.com WCHA Preseason Media Poll

1-Minnesota State (13) 182

2-Bowling Green (1) 159

3-Northern Michigan (5) 150

4-Michigan Tech 133

5-Bemidji State 110

6-Ferris State 102

7-Alabama Huntsville 69

8-Lake Superior State 57

9-Alaska 47

10-Alaska Anchorage 28

Coaches' Preseason All-WCHA Team

Forwards: Adam Rockwood, Sr., NMU; Marc Michaelis, So., MSU; Troy Loggins, Sr., NMU.

Defensemen: Alec Rauhauser, Jr., BGSU; Philip Beaulieu, Jr., NMU.

Goaltender: Atte Tolvanen, Sr., NMU.

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards — Jake Jaremko, So., MSU; Brandon Kruse, So., BGSU; Jake Lucchini, Sr., MTU; Corey Mackin, Sr., FSU. Defensemen — Ryker Killins, Sr., FSU; Connor Mackey, So., MSU; Ian Scheid, Jr., MSU. Goaltender — Ryan Bednard, Jr., BGSU.

Media Preseason All-WCHA First Team

Forwards: Marc Michaelis, Jr., MSU; Jake Jaremko, Fr., MSU; Troy Loggins, Sr., NMU.

Defensemen: Alec Rauhauser, Jr., D, BGSU; Philip Beaulieu, Jr., D, NMU.

Goaltender: Atte Tolvanen, Sr., NMU.

Media Preseason All-WCHA Second Team

Forwards: Adam Rockwood, Sr., NMU; Jake Lucchini, Sr., MTU; Darien Craighead, Jr., NMU (tie); Brandon Kruse, So., BGSU (tie); Parker Tuomie, Jr., MSU (tie).

Defensemen: Ian Scheid, Jr., MSU; Chris Pohlkamp, Sr., BGSU.

Goaltender: Ryan Bednard, Jr., BGSU.

Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically by position): Forwards — Stephen Baylis, Sr., BGSU; Jay Dickman, Sr., BSU; Gavin Gould, Jr., MTU; Jake Jackson, Sr., MTU; Steven Jandric, So., UAF; Reggie Lutz, So., MSU; Corey Mackin, Sr., FSU. Defensemen — Justin Baudry, Sr., BSU; Kurt Gosselin, Sr., UAH; Ryker Killins, Sr., FSU; Mitch Meek, So., MTU; Nolan Nicholas, Jr., UAA. Goaltenders — Zach Driscoll, So., BSU; Nick Kossoff, Sr., LSSU.

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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