GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- The head coaches of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association have tabbed defending national champion Minnesota as the favorites in the annual preseason coaches' poll.
North Dakota and Wisconsin finished tied for second place in the poll with 40 votes, including one first-place vote each.
Minnesota Duluth, with 32 points, was selected to finish fourth, followed by Ohio State in fifth place, Bemidji State in sixth, Minnesota State in seventh and St. Cloud State in eighth.
Last season's Patty Kazmaier Award winner Brianna Decker is favored to repeat as the WCHA Player of the Year with four votes, while UND's Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) and Minnesota's Amanda Kessel received two votes each.
The Gophers' Hannah Brandt received all eight votes as the WCHA Pre-Season Rookie of the Year.
NCAA action and league play gets underway this weekend while UND opens play Oct. 5-6 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena hosting against Minnesota State.
|Rk||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|2||North Dakota (1)||40|
|8||St. Cloud State||9|