SignUp
Sport Page
Forward Rocco Grimaldi was picked WCHA preseason rookie of the year.
UND picked No. 2 in WCHA preseason media poll
Text smallerText larger
Updated: Monday 09/26/2012 11:12:33 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
Send this article to a friend Print RSS Shop Files available
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Three-time defending WCHA Final Five champion North Dakota is ranked No. 2 in the annual 94X (Duluth) WCHA Preseason Media Poll released on Wednesday.

A panel of 25 members of the WCHA voted tabbed defending WCHA regular season champion Minnesota to repeat as league champions. The Golden Gophers received 24 of 25 first-place votes, with UND receiving the only other first-place nod.

No. 3 Denver, No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 5 Minnesota Duluth rounded out the top five.

UND freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi was named the league's preseason rookie of the year after receiving 8 ½ votes. Grimaldi received the same honor in last season's poll before missing all but four games due to a knee injury. He will retain his freshman status for the 2012-13 season.

UND will open the season with exhibition games against Manitoba (Oct. 6) and the U.S. Under-18 Team (Oct. 12) before kicking off the regular season Oct. 19-20 at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament in Fairbanks.

94X WCHA PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
(1st place votes)
1. Minnesota (24)
2. North Dakota (1)
3. Denver
4. Wisconsin
5. Minnesota Duluth
6. St. Cloud State
7. Colorado College
8. Nebraska Omaha
9. Michigan Tech
10. Minnesota State
11. Bemidji State
12. Alaska Anchorage

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nick Bjugstad, forward, Minnesota (16 votes)
Others receiving more than one vote: Erik Haula, forward, Minnesota (4); Mark Zengerle, forward, Wisconsin (3)

PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Rocco Grimaldi, forward, North Dakota (8 1/2 votes)
Others receiving more than one vote: Nic Kerdiles, forward, Wisconsin (5); Jordan Schmaltz, defenseman, North Dakota (2 1/2); Brady Skjei, defenseman, Minnesota (2); Andy Welinski, defenseman, Minnesota Duluth (2)

PRESEASON ALL-WCHA TEAM
Forwards
Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota (20 votes); Mark Zengerle, Wisconsin (17); Ben Hanowski, St. Cloud State (8)

Others receiving more than one vote: Danny Kristo, North Dakota (7); Erik Haula, Minnesota (6); Rylan Schwartz, Colorado College (5); Corban Knight, North Dakota (3)

Defensemen
Joey LaLeggia, Denver (20 votes); Nick Jensen, St. Cloud State (9)

Others receiving more than one vote: Nate Schmidt, Minnesota (7); Wade Bergman, Minnesota Duluth (3)

Goalie
Sam Brittain, Denver and Josh Thorimbert, Colorado College (7 1/2 votes each)

Others receiving more than one vote: Juho Olkinuora, Denver (3), Joel Rumpel, Wisconsin (2)

Milestone goals icing on cake for birthday boy Olson
The University of North Dakota men's hockey team defeated St. Cloud 3-2 Saturday night at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. MORE
Evers powers UND past Towson in Preseason WNIT
TOWSON, Md.-- Emily Evers recorded team highs with 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead North Dakota past host Towson in the Preseason WNIT consolation round Saturday. MORE
Three third-period goals power UND to win
After being outshot and outscored through the first two periods of play, the University of North Dakota women's hockey team powered back in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals to... MORE
UND closes season with road win at UNC
North Dakota forced six turnovers and Jer Garman rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-14 victory over Northern Colorado in Big Sky play Saturday at Nottingham Field. MORE
Saturday game notes: UND at St. Cloud State
Second-ranked North Dakota looks for a NCHC series split tonight when it wraps up its series with 16th-ranked and host St. Cloud State MORE