Gophers picked to win WCHA by media

  • Blog Post by: $author
  • September 26, 2012 - 6:53 PM

The media votes have been counted. And figuring out their preseason pick for No. 1 in the WCHA was pretty easy.

Twenty four of 25 media votes picked the Gophers to finish No. 1. And one voter picked North Dakota. Wonder where he was based?

The 94X -- home of UMD hockey -- preseason poll:

1. Gophers

2. North Dakota

3. Denver

4. Wisconsin

5. UMD

6. St. Cloud State

7. Colorado College

8. Nebraska Omaha

9. Michigan Tech

10. Minnesota State

11. Bemidji State

12. Alaska Anchorage

For complete results, go the Ciskie Blog here.


Gophers center Nick Bjugstad was picked the WCHA's player of the year. He got 16 of 25 votes. Next, a distant second, was Erik Haula, who center the U's second line, with four votes. Winger Mark Zengerle had three votes.

The all-WCHA first team:

Forwards: Bjugstad, Zengerle and Ben Hanowksi, St. Cloud State

Defenseman: Joey LaLeggia, Denver and Nick Jensen, St. Cloud State

Goalies: Sam Brittain, Denver and Josh Thorimbert, Colorado College.

Haula was among other receiving votes at forward, defenseman Nate Schmidt of Gophers almost made team, too.

UND's Rocco Grimaldi, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, was tabbed the WCHA's rookie of the year for the second year in a row. Gophers defenseman Brady Skjei also got a few votes.

Other Gophers who could contend for postseason awards, IMO, are forwards Nate Condon, one of team's fastest skaters, and Kyle Rau, always around the net.

Another contender for all-rookie team could be Mike Reilly, a highly skilled offensive defenseman.

The coaches' preseason poll has yet to come out. It should have the Gophers at N. 1, but beyond that there might be some disagreement.



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