Four players from two-time defending national champion Minnesota Duluth were named to the NCHC preseason all-conference team, as selected by media members, the conference announced Tuesday.
The Bulldogs, who finished second in the NCHC regular season and won the Frozen Faceoff tournament, landed senior goalie Hunter Shepard, junior defenseman Scott Perunovich and junior forwards Justin Richards and Nick Swaney on the team. The other three members on the team are a pair of Western Michigan seniors, forward Hugh McGing and defenseman Wade Allison, along with St. Cloud State senior defenseman Jack Ahcan.
Shepard, a Mike Richter Award finalist for the nation’s top goalie last season, was the only unanimous selection among the 27 voters. He’s the reigning NCHC goaltender of the year and a first-team All-America selection. The Cohasset, Minn., native started all 42 games for UMD last season, posting a 29-11-2 record, 1.72 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and seven shutouts. His 29 wins led Division I.
Perunovich, of Hibbing, Minn., is a two-time NCHC defenseman of the year. He had three goals and 26 assists last season. Richards, whose father, Todd, is a former Wild coach and Gophers defenseman, had 12 goals and 20 assists last season. Swaney, of Lakeville, had 10 goals and 15 assists last season. Ahcan, of Savage, had six goals and 28 assists last season on the way to second-team All-America honors. McGing had 16 goals and 14 assists last season, while Broncos teammate Allison collected eight goals and seven assists.
The NCHC preseason poll will be announced Wednesday.
NCHC preseason all-conference team
F: Hug McGing; Sr., Western Michigan – 22 votes
F: Justin Richards; Jr., Minnesota Duluth – 13
F: Wade Allison; Sr. Western Michigan – 10
F: Nick Swaney; Jr., Minnesota Duluth – 10
D: Scott Perunovich; Jr., Minnesota Duluth – 25
D: Jack Ahcan; Sr., St. Cloud State – 12
G: Hunter Shepard; Sr., Minnesota Duluth – 27 (unanimous)