Oct. 3, 2012
Farmington Hills, Mich. -
For the fifth time in the last seven years, the coaches and media disagree on who should own the top spot in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's annual preseason polls. The CCHA's 11 head coaches ranked Notre Dame first for the second consecutive year while voting from 87 members of the media tabbed Michigan as the preseason favorite.
In the coaches' poll, the Fighting Irish captured seven first-place votes and one second, while Michigan took two first-place votes as well as six seconds to come in just five points behind Notre Dame. Western Michigan, last season's CCHA Tournament champion, had the remaining first-place votes to finish third, just three points behind Michigan and eight behind the Irish. Miami was fourth in the poll while the 2011-12 CCHA regular-season and national runner-up Ferris State rounded out the top five.
The media selected Michigan in the top spot with Western Michigan second and Notre Dame third, agreeing with the coaches on which three teams should occupy the top three spots. The Wolverines picked up 50 of a possible 87 first-place votes, while the Broncos garnered 25 and the Irish received nine first-place votes. The Bulldogs and RedHawks finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the media poll as well.
The Fighting Irish, who finished eighth in the 2011-12 season return 20 letterwinners, including the top two scorers in junior forwards T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) and Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.). Tynan was the CCHA co-scoring champion and a first-team all-CCHA selection last year as he led the Irish with 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points. Lee was an honorable mention all-CCHA choice and was second with 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points. Both were selected first team on the CCHA preseason all-conference team.
The Wolverines return 20 letterwinners from the `11-'12 team that finished second in the conference and made their 22nd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan place three players on the preseason all-conference team with junior Jon Merrill taking first-team honors and senior defender Lee Moffie named second team. Sophomore forward Alex Guptill was a second team choice after taking rookie of the year honors a year ago.
Western Michigan is the defending Mason Cup champion and returns 15 letterwinners, including three preseason first-team all-conference choices: junior Chase Balisy at forward, junior defenseman Dan DeKeyser and sophomore goaltender Frank Slubowski.
A total of 87 media members ranked the 11 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. Points were awarded on an 11-10-9-8, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season would end.
The actual results of both polls:
CCHA Coaches Poll (1st-place) Points Media Poll (1st-place) Points
1. NOTRE DAME (7) 105 1. Michigan (50) 903
2. Michigan (2) 100 2. Western Michigan (25) 825
3. Western Michigan (2) 97 3. NOTRE DAME (9) 765
4. Miami 78 4. Ferris State (3) 626
5. Ferris State 67 5. Miami 622
6. Ohio State 66 6. Michigan State 528
7. Michigan State 56 7. Ohio State 438
8. Bowling Green 43 8. Northern Michigan 389
Northern Michigan 43 9. Bowling Green 264
10. Alaska 31 10. Lake Superior 232
11. Lake Superior 29 11. Alaska 150