Sept. 30, 2009
Farmington Hills, Mich. – For the first time in four years, the coaches and media agree on who should hold down the No. 1 position in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s annual preseason polls. In two close races, Michigan received enough points from the conference’s 12 head coaches and 66 media members to be named the preseason favorite in both polls.
In the coaches’ poll, the Wolverines took five of a possible 11 first-place votes, five seconds, and one third-place vote. Notre Dame received four first-place votes as well as four seconds and three thirds. Miami took third, receiving two first-place votes, while Ohio State came in fourth. Northern Michigan captured the lone remaining first-place vote and finished fifth in the coaches’ poll.
The media also voted in favor of Michigan, with the Irish coming in a close second and Miami rounding out the top three just five points farther back. The Wolverines picked up 24 of a possible 66 first-place votes while the RedHawks and Irish received 20 first-place votes each. The Buckeyes and Wildcats finished fourth and fifth in the media poll as well.
The Wolverines, coming off of second-place finishes in both the CCHA regular-season and conference tournament, have 19 returning letter winners including starting goaltender Bryan Hogan, along with eight defensemen and nine forwards. Other returning impact players include First-Team All-American Louie Caporusso and 2009 CCHA Rookie of the Year David Wohlberg. Michigan is returning six of its top 10 scorers in Red Berenson’s 26th season as head coach.
The Irish bring back 19 players, including 15 of 21 letter winners, from a squad that won 31 games last season while capturing CCHA regular-season and tournament titles. They are led offensively by junior Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden), who had 31 points, along with six other returning Irish skaters who broke the 20-point barrier last season. The Irish also return First-Team All-American Ian Cole (Jr., Ann Arbor, Mich.) and the 2009 CCHA Defensive Defenseman of the year, Kyle Lawson (Sr., New Hudson, Mich.), on defense.
The RedHawks have 17 lettermen back from the team that appeared in the 2009 National Championship game. Ohio State will be led by junior forward John Albert, who has been named to the CCHA Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
The Wildcats bring back 18 of their 23 letter winners from the 2008-2009 season, and will be led by three CCHA Preseason All-Conference First Team members in senior goaltender Brian Stewart, junior defenseman Eric Gustafsson, and junior forward Mark Olver.
The media members ranked the 12 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. Points were awarded on a 12-11-10-9, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end.
CCHA Coaches Poll (1st) Points Media Poll (1st) Points
1. Michigan (5) 114 1. Michigan (24) 7312. NOTRE DAME (4) 111 2. NOTRE DAME (20) 7123. Miami (2) 104 3. Miami (20) 7074. Ohio State 90 4. Ohio State (1) 5475. Northern Michigan (1) 85 5. Northern Michigan 5026. Nebraska-Omaha 63 6. Alaska 3867. Alaska 61 7. Nebraska-Omaha 3778. Ferris State 50 8. Michigan State (1) 3329. Michigan State 46 9. Ferris State 31410. Lake Superior State 29 10. Western Michigan 25611. Western Michigan 28 11. Lake Superior State 18912. Bowling Green 11 12. Bowling Green 95