Senior defenseman Wes O'Neill anchors a veteran Notre Dame defense in 2006-07.

Notre Dame Picked To Finish Sixth By CCHA Coaches And Eighth By The Media

Sept. 27, 2006

Detroit, Mich. – The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) opened the 2006-07 college hockey season with its annual Media Day at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday afternoon.

The conference announced its annual coaches and media preseason polls along with a preseason all-CCHA team. In the polls ranking the teams, the Irish were picked to finish sixth by the league’s coaches while the media that covers the CCHA on a regular basis placed Notre Dame in eighth. The coaches’ vote gave the Irish 62 points, just two ahead of Alaska with 60. The Irish were just three ahead of eighth-place Northern Michigan (59) and seven ahead of ninth-place Ferris State (55). The coaches selected Michigan State first as the Spartans received seven first-place votes and 117 overall. Michigan was second with one first-place vote and 108 overall points and Miami (four first-place picks) and 107 overall, rounded out the top three.

In the media voting, the Irish were eighth with a total of 403 points. That was 34 points fewer than seventh-place Ferris State (437) and just 13 ahead of ninth-place Alaska (390). Michigan was the choice for first place by one point as the Wolverines got 26 first-place votes and 845 total points. Michigan State received more first-place votes (38), but had just 844 total points. Miami rounded out the top three with 13 first-place votes and 800 points overall. The results of both polls:

Coaches Poll (1st) Points     Media Poll (1st)    Points 1. Michigan State (7)  117   1. Michigan (26)        845 2. Michigan (1)        108   2. Michigan State (38)  844 3. Miami (4)           107   3. Miami (13)           800 4. Ohio State           84   4. Northern Michigan    570 5. Nebraska-Omaha       75   5. Nebraska-Omaha       539 6. NOTRE DAME           62   6. Ohio State           514 7. Alaska               60   7. Ferris State         437 8. Northern Michigan    59   8. NOTRE DAME           403 9. Ferris State         55   9. Alaska               39010. Lake Superior State  30  10. Lake Superior State  37911. Bowling Green        18  11. Bowling Green        15812. Western Michigan     17  12. Western Michigan     127

For the CCHA coaches also selected preseason all-Conference teams for the `06-’07 campaign. The team features players from six schools on the first or second teams and players from four other schools represented with honorable mentions. Notre Dame defenseman Wes O’Neill (Sr., Essex, Ont.) received honorable mention with one first-place vote and 17 points in all. Michigan led the way with four selections (three first team, one second), Miami was second with three (one first team, two second team and Michigan State had two picks (one first team, one second). Nebraska-Omaha All-American Scott Parse was the lone unanimous first team choice. Nebraska-Omaha, Bowling Green and Lake Superior had one pick each.

CCHA Preseason First Team           CCHA Preseason Second TeamPlayer (Yr., Pos, School) 1st Tot.   Player (Yr., Pos., School)  1st Tot.Scott Parse (Sr., F, UNO) 11  55     Ryan Jones (Jr., F, MU)      2  35T.J. Hensick (Sr., F, UM) 10  53     J. Matsumoto (Sr., F, BGSU)  2  32Nathan Davis (Jr., F, MU)  7  47     Kevin Porter (Jr., F, UM)    2  18Matt Hunwick (Sr., D, UM)  9  51     Mitch Ganzak (Jr., D, MU)    3  41Jack Johnson (So., D, UM)  5  41     Tyler Howells (Sr., D, MSU)  4  29Jeff Lerg (So., G, MSU)    6  43     Jeff Jakaitis (Sr., G, LSSU) 3  27

Honorable mention (next six point totals, regardless of position with first team votes in parentheses): Sean Collins, Sr., Ohio State, D, (2) 27; Charlie Effinger, Jr., Miami, G, (3) 19; Wes O’Neill, Sr., Notre Dame, D, (1) 17; Tyler Eckford, So., Alaska, D, 15; Darin Olver, Sr., Northern Michigan, F, (1) 14; Andrew Cogliano, So., Michigan, F, 12; Jeff Zatkoff, So., Miami, G, 12.