More Wednesday reading: Thorimbert, CCHA coaches, media polls

Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert (39) made a save in the second period as Denver wing Chris Knowlton looks for the rebound during a college hockey game in Denver, Friday night, Feb. 3, 2012. The Denver Post, Karl Gehring

CC goalie Josh Thorimbert is profiled by Inside College Hockey.

From the CCHA …

For the fifth time in seven years, the coaches and media disagree on who should own the No. 1 position in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s annual preseason polls. The conference’s 11 head coaches ranked Notre Dame first for the second consecutive season, 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 the favorite. 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 finished fourth in the poll while the 2011-12 CCHA Regular-Season Champion and National Runner-Up Ferris State rounded out the top five.

The media voted in favor of Michigan, with Western Michigan coming in second and Notre Dame in third, agreeing with the coaches on which three teams should occupy top three.  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 Wolverines, who finished in second place in the regular season, return 20 letterwinners that took them to their 22nd consecutive NCAA tournament. Included in that list is a pair of defensemen that were named to a Preseason All-Conference Team, with junior Jon Merrill being named to the first team and senior Lee Moffie earning a second-team selection. Michigan also returns seven of its top ten scorers, including last season’s Rookie of the Year, Alex Guptill, who tied for the team lead in scoring a season ago, notching 16 goals and 33 points.

Notre Dame also brings back 20 letterwinners from the 2011-12 season, which saw the Irish finish eighth in the conference. The Irish return their top two scorers in junior forwards T.J. Tynan, last season’s Scoring Co-Champion, and Anders Lee. Both are CCHA Preseason All-Conference First-Team selections and combined for 30 goals and 75 points last season.

The Broncos are the defending CCHA Mason Cup champion and return 15 letterwinners, including a trio of CCHA Preseason All-Conference First Team selections: junior Chase Balisy at forward, junior Dan DeKeyser on defense and sophomore Frank Slubowski in goal. Western Michigan returns their top offensive line of Balisy, junior Shane Berschbach and senior Dane Walters. The trio combined to score 39 goals and 98 points last season, making up almost one-third of the Broncos’ scoring.

Miami is coming off a fourth place finish and returns a young roster of 18 underclassmen, including three freshmen goaltenders. The RedHawks return their second-highest scorer from last season in sophomore forward Austin Czarnik, a Preseason All-Conference Second Team selection. Ferris State hopes to build off last season’s success, returning 18 letterwinners, including three of their top five scorers.  

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 will end.

     Coaches Poll

        1.       Notre Dame (7) 105

        2.       Michigan (2)   100

        3.       Western Michigan (2)   97

        4.       Miami  78   

        5.       Ferris State   67

        6.       Ohio State     66

        7.       Michigan State 56

        8.       Bowling Green  43

        8.       Northern Michigan      43

        10.      Alaska 31

     11.    Lake Superior    29

     Media Poll

        1.      Michigan (50)   903

      2.      Western Michigan (25)   825

        3.      Notre Dame (9)  765

        4.      Ferris State (3)        626

        5.      Miami   622

        6.      Michigan State  528

        7.      Ohio State      438

        8.      Northern Michigan       389

        9.      Bowling Green   264

     10.     Lake Superior   232

        11.     Alaska  150

CCHA announces preseason honorees

From the CCHA …

Seven teams are represented on the 2012-13 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Teams announced today by the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Notre Dame junior forward T.J. Tynan, last season’s CCHA Scoring Co-Champion, topped the voting, receiving nine first-place votes and a total of 48 points. It is Tynan’s second consecutive appearance on the Preseason All-Conference First Team.

Notre Dame junior Anders Lee and Western Michigan junior Chase Balisy join Tynan as the other forwards on the First Team. It is also Lee’s second straight appearance on the Preseason All-Conference First Team and Balisy’s first. A pair of junior defensemen are on the blue line for the Preseason All-Conference First Team, as Michigan’s Jon Merrill and Western Michigan’s Dan DeKeyser both earned eight first-place votes and 44 points, tying them for the second-highest point total among all players. This is Merrill’s second straight appearance on the First Team. Western Michigan’s sophomore goaltender Frank Slubowski, last season’s CCHA Tournament MVP, is making his first appearance on a preseason team, rounding out the First Team.

Five of the six players on the Preseason All-Conference Second Team received multiple first-place votes. Michigan sophomore forward Alex Guptill, the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year, tops the team with four first-place votes, Miami sophomore forward Austin Czarnik and Michigan senior defenseman Lee Moffie both recorded three and Alaska junior forward Cody Kunyk and Michigan State junior goaltender Will Yanakeff both earned two. Northern Michigan senior defenseman Kyle Follmer rounds out the Second Team, with one first-place vote. Each player on the Preseason All-Conference Second Team is making his first appearance on a preseason team.

Michigan and Western Michigan lead the Preseason All-Conference Teams with three honorees each.

Voting was conducted among the 11 head coaches in the CCHA. Coaches could not vote for their own players.

2012-13 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Teams

First Team

Position        Name, Year, School      First   Totals

Forward T.J. Tynan, JR, Notre Dame      9       48

Forward Anders Lee, JR, Notre Dame      7       42

Forward Chase Balisy, JR, Western Michigan      5       40

Defense Dan DeKeyser, JR, Western Michigan      8       44

Defense Jon Merrill, JR, Michigan       8       44

Goaltender      Frank Slubowski, SO, Western Michigan   6       40

Second Team

Position        Name, Year, School      First   Totals

Forward Austin Czarnik, SO, Miami       3       31

Forward Alex Guptill, SO, Michigan      4       28

Forward Cody Kunyk, JR, Alaska  2       22

Defense Lee Moffie, SR, Michigan        3       34

Defense Kyle Follmer, SR, Northern Michigan     1       22

Goaltender      Will Yanakeff, JR, Michigan State       2       17

Vote Values: 1st place = 5, 2nd place = 3, 3rd place = 1

Honorable Mention (next six highest point totals, regardless of position with first-team votes in parentheses): Scott Czarnowczan, JR, D, Ferris State, (2) 19; A.J. Treais, SR, F, Michigan, (1) 18; Kyle Bonis, SR, F, Ferris State, (1) 16; Kevin Kapalka, JR, G, Lake Superior, (2) 15; Andrew Hammond, SR, G, Bowling Green, (1) 15; Sam Calabrese, SR, D, Notre Dame (0) 12.

 

Air Force No. 19, CC 20 in USCHO preseason poll

USCHO announced its preseason poll with Atlantic Hockey Association favorite Air Force ranked at No. 19, well ahead of No. 20 Colorado College in the points that determine the rankings.

This is the first time AFA is ranked ahead of CC in a preseason poll since the Falcons were 19th and CC received votes in the 2009-10 preseason poll.

Boston College garnered 35 first-place votes followed by WCHA favorite Minnesota (12), CCHA preseason pick Michigan (3), North Dakota and ECAC media and coaches’ pick Union.

USCHO then points out that being a preseason No. 1 is not always a good thing for a team’s NCAA championship hopes.

CC garners votes in USA Hockey preseason poll

USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today released its preseason poll on Monday with Colorado College coming in at what would be tied for 19th if the rankings went that far. Air Force garnered a few votes as well. All the WCHA teams listed in the poll are bolded.

National Collegiate Hockey Conference fans will note that Miami (No. 9) and Western Michigan (11) also got some love.

 

Men’s Poll – Week 1: Sept. 24, 2012 

  Team

Points
(First Place Votes)

2011-12
Record

1 Boston College

476 (20)

33-10-1

2 Minnesota

476 (12)

28-14-1

3 Michigan

408 (2)

24-13-4

4 North Dakota

407

26-13-3

5 Union College

295

26-8-7

6 Cornell

233

19-9-7

7 UMass-Lowell

221

24-13-1

8 Denver

220

25-14-4

9 Miami

203

24-15-2

10 Notre Dame

186

19-18-3

11 Western Michigan

182

21-14-6

12 Minnesota Duluth

176

25-10-6

13 Boston University

158

23-15-1

14 Ferris State

123

26-12-5

15 Wisconsin

99

17-18-2

Others receiving votes: Harvard University, 58; University of Maine, 24; Quinnipiac University, 24; Michigan State University, 19; Colorado College, 19; University of New Hampshire, 17; Ohio State University, 17; St. Cloud (Minn.) State University, 15; Merrimack College, 7; Providence College, 6; Yale University, 6; United States Air Force Academy, 3; Northern Michigan University, 1; Michigan Tech University, 1.

 

Weekend reading: Duluth, Pearson, UND, USA Hockey, PSU, lawsuit

Here is a look at Minnesota-Duluth’s expected 2012-13 roster and likely line combinations according to the team’s radio guy.

With Red Berenson looking to coach Michigan until he is 76, if not longer, Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson made the right call moving to Houghton.

UND’s Derek Forbort’s potential was on display at a recent NHL camp. Here is a review of Brock Nelson and Danny Kristo as well. T.J. Oshie signed a $21 million contract with St. Louis.

USA Hockey announced that Josh Brown (Robert Morris) and Trent Palm (Minnesota-Duluth) have been named intern coaches for the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., for the 2012-13 season and Ryan Breen (Providence) has been selected as the third recipient of the Brendan Burke Internship.

Joe Paterno‘s statue should be taken down by Penn State, which should expect very harsh penalties, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

College Hockey News expressed support for The Michigan Daily and its reporter, who are targets of a lawsuit from the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.

Updated weekend reading: J. Schwartz, PSU, lawsuit, Gophers

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz knows he needs to get stronger and work harder to overcome a size disadvantage in the NHL.

The ECAC’s Mandi Schwartz Student-Athlete of the Year Award went to her former Yale teammate, who led efforts for bone marrow registration. Hughes has been instrumental in the founding of the Mandi Schwartz Foundation and organizing the annual “White Out for Mandi” fundraising hockey game at Ingalls Rink.

Here are some details from the outdoor doubleheader at Soldier Field next February. The pairings are as reported before with CCHA foes Miami taking on Notre Dame and WCHA rivals Minnesota versus Wisconsin.

The last two times Wisconsin played in an outdoor game, the Badgers reached the NCAA championship game, winning once. That also bodes well for Boston College which played the Badgers each time in 2006 and 2010.

The likelihood of NCAA sanctions against Penn State remains a real possibility. It is unclear how that would affect the ice hockey programs there. Former Nittany Lions star Matt Millen, now an ESPN analyst, is being ripped for his pro-Paterno analysis of the report.

The likelihood of the Kitchener lawsuit against the student-run Michigan Daily resulting in any actual damages paid is unlikely, according to this student press law center article. The paper said it plans to defend itself.

Here is a look at Minnesota’s strengths and weaknesses headed into the 2012-13 season.

A New Hampshire assistant captain was hurt at the Capitals’ development camp. It does not appear to be serious. The Wildcats play at CC over Thanksgiving weekend.

UMass had another coaching candidate turn down its head job. A UNH assistant with college head coaching experience and Air Force associated head coach Mike Corbett may be the leading candidates now.

Thursday reading: Schwartz, MSU jerseys, AFA, Wisconsin

A recent trade by the Blues should help former Tiger Jaden Schwartz, pictured, find a more regular role on the NHL team.

Michigan State announced its new jerseys, which will debut at the Great Lakes Invitational, which will be played outdoors at Detroit’s Comerica Park this December.

Air Force associate coach Mike Corbett was interviewed for the UMass job according to USHR.

Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves is excited about this offseason and the coming 2012-13 campaign.

Former KFAN radio personality Jeff Dubay talks candidly about how crack cocaine derailed his life.

The Kitchener Rangers were recently accused of offering $200,000 to Michigan signee Jacob Trouba to skip out on his NCAA commit. Their radio personality has since said there are plenty of NCAA programs who do the same thing without any specifics.

This advice from my first sports editor seems relevant: When considering anyone’s statement as fact or fiction, remember who signs his paychecks. This tweet from the sports writer who covers Kitchener included in Goon’s World’s post makes we wonder who that person works for or if they are confusing Miami (Fla.) football from the 1980s with Miami (Ohio) hockey today.