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The official Mining Journal 2012-13 CCHA Preseason Media Poll Ballot
September 24, 2012 - Matt Wellens
The 2012-13 CCHA preseason media poll ballots are due on Friday, and not only will my ballot probably not match anyone else in the league, but it will be completely wrong by season’s end.
Last year, I had Miami and Notre Dame at the top of the league. The RedHawks finished fifth and the Irish eighth. So in advance, my apologies to Western Michigan and again Jeff Jackson’s Irish.
I’ll try and compile more published preseason ballots at another date, but below you will find mine, which was submitted to the league office this afternoon.
Here it is, my final CCHA preseason ballot. I added my thoughts on each team, whatever those are worth.
2012-13 CCHA Preseason Media Poll ballot
1. Western Michigan — Goaltenders get me every time in preseason polls, and the Broncos have the best returner in sophomore Frank Slubowski. He should get plenty of goal support from juniors Chase Balisy and Shane Berschbach.
2. Notre Dame — The Irish finished eighth last year, but don’t expect a repeat, not with leading scorers T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee returning for their junior year. Junior Steven Summerhays provides some great insurance between the pipes.
3. Michigan — The Wolverines will have a rookie between the pipes, but they’ll be able to counter his struggles by outscoring opponents, because that’s what Michigan does. Sophomore Alex Guptill and seniors A.J. Treais and Lee Moffie are back, plus Jon Merrill back on defense.
4. Ferris State — This is showing respect for the 2011 national runners up. The Bulldogs must replace leading scorer Jordie Johnston, defenseman Chad Billins and goaltender Taylor Nelson. Returning seniors Kyle Bonis and Matthew Kirzinger and sophomore goalie C.J. Motte make me feel better about them in fourth.
5. Northern Michigan — Homer pick? Maybe, but I like what the Wildcats have coming back on the blue line and between the pipes. Junior Jared Coreau could be the best goaltender in the league, plus he’ll have the league’s most experienced defense with all six starters back from last year.
6. Miami — The RedHawks are this low because Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard are gone. So is the league’s leading scorer in Reilly Smith. They are this high because of Austin Czarnik.
7. Michigan State —Tom Anastos did great things last season with Rick Comley’s players to finish fifth. Now the rebuilding begins, and the Spartans will take a step by having lost 10 letter winners from last year. Only 12 remain and one of those is not Torey Krug. Will Yanakeff will carry this team.
8. Bowling Green — With sophomores Ryan Carpenter and Dan DeSalvo back up front and senior goaltender Andrew Hammond as well, BGSU will build off its run to Joe Louis Arena last year.
9. Ohio State — The Buckeyes enter this season hoping to get their second win of the 2012 calendar year, having gone 1-11-4 since New Years Day. The Buckeyes return 20 from last season, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
10. Lake Superior — Kevin Kapalka is back in net for the Lakers, but he was mediocre last season. The early departures of Kyle Jean and Zach Trotman will sting all season.
11. Alaska — Junior Cody Kunyk was a top-20 scorer last year. Scott Greenham is back in goal, but he wasn’t much better than Kapalka. The Nanooks do have this going for them, though.
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