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NMU hockey: Wildcats picked to finish sixth by media in WCHA preseason poll

September 24, 2013
By MATT WELLENS - Journal Sports Editor ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The Northern Michigan University hockey team was slotted sixth in the Bemidji Pioneer WCHA Preseason Media Poll and shutout from the media's preseason awards and all-conference team, which were all released Tuesday afternoon.

Minnesota State was picked by 22 media members to win the 2013-14 WCHA title while Ferris State, which garnered two first-place votes, was picked to finish second.

Bemidji State also received a first-place vote, but only picked up enough points to finish eighth in the poll ahead of No. 9 Alaska-Anchorage and No. 10 Alabama-Huntsville.?

Northern - which was picked to finish behind No. 3 Alaska, No. 4 Bowling Green State and No. 5 Michigan Tech, but ahead of No. 7 Lake Superior State - landed no one on the preseason all-conference team.

Junior forward Reed Seckel, senior forward Stephan Vigier and senior defenseman C.J. Ludwig received votes, as did freshman goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom for rookie of the year.

Minnesota State junior forward Matt Leitner was named the preseason player of the year and MSU freshman forward Zach Stepan was picked as preseason rookie of the year.

Fact Box

Preseason WCHA Media Poll

Team (First-Place votes) Total Points

1. Minnesota State (22) 244

2. Ferris State (2) 218

3. Alaska 168

4. Bowling Green 149

5. Michigan Tech 144

6. Northern Michigan 137

7. Lake Superior State 117

8. Bemidji State (1) 108

9. Alaska Anchorage 54

10. Alabama Huntsville 36

Preseason WCHA Media Awards

Preseason Player Of The Year: Matt Leitner, F, Minnesota State

Others receiving votes: Garrett Thompson, F, Ferris State; Stephon Williams, G, Minnesota State

Preseason Rookie Of The Year: Zach Stepan, F, Minnesota State

Others receiving votes: Tomas Sholl, G, Bowling Green; Brendan Harms, F, Bemidji State; Mathias Dahlstrom, G, Northern Michigan; Cliff Watson, D, Michigan Tech

Preseason All-WCHA Team:


Matt Leitner, Minnesota State

Alex Petan, Michigan Tech

Ryan Carpenter, Bowling Green

Others receiving votes: Cody Kunyk, Alaska; Reed Seckel, Northern Michigan; Stephan Vigier, Northern Michigan


Jason Binkley, Ferris State

Zach Palmquist, D, Minnesota State

Others receiving votes: Matt Prapavessis, Bemidji State; Ralfs Freibergs, Bowling Green; Colton Parayko, Alaska; CJ Ludwig, Northern Michigan


Stephon Williams, Minnesota State

Others receiving votes: CJ Motte, Ferris State; Andrew Walsh, Bemidji State.

The preseason all-WCHA team consists of Leitner, Michigan Tech sophomore forward Alex Petan, Bowling Green State junior forward Ryan Carpenter, Ferris State junior defenseman Jason Binkley, Minnesota State junior defenseman Zach Palmquist and MSU sophomore goaltender Stephon Williams.

The Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches Poll and preseason awards will be released by the league on Wednesday.

The following media members took part in the Bemidji Pioneer WCHA Preseason Media Poll:

Justin Bradford, ESPN Radio Nashville; Bruce Cech, KCBF 820/UAF play-by-play; Dave Danis, Northern Michigan play-by-play; Erik Drygas, KCBF 820 AM/UAF color analyst; Drew Evans,; Casey Ford, ESPN Radio UP; Shane Frederick, Mankato Free Press; Kevin Gordon, Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune; Kurt Haider, KENI News/KTZN Sports/UAA hockey play-by-play; Dirk Hembroff, 93.5 FM/MTU play-by-play; Dominic Hennig, 97.3 FM/FSU Play-by-Play; Jack Hittinger, Bemidji Pioneer; Dan Kowalski, 97.3 FM/FSU Color Commentator; Budd McLaughlin, hockey writer; Geof Morris,; Kevin Meyers, Bowling Green Radio Sports Organization; Tim O'Donnell, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; Rob Roos, Sault Evening News; Martin Slagter, Big Rapids Pioneer; Jerry Taylor, ABC10 UP; John Wagner, Toledo Blade; Matt Wellens, Marquette Mining Journal; Kevin Wells, KTUU-Channel 2; Scott Williams, Lakeland Public Television/KBUN Sportsradio, Brandon Veale/Michael Bleach, Daily Mining Gazette



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