Gophers Land Top Spot in WCHA Coaches Poll

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Erik Haula
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The University of Minnesota men's hockey program received another nod of recognition as the 2012-13 season approaches -- the Gophers have been selected to finish first in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association by the league's coaches, according to a preseason poll by the Grand Forks Herald

The Gophers, who open the season with an exhibition against Lethbridge on Saturday, picked up   11 first-place votes and 121 total points in the rankings. North Dakota picked up the remaining first-place vote along with 110 total points while Denver rounded out the top three with 91 total points. 

Junior forward Nick Bjugstad was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year, earning eight votes in the poll. Mark Zengerle of Wisconsin received two votes while UNO's Matt White and St. Cloud State's Ben Hanowski each tallied one vote. 

North Dakota's Rocco Grimaldi was named the Preseason Rookie of the Year with seven votes while Minnesota's Mike Reilly came in second with three. 

42nd Annual Grand Forks Herald Coaches Poll
1. Minnesota 121 (11)
2. North Dakota 110 (1)
3. Denver 91
4. St. Cloud State 90
5. Wisconsin 70
6. Minnesota Duluth 69
7. Colorado College 56
8t. Nebraska Omaha 51
8t. Michigan Tech 51
10. Minnesota State 37
11. Bemidji State 31
12. Alaska Anchorage 15

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