Today, the CCHA dropped their preseason coaches and media polls. Michigan Tech was picked first in both polls. The Huskies received just one more point than NMU in the coaches poll while media poll had the Huskies more convincingly in first with 11 of 16 first places votes and a 19 point margin over the second place Wildcats. Beyond the top of the poll there was some consistency between the two as both polls picked Bowling Green third, Ferris State 7th and Lake Superior 8th. The middle was a little jumbled with the coaches voting BSU, UST, and MSU 4th through 6th, including a single first place vote for UST, while the media had the middle MSU, BSU, UST. Bowling Green (2) and MSU (1) received first place votes from the Media.
For reference here are the two polls as well as THG’s ballot submitted by Tim Braun:
|Coaches’ Poll||Media Poll||THG’s Ballot|
|Michigan Tech-67 (4)||Michigan Tech-152 (11)||Michigan Tech|
|Northern Michigan-66 (3)||Northern Michigan-133 (2)||Northern Michigan|
|Bowling Green-55||Bowling Green-124 (2)||Bowling Green|
|Bemidji State-49||Minnesota State-114 (1)||Minnesota State|
|St. Thomas-45 (1)||Bemidji State-100||St. Thomas|
|Minnesota State-45||St. Thomas-88||Bemidji State|
|Ferris State-36||Ferris State-72||Ferris State|
|Lake Superior State-29||Lake Superior State-49||Lake Superior State|
The Coaches and Media had some consensus on preseason all-CCHA teams/players. They both named Austen Swankler as CCHA Preseason Player of the Year with the coaches also having Blake Pietila as co-Player of the Year. They also both agreed on Eric Pohlkamp, the BSU defenseman and 5th round pick of the San Jose Sharks as Preseason Rookie of the Year. There was consensus among both polls on offense with Andre Ghantous (NMU), Kyle Kukkonen (MTU), and Austen Swankler (BGSU) being selected as the forwards and Blake Pietila (MTU) as the Goaltender. The difference on the all-CCHA team was defense. Both polls agreed on Josh Zinger (NMU) for one of the defensemen while the Coaches chose Ben Wozney (BGSU) as a the other defenseman and the Media had a tie allowing both Kyle Looft (BSU) and Jed Pietila (MTU) to make the preseason teams.
|Coaches’ Preseason POTY||Media Preseason POTY||THG Preseason POTY|
|Austen Swankler (BGSU)||Austen Swankler (BGSU)||Blake Pietila (MTU)|
|Blake Pietila (MTU)|
|Coaches’ Preseason ROTY||Media Preseason ROTY||THG Preseason ROTY|
|Eric Pohlkamp (BSU)||Eric Pohlkamp (BSU)||Eric Pohlkamp (BSU)|
|Coaches’ Preseason All-CCHA||Media Preseason All-CCHA||THG Preseason All-CCHA|
|Andre Ghantous, F (NMU)||Andre Ghantous, F (NMU)||Andre Ghantous, F (NMU)|
|Kyle Kukkonen, F (MTU)||Kyle Kukkonen, F (MTU)||Kyle Kukkonen, F (MTU)|
|Austen Swankler, F (BGSU)||Austen Swankler, F (BGSU)||Austen Swankler, F (BGSU)|
|Ben Wozney, D (BGSU)||Kyle Looft, D (BSU)||Jordan Power, D (MSU)|
|Josh Zinger, D (NMU)||Josh Zinger, D (NMU)||Trevor Russell, D (MTU)|
|Blake Pietila, G (MTU)||Jed Pietila, D (MTU)||Blake Pietila, G (MTU)|
|Blake Pietila, G (MTU)|
CCHA Media Day is scheduled for the morning of September 19 where each coach will speak as well as Commissioner Lucia and new Director of officiating, Marco Hunt.
THG would like to note that both the coaches and media votes were submitted before Sunday afternoon and at the same time these votes were released, news dropped that Austen Swankler was in the transfer portal and BGSU was investigating an alleged off-campus hazing incident. As of writing, it has been reported that three players have been place on interim suspension, as well as head coach Ty Eigner being placed on administrative leave. It has also been reported that Curtis Carr has been named the interim head coach at Bowling Green. According to reports on twitter, Swankler is not one of the three players suspended but this incident likely has something to do with him entering the transfer portal.
This developing story will definitely send some shockwaves through the CCHA as the team picked to finish third by most is now facing drama related to the alleged hazing incident that has their coach placed on leave, three players suspended and their best player transferring. Bowling Green, a program that seemed to be heading in the right direction and potentially ready to pounce on the upheaval at Minnesota State, is in complete disarray. As a note these are all unconfirmed reports but it has been confirmed by Brad Schlossman that Austen Swankler is in the transfer portal. By the time you read this there will probably be more news.
Tim is a 2004 graduate of Michigan Tech. He is a co-founder of both Mitch’s Misfits and Tech Hockey Guide. With recent additions to the staff, Tim is again able to focus on his passion, recruiting. He currently works as an environmental engineer and resides in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area.