North Dakota overwhelming favorite to repeat in NCHC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– Already picked atop both national polls in the early stages of the NCAA hockey season, the University of North Dakota was the overwhelming favorite to defend its National Collegiate Hockey Conference title in the league’s preseason poll, released Monday. UND was a near-unanimous selection, garnering 27 first-place votes of the 28 ballots cast.
North Dakota garnered 223 total votes, meaning 27 first-place votes and a single second-place nod. Denver grabbed the other first-place vote and finished second with 185 points. Close behind was Minnesota Duluth with 173 points as the top three teams distanced themselves in the prognostications.
In the middle of the pack were St. Cloud State (126), Western Michigan (116) and Omaha (96) were fourth through sixth respectively. Colorado College (45) and Miami (44) rounded out the poll.
The season is set to begin Dec. 1 with all eight teams converging on Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, for the NCHC pod. There, 40 games will take place over a 20-day period with each team logging 10 games before the holiday break. UND’s first game will be Dec. 2 against Miami and the Fighting Hawks will play two with the RedHawks in the pod along with a pair each with Denver, Western Michigan, Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State.