College preview: U-M is No. 4 in national poll, No. 2 in Big Ten
We look at how the state's college teams are ranked heading into the new season.
Michigan, which reached the NCAA Frozen Four last season, enters the 2018-19 college hockey season with some pretty impressive preseason rankings.
The Wolverines are fourth in the USCHO.com Preseason NCAA Division I Poll and were picked for second place in the Big Ten Preseason Poll.
They have two first-place votes in the USCHO.com poll, trailing defending NCAA D-1 champion No.1 Minnesota Duluth, No. 2 Notre Dame – which defeated U-M in the national semifinal last April – and No. 3 Ohio State.
In the Big Ten poll, Michigan trails Ohio State and finishes ahead of Notre Dame, which was picked third in the Big Ten in 2018-19.
Michigan State’s outlook is not so bright. The Spartans are picked to finish last in the Big Ten Poll.
Sophomore Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes, who was picked seventh overall in June’s NHL draft by Vancouver, is one of six unanimous players to watch this season along with MSU junior forward Taro Hirose.
Also on the preseason watch list is Spartan forward Mitch Lewandowski, the 2018 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, as well as MSU forward Patrick Khoderenko, Wolverine forwards Josh Norris and Jake Slaker and Ohio State forward Dakota Joshua, who is from Dearborn.
Michigan opens the season Oct. 6 at home against Vermont. MSU has a home exhibition game against the University of Windsor on Oct. 7 and then hosts Northern Michigan on Oct. 12 to begin the regular season.
Here’s a look at where other Michigan college teams are ranked going into the new season.
In the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Michigan Tech is ranked No. 18 in the USCHO.com national poll and Northern Michigan No. 20
NMU was picked to finish second in the WCHA in the coaches preseason poll and third in the media poll, while Michigan Tech was selected for fourth and Ferris State sixth in both polls.
Lake Superior State is picked seventh in the coaches poll and eighth in the media poll.
Minnesota State was picked to once again hoist the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA champions in 2018-19 in both polls.
Northern Michigan senior forwards Adam Rockwood and Troy Loggins split the coaches’ and media’s votes, respectively, as WCHA Preseason Player of the Year, while Ferris State freshman defenseman Cooper Zech (South Lyon) was the coaches’ choice as WCHA preseason rookie of the year.
Northern Michigan junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu and senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen make the coaches’ and media’s preseason all-WCHA teams.
Michigan Tech begins its season on Oct. 12 by hosting Minnesota Duluth, while Ferris States opens with exhibitions, hosting the U.S. under-18 team on Oct. 6, and the University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada) before its regular-season opener on Oct. 12 with a home game against Western Michigan.
Lake Superior State opens the regular season Oct. 6 at Merrimack.
In the in the National Collegiate Hockey, Western Michigan is 19th in the USCHO preseason poll and is picked fourth in the media poll.
Minnesota Duluth is the favorite to capture the 2018-19 Penrose Cup, awarded to the NCHC regular-season champion.
Western Michigan opens at home on Oct 6, with an exhibition game against Lethbridge and opens the regular season at Kalamazoo’s Lawson Ice Arena on Oct. 9 against Bowling Green.