In a league where most everyone thinks that every team has improved since last season, the Seawolves have been picked to finish 6th by the Media and 7th by the Coaches. Last season UAA finished the regular season in 6th place with 28 points. 3rd place Bowling Green and UA_ had 30 points each with 5th going to MTU at 29 points. 7th place NMU finished the year with 27 points. Needless to say it was very very close in the middle of the pack.
The voting this year reflects that closeness to some degree.
Minnesota St. - Mankato comes in at #1 with 81 points. Ferris State @ #2 with 67 points and Michigan Tech with 64 points. Bowling Green's projected finish is 4th with 57 points followed by UA_ with 44 then NMU with 40 and UAA with 38 for 7th. Bemidji St got 33 points in the voting for 8th with 17 points going to LSSU and 9 for UAH.
Minnesota St.-Mankato with 256 points is the clear favorite of the media. Ferris comes in #2 in this poll as well with 226 points. From there it's a bit closer among the next three teams; BGSU with 180, MTU with 178 and UA_ with 163. The Seawolves got 128 points in the voting for 6th place. Not far behind is NMU with 112 points and Bemidji with 101. LSSU and UAH finish with 60 and 26 points respectively.
To slightly different degrees there are three or four "tiers" from the polls. Kato and Ferris at the top; BGSU, MTU and UA_ in the next tier then UAA and NMU and Bemidji hanging relatively close with everyone seeming to agree that Lake St. and Huntsville will round it out at the bottom.
Obviously polls are meaningless but nonetheless it's interesting to see where the Coaches and Media see the Seawolves finishing.
Here's how I would have voted:
5. THE SEAWOLVES
In my heart of hearts, I think our boys can finish higher than 5th. Sue me for being a homer. But 3 of the Seawolves losses in February and March last year came to Ferris by a combined score of just 14-10 (one empty net goal and the OT winner at the Final Five). They won the regular season title and our boys played them damn tight down the stretch and put the hurt on Fairbanks in the playoffs. To me, that adds up to something better than 6th or 7th this coming season. Yes, it's the old "we were better than our record" justification. Well, the Seawolves were. So there's that.
Scott Allen, Blake Tatchell, Austin Coldwell and Olivier Mantha garnered some votes for the various guesses about All-WCHA this and that. Follow the link at the beginning to see for yourself. Hopefully, every UAA player takes not being named to the preseason All-WCHA team as a personal challenge.