Along with the relaunch of Tech Hockey Guide, we're also proud to announce the return of the THG Web Media Poll which debuts today, after Week 17. We've worked hard to find voters to represent media from each market in the WCHA and today is the first of a weekly poll ranking all 10 teams in the conference.
With this being the first poll, let's introduce the panelists. Geof Morris writes for various outlets including UAH Hockey and WCHA Playoffs, and is the creator of the BELOW rankings for the WCHA. You can find him on twitter @gfmorris and he will be voting on behalf of Alabama-Huntsville.
Beth O'Donnell is a sports reporter for Channel 2, KTUU, the NBC affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska and runs her own blog. You can find her on twitter @_bethodonnell and she will be voting on behalf of Alaska-Anchorage.
Drew Evans is the co-founder and editor of BGSU Hockey where they discuss everything related to Falcons hockey. You can find him on twitter @BGSUHockeySite and he will be voting on behalf of Bowling Green.
Tim Braun is a writer for Tech Hockey Guide's extensive coverage of Michigan Tech recruiting news and is the originator of the THG Web Media Poll. You can find him on twitter @TBraunTHG and he will be voting on behalf of Michigan Tech.
Shane Frederick writes for the Mankato Free Press, has a hockey blog and is also a columnist for USCHO covering the WCHA. You can find him on twitter @puckato and he will be voting on behalf of Minnesota State.
And now the first THG Web Media Poll of the season. Three teams received first place votes, but Minnesota State received the majority and comes in First Place, just as they did in preseason WCHA Coaches Poll. Michigan Tech, which took 3 of 4 points from MSU when last in action, comes in second. The Huskies return to action this weekend in a series against our third place team, Bowling Green. That series, to be played in Ohio, could shake up the top of the poll if either team is able to do better than a split. These three teams were the only ones to receive a vote for the top three.
|1||Minnesota State (6)||95||1||13-8-5||1||3||0||2|
|2||Michigan Tech (3)||89||3||13-7-4||1||3||+1||2|
|3||Bowling Green (1)||86||2||15-7-5||1||3||-1||2|
Ferris State and Northern Michigan come in fourth and fifth as the next tier of teams. No other team received a fourth place vote. Both are out-performing preseason projects by two places in this week's poll. Bemidji State comes in solidly entrenched at number six, as the last team with at least a 0.500 record after managing only one point from FSU, last week. Lake Superior may be seventh but they're doing the best compared to their preseason projections, where the Lakers were picked last. Alaska is on the other end of the spectrum, under-performing by four places compared to what the coaches thought. Alaska-Anchorage and Alabama-Huntsville are also in the mix at eighth and tenth, hoping to find a way to keep themselves in the playoff picture. Each will have the chance to gain on the other this weekend as they go head to head in Anchorage.
Four teams will have a chance to improve the conference pairwise situation as NMU and UAF have non-conference series with Minnesota-Duluth and Wisconsin, respectively. BSU and MSU both have the chance to take home a trophy as they compete in the North Star College Cup tournament (along with St. Cloud State and Minnesota) this weekend.
Once again, thanks to our voters. For information on them, check out the links below:
|Team||Name||Publication/Media Outlet||Twitter Handle|
|UAH||Geof Morris||UAH Hockey||@gfmorris|
|UA||Tim O'Donnell||Fairbanks Daily News||@FDNMSportsGuy|
|UAA||Beth O'Donnell||KTUU Anchorage||@_bethodonnell|
|BSU||Jack Hittinger||Bemidji Pioneer||@jackhitts|
|FSU||Ryan Zuke||Big Rapids Pioneer||@ryanzuke|
|LSSU||Bill Crawford||WCHA.TV voice of the Lakers||None|
|MTU||Tim Braun||Tech Hockey Guide||@TBraunTHG|
|MSU||Shane Frederick||Mankato Free Press||@puckato|
|NMU||Ryan Stieg||Mining Journal||@RyanStieg|