Tech Hockey Guide’s WCHA Web Media Poll makes its debut today, on Halloween. All the teams have had a chance to play at least a handful of games, and all but the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves have had a chance to earn WCHA points.
To start, there are a couple changes to the poll this year. The poll is now expanded to twelve voters, including two wildcards. The first wildcard voter is Ryan Zuke, who previously voted as the FSU writer. He has since moved on to MLive.com and covers hockey throughout Michigan. He’s also been doing the Michigan Power Rankings. The other wildcard vote goes to Will Sterrett, the man behind #ChasingMacNaughton. Will plans to see at least one game in every arena in the WCHA, and spends a lot of his Friday and Saturday nights watching WCHA.tv. The previously named Ryan Zuke and Jack Hittinger were both replaced by writers in their former posts. The new BSU voter is Austin Monteith (Bemidji Pioneer) and the new FSU voter is John Raffel (Big Rapids News).
Now, for the results of the first WCHA Web Media Poll of the 2017-2018 season: As expected, after a couple very successful weeks in conference play, Minnesota State is the clear leader, unanimously being chosen as the top team in the league. This ranking aligns with predictions of our preseason poll. While it is still early in the season, the Mavericks are the clear favorites and have shown us why throughout the first month of play.
The rest of the top five received all of the votes for spots 2-5. Michigan Tech, Bowling Green, Bemidji State, and Northern Michigan were separated by only 8 points from 2nd to 5th. The biggest cliff in the poll was between NMU at 5th and Alaska at 6th, being separated by 37 points. Alaska was followed by Ferris State, Alabama Huntsville, and Lake Superior. Much like the upper band, this lower grouping was nearly as close. The Lakers were just 11 points behind the Nanooks. Despite not having played a WCHA game, Alaska Anchorage was chosen as last by all 12 voters.
2017 WCHA Web Media Poll - Week 5 - 10/31/2017
|1||Minnesota State (12)||120||1||5-2-0||2.3||1||1|
This poll is voted on by a panel of media members representing each program in the WCHA, and new this season, we’ve added two wildcard voters. A first place vote is worth 10 points, a second place vote is worth 9 points and so on. You can find information about each of the voters below:
|Representing||Name||Publication/Media Outlet||Twitter Handle|
|Alabama Huntsville||Mike Napier||UAH Hockey||@minapier|
|Alaska (Fairbanks)||Brad Joyal||Fairbanks Daily News||@BradJoyal|
|Alaska Anchorage||Kari Bustamante||KTUU Anchorage||@karibusta|
|Bemidji State||Austin Monteith||Bemidji Pioneer||@amonteith92|
|Bowling Green State||Drew Evans||BGSUHockey.com||@BGSUHockeySite|
|Ferris State||John Raffel||Big Rapids News||None|
|Lake Superior State||Bill Crawford||WCHA.TV voice of the Lakers||None|
|Michigan Tech||Tim Braun||Tech Hockey Guide||@TBraunTHG|
|Minnesota State||Shane Frederick||Mankato Free Press||@puckato|
|Northern Michigan||Ryan Stieg||Mining Journal||@RyanStieg|
|Wildcard 1||Will Sterrett||Rockcastle Media||@OnAirWill|
|Wildcard 2||Ryan Zuke||MLive.com||@ryanzuke|
Cover photo credit Bob Gilreath