(from nchahockey.org) The St. Norbert College men's hockey team will begin this season in a familiar spot despite unfamiliar surroundings – at No. 1. The Green Knights have been picked by league coaches to place first in the upcoming Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular season, according to the results of the coaches preseason poll announced today by the league office.
St. Norbert picked up all possible first-place votes (coaches could not vote for their own team) and led the way with 81 points. Winners of three of the past six NCAA National Championships, the team went 23-6-1 a season ago, earning another trip to the NCAA Tournament after defeating Eau Claire for the Peters Cup. The squad brings back All-NCHA goalie David Jacobson, who posted a 1.61 GAA and .931 save percentage last season.
For the first time in its six-year history, Adrian College was not the preseason No. 1 in the league poll. The Bulldogs went 23-2-3 overall last season and have won the past six league regular-season titles and five Harris Cups in that span. They finished with one first-place vote and 73 points. Headlining the Adrian returners are Josh Cousineau and Scott Shackell. Cousineau was an all-league selection as a sophomore and finished second in the conference in scoring (12-26-38) last season, while Shackell was named to the all-conference team after an impressive sophomore campaign in net (11-2-2 record, .933 save percentage).
League newcomer St. Scholastica placed third in the poll with 62 points. The Saints were 13-14-1 a season ago and return senior captain Brandon Nowakowski, who was an honorable mention All-NCHA selection last season and finished third in the league with 17 goals.
MSOE was fourth with 62 points after playing in the Harris Cup finals last season and posting a 17-10-2 overall mark. Marian University (13-12-1 in 2013-14) placed fifth with 44 points, with Lake Forest (10-12-5) close behind at 42.
Lawrence University (8-16-3) took seventh in the poll with 34 points, with Concordia University Wisconsin (7-18-0) just behind at 28. Northland College (10-17-1) and Finlandia University (7-18-0) tied with 13 points each.
|Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|St. Norbert College (9)||81|
|Adrian College (1)||73|
|College of St. Scholastica||62|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering||54|
|Lake Forest College||42|
|Concordia University Wisconsin||28|