Gophers top WCHA coaches poll

Minnesota Gophers

The WCHA’s coaches have picked the Minnesota Golden Gophers to win the league in the 2012-13 season. (Photo credit: Matthew Semisch)

The WCHA’s coaches picked the Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s hockey team to win the league in the 2012-13 season, earning 11 of 12 first-place votes.

The Gophers also won the league’s media poll, earning 24 of the 25 first-place votes on offer in that poll. North Dakota received the only other first-place vote in both polls..

The coaches poll, sponsored by the Grand Forks Herald newspaper, saw a Minnesota player also receive preseason Player of the Year honors. Senior forward Nick Bjugstad won the award, receiving eight votes, and six more than second-place Mark Zengerle from the Wisconsin Badgers.

Rocco Grimaldi from North Dakota won the league coaches’ preseason Rookie of the Year award for the second season in a row. Grimaldi had been touted as a future star for UND when he arrived in Grand Forks, N.D. last season, but he sat out most of the season with an injury and was granted a medical redshirt.

The WCHA coaches’ poll in full:

1.) Minnesota (11)
2.) North Dakota (1)
3.) Denver
4.) St. Cloud State
5.) Wisconsin
6.) Minnesota Duluth
7.) Colorado College
8T.) Nebraska Omaha
8T.) Michigan Tech
10.) Minnesota State
11.) Bemidji State
12.) Alaska Anchorage

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Nick Bjugstad, F, Minnesota (8); Mark Zengerle, F, Wisconsin (2); Matt White, F, Nebraska Omaha (1); Ben Hanowski, F, St. Cloud State (1)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Rocco Grimaldi, F, North Dakota (7); Mark Reilly, D, Minnesota (3); Nic Kerdiles, F, Wisconsin (1); Andrew Welinski, F, Minnesota Duluth (1)

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