What's Going Downey
Sometimes, I get to do cool things as a media member. This year, I received a vote in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Preseason Poll and First-Team NCHC selection this season.
The official results were announced yesterday and they didn't differ too badly from my submissions. I guess that means I didn't screw up anything too badly.
Starting with the all-confernece selections, I voted for Miami senior forward Austin Czarnik, Miami junior forward Riley Barber, St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd, Colorado College sophomore defenseman Jaccob Slavin, Denver senior defenseman Joey LaLeggia and North Daktoa senior goalie Zane McIntyre (formerly Gothberg).
The final results were very similar, with junior forward Johnny Brodzinski replacing his teammate Dowd. I don't have any complaint with Brodzinski replacing Dowd. Brodzinski is one heck of a player.
McIntyre was a unanimous selection, which wasn't too surprising given that he was clearly the top retuning goalie. However, he was the only unanimous selection, which does surprise me.
Czarink led the NCHC in assists and points last season, yet two voters failed to select him. It baffles me that Czarnik was not a unanimous pick.
LaLeggia is the returning NCHC defenseman of the year, so he was another obvious choice. Slavin was the NCHC Rookie of the Year, and might steal the defenseman of the year designation from LaLeggia.
The addition of Barber means Miami is the only school with two First-Team selections.
My preseason poll went Miami, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, Western Michigan and Colorado College.
My selections matched up exactly with the official poll, except for North Dakota and Miami. I wasn't surprised North Dakota was picked to win, but I still think Miami will win the NCHC. The RedHawks didn't lose much from last year's squad and they are loaded with talent.
During my sophomore year, on a radio broadcast with WMSR, I said Miami would win a national championship before I graduated. I've got one year left for that prediction to come true. If I were a gambling man, and I am, I'd put my money on Miami capturing that elusive national title.