BLOOMINGTON -- The Bemidji State women’s hockey team has been tabbed fifth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Monday. The Beavers garnered 14 points to mark the fifth straight season they've been picked fifth.

Reigning regular season champion Wisconsin edged out Minnesota for first in the poll by three points, 34-31, with the Badgers earning four first-place votes to the Gophers’ three. Ohio State collected 28 points for third and Minnesota Duluth 21 for fourth. Behind BSU were Minnesota State’s 13 points and St. Cloud State’s six.

Wisconsin senior forward Daryl Watts was selected Preseason WCHA Player of the Year, while Minnesota forward Abbey Murphy was tabbed Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year.

Additionally, Watts was named to the Preseason All-WCHA Team along with Ohio State forward Emma Maltais, Wisconsin forward Sophie Shirley, Minnesota Duluth defenseman Ashton Bell, Minnesota defenseman Emily Brown and Ohio State goaltender Andrea Braendli. BSU senior forward Clair DeGeorge was the lone Beaver to receive votes.

Bemidji State is now scheduled to open the season Dec. 4-5 at home against Minnesota State after this weekend’s series at St. Cloud State was postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases within the Huskies program.

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Women’s WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rk./Team (First Place Votes)/Points

1. Wisconsin (4) 34

2. Minnesota (3) 31

3. Ohio State 28

4. Minnesota Duluth 21

5. Bemidji State 14

6. Minnesota State 13

7. St. Cloud State 6

Coaches could not vote for their own teams.