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Denver picked to win NCHC in preseason media poll

Defending national champion Pioneers receive 19 out of a possible 23 first-place votes

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Denver celebrates their defeat of American International for theNCAA men's hockey regional championship game Saturday, March 30, 2019, at Scheels Arena, Fargo, N.D. Michael Vosburg / The Rink Live

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The defending NCAA Division I men's hockey champions have been picked to win the NCHC regular season title in a poll of the media members who cover the conference.

The University of Denver received 19 out of 23 first-place votes to finish ahead of North Dakota, which has won the last three NCHC regular season titles. The Pioneers, who tied with the Fighting Hawks for last season's Penrose Cup, finished the 2021-22 season with a 31-9-1 record. There were four Pioneers (forward Carter Mazur, defensemen Mike Benning and Seah Behrens, goaltender Magnus Chrona) selected to the NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team on Tuesday.

Players will take questions on Twitter and Instagram during their sessions.

North Dakota received the other four first-place votes. The Fighting Hawks are led by returning All-NCHC First Team pick Riese Gaber.

Minnesota Duluth, which reached an NCAA regional championship game last season, has 12 new faces and was picked to finish third.

St. Cloud State, which reached the NCAA playoffs and has 10 new players this season, was picked to finish fourth.

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Western Michigan, which won its first NCAA tournament game last season, was picked to finish fifth.

A total of 23 ballots were submitted by the media. Points were awarded on a descending scale with a first-place vote worth eight points, a second-place vote worth seven points and so on.

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Members of the St. Cloud State men's hockey team celebrate in the Huskies' locker room after St. Cloud State clinched the Penrose Cup in 2019 in Omaha, Neb.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

2022-23 NCHC Preseason Media Poll

1. Denver, 180 points (19 first-place votes)

2. North Dakota, 160 (4)

3. Minnesota Duluth, 136

4. St. Cloud State, 115

5. Western Michigan, 86

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6. Colorado College, 64

7. Nebraska Omaha, 59

8. Miami, 28

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com
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