NIAGARA, N.Y. -- After winning the 2008 College Hockey America championship and a run to the NCAA Frozen Four, Bemidji State has been selected as the preseason favorite to claim the 2009-10 regular season title -- which will be the last before CHA disbands.
The Beavers locked up two first-place votes, finishing atop the standings with eight points. Niagara finished in second with seven points, with Robert Morris (six points) and Alabama-Huntsville (three points) rounding out the rest of the CHA.
Fresh off of a career year, Bemidji State forward Matt Read has been tabbed as the 2009-10 CHA Preseason Player of the Year. A unanimous selection to the 2009 Preseason All-CHA team, Read set new career-highs in goals (15), assists (25) and points (40).
Read will be joined on the Preseason All-CHA team by Robert Morris forward Nathan Longpre and Niagara forward Chris Moran. A 2009 All-CHA first team selection, Longpre will be returning for his junior season, after scoring 41 points during the 2008-09 campaign. Moran finished the 2008-09 season with 99 career points, needing just a point to become the 12th member of the Niagara 100-point club.
Bemidji State's Brad Hunt and Robert Morris's Denny Urban look to shore up the blueline for the Preseason All-CHA team. Both are members of the 2009 All-CHA first team, with Hunt and Urban finishing in first and second place in the points per game category for CHA defensemen last year.
Between the pipes for the Preseason All-CHA team is Alabama-Huntsville's Cameron Talbot. As a sophomore, Talbot earned a 2.95 goals against average, with a .907 save percentage.
2009 Preseason Poll
1. Bemidji State (2)
2. Niagara University (2)
3. Robert Morris 6
4. Alabama-Huntsville 3
2009 Preseason All-CHA Team
F Chris Moran, Niagara, Senior
F Matt Read, Bemidji State, Junior
F Nathan Longpre, Robert Morris, Junior
D Brad Hunt, Bemidji State, Sophomore
D Denny Urban, Robert Morris, Junior
G Cameron Talbot, Alabama-Huntsville, Junior