MADISON, Wis. –The 2012-13 Bemidji State women’s hockey team was chosen to finish where it ended up last year in its conference – sixth – in the WCHA Head Coaches’ Pre-Season Poll Tuesday.
The Beavers, under the direction of head coachSteve Sertich, finished 17-17-3 with a 11-15-2-0 record in the WCHA and a 6-0-1 nonconference ledger a season ago. Sertich, the 2009-10 WCHA Coach of the Year, returns for a seventh season this year.
Leading the poll was the defending NCAA champion Minnesota, who received six of the eight first-place votes, followed by the 2011-12 national runner-up Wisconsin and NCAA Tournament participant North Dakota, who tied for second and each received one first-place vote.
Also in front of BSU was the Minnesota Duluth in fourth and Ohio State in fifth. The Bulldogs and Buckeyes finished in those sports last year. Behind Bemidji State were Minnesota State Mankato and St. Cloud State.
Wisconsin forward Brianna Decker was tabbed as the conference’s pre-season player of the year with Minnesota’s Amanda Kessel and North Dakota’s Jocelyne Lamoureux also receiving votes.
Gopher freshman Hannah Brandt was unanimously selected as the league’s top rookie heading into the season.
This year’s BSU women’s hockey team will return 20 players from 2011-12, including its top two scorers from a year ago in leading scorerSadie Lundquistand leading goal-scorerEmily Erickson.
The Beavers hit the ice this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Sanford Center for the Green/White game.
And next week, BSU travels to Providence College for its first official series of the year.