WAUKESHA Wis.--The nationally-ranked Adrian College men's hockey team, which has combined to capture a record 15 conference titles in the regular season and postseason, has been picked by league coaches to place second in the upcoming Northern Collegiate Hockey Association campaign. That is according to the results of the coaches' preseason poll announced today by the NCHA office.
Adrian came in second to favorite St. Norbert College by the narrowest of margins, securing the other five first-place votes and 95 polling points. The Bulldogs again spent time as the No. 1 team in the country during the regular season, claiming the NCHA regular-season and Harris Cup titles en route to finishing 24-4-1 overall, an NCAA tournament appearance and the No. 4 ranking in both the D3Hockey.com and USCHO.com final polls.
The SNC Green Knights are first in the NCHA coaches' poll with 96 points, including six first-place votes.
The rest of the poll includes College of St. Scholastica, Marian University, Concordia University Wisconsin, Lawrence University and Milwaukee School of Engineering tied for sixth, then Lake Forest College, Northland College, Aurora University and Finlandia University.
Adrian drops the puck on its 10th season anniversary this weekend when it hosts NCHA foe MSOE for a two-game series at Arrington Ice Arena. Friday's opening face-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and then the teams meet again at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.
There will be a special Halloween costume contest promotion during the second intermission of both games. Prizes will be awarded to the top three costumes. For details, please click here for more information.
The Bulldogs, who are the two-time defending Peters (regular season) and Harris (tournament) cups champion in the NCHA, return 19 student-athletes off last season's squad that earned their sixth NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship berth and finished 24-4-1 in 2016.
All told, Adrian returns 72.4 percent of the offense and 76.0 percent of the point-scoring from the 2015-16 season. In fact, the Bulldogs did not have a senior among their top eight scorers a season ago. In addition, NCHA All-Freshmen goalie Kevin Entmaa--2.12 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage--is back for his sophomore season after leading the nation in winning percentage at .933 on a 14-1 record.
Led by NCHA Freshman of the Year and USCHO.com Division III National Rookie of the Year Connor Armour who had 38 points on eight goals and 30 assists from his center position, the Bulldogs produced five 30-point scorers. The others are junior captain and all-conference center Mat Thompson (37 pts/16G/21A), 2016 All-NCHA Freshmen Bryan Yim (RW-C/33 pts/13G/20A), 2015 All-NCHA pick and junior Kyle Brothers (LW/32 pts/9G/23A) and HERO Sports, AHCA/CCM, D3hockey.com All-America sophomore defenseman Cory Dunn (31 pts/6G25A)
MEN'S NCHA COACHES POLL
1. St. Norbert: 96 points, 6 first-place votes
2. Adrian: 95, 5 first-place votes
3. St. Scholastica: 79
4. Marian: 72
5. Concordia: 58
T6. Lawrence: 50
T6. MSOE: 50
8. Lake Forest: 45
9. Northland: 29
10. Aurora: 19
11. Finlandia: 12