UND Hockey Picked Fourth in NCHC Preseason Poll
UND starts season October 5th Against Manitoba
ST. PAUL, Minn.– (UND ATHLETICS) The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) unveiled its 2019-20 preseason poll today in the lead-up to its annual media day function at the Xcel Center. North Dakota was slated to finish fourth in the prognostications predicted by the league’s media. Two-time defending NCAA national champion Minnesota Duluth topped the polls with Denver and Western Michigan just ahead of UND.
North Dakota goes into the 2019-20 season with loads of returning veterans and scoring help from a talented incoming class. Five of UND’s top six point-producers return from last season, including junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi, who tallied team highs in goals and assists as a sophomore last year.
The blueline is solid with all but one intact from last season. Headlining the group is two-time captain and NCHC Player of the Year finalist senior Colton Poolman. Fellow defenseman Matt Kiersted was third in scoring last year and rookie blue-liner Jacob Bernard-Docker appears primed for a big sophomore campaign.
Both goalies return with sophomore Adam Scheel (9-6-1 record with 1.69 GAA against ranked teams) and junior Peter Thome (4-4-0, 2.54 GAA last year) ready to take on the starting gig.
UND looks to return to the NCAA Tournament after narrowly missing in each of the past two seasons. The last time North Dakota missed the tournament in consecutive seasons, it won the national championship in the following year (1997).
Head coach Brad Berry is in his fifth season at the helm, carrying 90 wins, four winning seasons, two NCAA Tournament appearances and a national title in his head coaching tenure. Fellow UND alums associate head coach Dane Jackson, newly-hired assistant coach Karl Goehring and new volunteer coach Jason Ulmer assist him on the bench.
2019-20 NCHC Preseason Poll (1st place votes)
1. Minnesota Duluth – 218 (23)
2. Denver – 178 (2)
3. Western Michigan – 156 (3)
4. North Dakota – 143
5. St. Cloud State – 138
6. Colorado College – 81
7. Omaha – 53
8. Miami – 41