Women’s hockey predicted to finish third in WCHA

Nate Gotlieb

 

The Gophers women’s hockey team is predicted to finish third in the WCHA conference by the WCHA coaches.

The Gophers return 16 letter winners from last year’s roster including All-Americans Noora Raty and Anne Schleper and bring in a solid recruiting class that includes last year’s Ms. Hockey in Minnesota Bethany Brausen.

Defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth is predicted to finish first in the conference receiving 48 of 56 possible points in the poll. 

The Bulldogs return four of their five top scorers from last season along with six Olympians who were either redshirted or missed part of last season playing for their respective national team. 

Wisconsin was predicted to finish second as they received 43 points in the poll.  The Badgers had their worst season in program history in 2009-10 finishing fourth in the WCHA at 18-15-3.  The team is reunited with seven-year head coach, three-time national champion coach Mark Johnson who took a one year sabbatical to coach the U.S women’s hockey team.

Rounding out the poll was Ohio State in fourth place, North Dakota, Bemidji State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State.

Minnesota kicks of the season Sunday at Ridder Arena in an exhibition game against the University of Manitoba.  They kick off the regular season against Clarkson a week from Friday and play their first WCHA game against North Dakota on October 15.