Spartans Earn Most First-Place Votes in Preseason Polls

Sept. 27, 2006

Detroit, Mich. - The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) announced its preseason polls and all-conference teams today at its annual media day in Detroit, Mich., and while Michigan State earned the most first-place votes of any school, it only earned the top spot in the coaches poll - the media votes found the Spartans second to Michigan, one point behind the Wolverines.

On the coaches side, Michigan State garnered seven first-place votes and 117 points overall, while Michigan was second with 108 points, but only one first-place vote. Defending regular-season champion Miami received the remaining four first-place ballots, and was one point behind Michigan (107). Ohio State (84 points), last season's pre-season favorite, was selected fourth.

The media cast 38 first-place votes for the Spartans, but their 844 points fell one behind Michigan, which earned the top media slot with 845 points - and only 26 first-place votes. Miami received 13 first-place votes and 800 points to be the consensus #3 in both polls. Northern Michigan, however, earned the fourth spot in the media poll.

Michigan State was tabbed fifth in the first National Poll of the season, released on Monday. The Spartans trailed 2006 National Champion Wisconsin, 2006 NCAA runner-up Boston College, Minnesota, and Boston University, who comprised the top four.

Jeff Lerg, who was last year's CCHA Rookie of the Year and earned CCHA Tournament MVP kudos for backstopping the Spartans to the title, joined Tyler Howells as the MSU delegates on the CCHA Preseason All-Conference teams. Lerg was the first team goaltender selection, while Howells was one of the two second team blueliner picks.

The Spartans get underway with the 2006-07 season on Tuesday, October 3 with the annual Green & White Game at Munn Ice Arena. The team will also tangle with Wilfrid Laurier later that week (Friday) in its first of two exhibition games this season.

2006-07 CCHA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Michigan State (7) 117
2. Michigan (1) 108
3. Miami (4) 107
4. Ohio State 84
5. Nebraska-Omaha 75
6. Notre Dame 62
7. Alaska 60
8. Northern Michigan 59
9. Ferris State 55
10. Lake Superior State 30
11. Bowling Green State 18
12. Western Michigan 17

2006-07 CCHA Preseason Media Poll
1. Michigan (26) 845
2. Michigan State (38) 844
3. Miami (13) 800
4. Northern Michigan 570
5. Nebraska-Omaha 539
6. Ohio State 514
7. Ferris State 437
8. Notre Dame 403
9. Alaska 390
10. Lake Superior State 379
11. Bowling Green State 158
12. Western Michigan 127

2006-07 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Teams

Forward - Scott Parse, SR, Nebraska-Omaha
Forward - T.J. Hensick, SR, Michigan
Forward - Nathan Davis, JR, Miami
Defense - Matt Hunwick, SR, Michigan
Defense - Jack Johnson, SO, Michigan
Goaltender - Jeff Lerg, SO, Michigan State

SECOND TEAM Forward - Ryan Jones, JR, Miami
Forward - Jonathan Matsumoto, SR, Bowling Green
Forward - Kevin Porter, JR, Michigan
Defense - Mitch Ganzak, JR, Miami
Defense - Tyler Howells, SR, Michigan State
Goaltender - Jeff Jakaitis, SR, Lake Superior