BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Wildcat hockey program has been picked to finish fourth in the 2020-21 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Media Poll. With 68 points, the Northern Michigan University program sits behind only league foes Minnesota State (100 pts.), Bemidji State (89 pts.) and Bowling Green (76 pts.). Upper Peninsula rival, Michigan Tech rounds out the top-five picks with 67 points.
The Wildcats finished the 2019-20 campaign with an 18-16-4 record and finished third in the league at the end of the regular season.
Junior forward Griffin Loughran has been named to the Preseason Media All-WCHA Team, receiving all 10 possible votes. The league leading scorer in 2019-20, returns to the Wildcat lineup this season hoping to build on his sophomore success.
Including Loughran, the Wildcats return 10 forwards and five defensemen along with three goaltenders who saw action in the crease last season. They are joined by a strong freshman class and two additional transfers, eligible to play this coming year in forward David Keefer and goaltender Connor Ryckman.
The team returns 219 points from last season, including three of its top-four scorers in Loughran, Vincent de Mey and Joseph Nardi. NMU also holds a strong veteran core on the blue line, returning senior Ben Newhouse who led the league in blocked shots as well as sophomores Hank Sorensen, Michael Van Unen, Mason Palmer and Tanner Vescio.
The Wildcats open their season at home on Wednesday, November 25 against Lake Superior State University.
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