After claiming their fifth NCAA National Championship in the past 11 seasons, the Green Knights (27-4-1, 15-3-0 NCHA) came out on top with 119 points and 10 of the 12 first-place votes.
NCHA All-League goalie T.J. Black headlines the returners after finishing second in the nation with his 1.44 goals-against average, first with 27 wins and third with a .940 save percentage. NCHA All-Freshman honorees Peter Bates (11-17-28 points), Keegan Milligan (12-13-25) and defenseman Luke Davison (6-13-19) also return for the Green Knights.
Adrian College (24-6-0, 17-1-0), which saw its postseason run end in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals after spending much of the regular season as the No. 1 team in the national polls, came in second with 112 points and the other two first-place votes.
The Bulldogs graduated a talented group at offense, but lean heavily on two-time All-NCHA defenseman Cory Dunn (3-27-30) as well as goalie Kevin Entmaa, who posted a 16-4 mark last year with a .932 save percentage and 1.88 GAA.
Marian University (20-8-1, 12-6-0), fresh off the first-ever league and school at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and a finish in the Top 15 in the country, came in third with 96 points. The Sabres graduated a talented core, but have Hunter Vorva returning in goal after going 20-8-1 with a .924 save percentage and 1.93 GAA.
The College of St. Scholastica went 15-11-1 last season, placing fourth in the poll with 85 points. Kyle Star (6-17-23) leads the offense into the new season after topping the Saints in scoring last winter.
Concordia University (77 points/16-9-2 in 2017-18) and Lake Forest College (74 points/15-11-2) make up the next two tightly-contested spots at fifth and sixth in the poll, as Brayden Barker (6-18-24) looks to improve on an inaugural campaign for the Falcons, one in which he was named NCHA Freshman of the year. The Foresters are led by NCHA All-League goalie Louis-Phillippe De Courcy, who posted a .928 save percentage and 2.15 GAA a year ago.
Seventh through 10th place in the coaches poll were also tight, with Aurora University (5-15-5 last year) finishing seventh with 54 points, MSOE (11-14-2) eighth with 50, Lawrence University (10-15-2) ninth with 48 and Northland College (9-13-3) 10th with 43.
Trine University (20 points) and Finlandia University (14) rounded out the poll.
MEN’S NCHA COACHES POLL
- St. Norbert 119 (10 first-place votes)
- Adrian 112 (2 first-place votes)
- Marian 96
- St. Scholastica 85
- Concordia Wisconsin 77
- Lake Forest 74
- Aurora 54
- MSOE 50
- Lawrence 48
- Northland 43
- Trine 20
- Finlandia 14
Marian opens the 2018-19 season at Trine Friday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. (CDT) in NCHA action. The Sabres then host Lake Forest in their home opener a week later, Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. from Blue Line Family Ice Center.