UMD Women 3rd in WCHA Poll

Defending Division I champion Wisconsin is picked to win the 2009-10 Western Collegiate Hockey Association women’s regular-season title, according to a coaches poll released Thursday by the league. Minnesota was picked second and Minnesota Duluth third.

Wisconsin earned six of 10 first-place votes and 48 points, Minnesota had the remaining two first-place votes and 43 points, while UMD had 38 points.

The rest of the poll had St. Cloud State fourth, Ohio State fifth, North Dakota sixth, Minnesota State-Mankato seventh and Bemidji State eighth.

Preseason player of the year voting was led by Wisconsin sophomore forward Brooke Ammerman, followed by Ohio State sophomore forward Natalie Spooner and UMD senior center Saara Tuominen.

Players receiving rookie of the year votes were Wisconsin forward Brianna Decker, UMD goalie Jennifer Harss and Ohio State forward Hokey Langan.

Exhibition play opens Friday, including a WCHA All-Star team facing the U.S. Olympic team at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. UMD’s Tuominen, Laura Fridfinnson and Jaime Rasmussen are on the WCHA team.