FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - With hockey season just around the corner, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association released its preseason coaches and media polls Wednesday and No. 9/9 Miami was selected fourth in the coaches poll and fifth in the media poll.

The RedHawks, who finished fourth in the CCHA regular-season last year, totaled 78 points in the coaches poll and 622 points in the media poll. The two polls had the same top three teams but in a different order as the coaches chose Notre Dame to win the league with the Irish receiving seven first-place votes and 105 points while the media poll has Michigan on top with 50 first-place votes and 903 points.

Behind Notre Dame in the coaches poll is Michigan, who received two first-place votes, while defending Mason Cup champion Western Michigan was third, also garnering two first-place votes. The Broncos totaled 97 points, 21 more than Miami. In the media poll, WMU was second with 25 first-place votes followed by Notre Dame, who picked up nine first-place votes.

After the RedHawks in the coaches poll was defending regular-season champion Ferris State in fifth, as the Bulldogs totaled 67 points, 11 less than Miami. Ohio State came in sixth in the coaches poll, just one point back of Ferris State, while Michigan State landed in the No. 7 spot. Bowling Green and Northern Michigan tied for eighth in the poll while Alaska and Lake Superior rounded out the coaches poll in 10th and 11th, respectively.

In the media poll, Ferris State was fourth behind the Irish, as the Bulldogs earned three first-place votes but had just 626 points, only four more than Miami. The Spartans of Michigan State were behind the 'Hawks in sixth in the media poll, followed by Ohio State. Like in the coaches poll, Northern Michigan was picked eighth with Bowling Green one spot behind them. Again Lake Superior and Alaska completed the poll but in flipped order with the Lakers placing 10th and the Nanooks 11th in the media poll.

A total of 87 media members ranked the 11 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. Points were awarded on an 11-10-9-8, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end.

The RedHawks are coming off a 24-15-2 season in which they made their seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Miami went 15-11-2 in CCHA play to claim fourth while finishing third in the CCHA Tournament. The 'Hawks bring back 10 letterwinners from a year ago, including senior captain Steven Spinell and sophomore forward Austin Czarnik, who was a CCHA All-Rookie Team member last year and was named Preseason Second-Team All-CCHA this year. Czarnik is joined by classmates Jimmy Mullin and Blake Coleman, who were among Miami's top five scorers a year ago. The RedHawks do bring in 13 newcomers, including 11 freshmen, who look to fill the void left by 12 departing letterwinners.

Miami opens its season with an exhibition game against Western Ontario Sunday, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. before beginning the regular season Oct. 12-13 by hosting Colgate at Steve Cady Arena. Tickets are available for all three games here.

CCHA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Notre Dame (7), 105
2. Michigan (2), 100
3. Western Michigan (2), 97
4. Miami, 78   
5. Ferris State, 67
6. Ohio State, 66
7. Michigan State, 56
8. Bowling Green, 43
8. Northern Michigan, 43
10. Alaska, 31
11. Lake Superior, 29

CCHA Preseason Media Poll
1. Michigan (50), 903
2. Western Michigan (25), 825
3. Notre Dame (9), 765
4. Ferris State (3), 626
5. Miami, 622
6. Michigan State, 528
7. Ohio State, 438
8. Northern Michigan, 389
9. Bowling Green, 264
10. Lake Superior, 232
11. Alaska, 150

--MURedHawks.com--