MTU’s Pietila named All-CCHA Preseason First Team

Minnesota State projected to win regular season title
 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 11:37 AM EDT
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WLUC) - Michigan Tech was picked fifth in the CCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll the league announced on Monday (Sept. 19). Senior goaltender Blake Pietila was named to the Preseason All-CCHA Team.

Minnesota State was selected by the head coaches to win the MacNaughton Cup, which is awarded to the regular season champion. The defending champions and Frozen Four finalists also won the 2022 Mason Cup as the league’s tournament winners. The Mavericks collected six first-place votes and totaled 69 points of a possible 70. Northern Michigan earned 61 points, including two first-place votes, while Bowling Green was picked to finish third with 58 points. Bemidji State (51), Michigan Tech (47), Lake Superior State (45), Ferris State (32), and St. Thomas (30) rounded out the poll.

A senior out of Howell, Mich., Blake Pietila started all 37 games for the Huskies in 2021-22, posting a 21-13-2 record with a 1.91 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. An All-CCHA Second Team honoree, he made 779 saves in 2194:52 minutes, tying the school record for shutouts in a season with seven. Nationally, he ranked fourth in shutouts and seventh in goals-against average and was a Semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award as the top goalie in the country. He was a four-time CCHA Goaltender of the Week.

Coming off their 14th NCAA Tournament, Coach Joe Shawhan and the Huskies return all-conference honorees Blake Pietila and Arvid Caderoth. NCAA Division I transfers Ryan O’ConnellJack Works, and David Jankowski have plenty of game experience, and freshman NHL draft pick Kyle Kukkonen will also be an exciting talent on the ice for the Black and Gold.

The CCHA Media Day will take place on Wednesday (Sept. 21), beginning at 11 a.m. Along with CCHA Commissioner Don Lucia and CCHA Director of Officiating Kevin Langseth, all eight CCHA Head Coaches will preview the upcoming season and be available to answer questions from local, regional, and national media outlets virtually via Zoom.

2022-23 Preseason All-CCHA Team

Forward         Brendan Furry, SR, Minnesota State 

Forward Louis Boudon, SR, Lake Superior State     

Forward         AJ Vanderbeck, SR, Northern Michigan    

Defense         Jake Livingstone, JR, Minnesota State   

Defense         Jacob Bengtsson, JR, Lake Superior State       

Defense         Elias Rosen, SR, Bemidji State 

Goaltender   Blake Pietila, SR, Michigan Tech

2022-23 CCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Minnesota State – 69 (6) 

Northern Michigan – 61 (2) 

Bowling Green – 58 

Bemidji State – 51 

Michigan Tech – 47 

Lake Superior State – 45 

Ferris State – 32 

St. Thomas – 30