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Thursday October 6, 2022
NMU Picked #2; Larson Pre-Season Rookie Of Year

The Northern Michigan University hockey team has been picked to finish second in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason poll.

Freshman Joey Larson is the CCHA Pre-season Rookie of the Year, and senior A.J. Vanderbeck was picked on the pre-season All-CCHA First Team. 

Below information from NMU Sports Information

The Northern Michigan University hockey team has been selected to finish second in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Preseason poll, announced by the league on Monday. 

The Wildcats claimed 61 total points and received a pair of first-place ballots. Reigning CCHA champion Minnesota State sits atop the poll with 69 points and six first-place votes.

Last season, NMU finished 20-16-1. Their season ended in the CCHA semifinals at Minnesota State. In the quarterfinals, the Green and Gold went on the road and defeated Lake Superior State in a best-of-three series.

Senior forward AJ Vanderbeck has been named to the All-CCHA Preseason Team. A season ago, Vanderbeck finished first in the conference in goals with 24 and power-play goals with eight. He also finished eighth in the CCHA with 43 points. His 0.67 goalsgoals/game average was the best mark across the league and good for the second-best clip throughout the nation.

Freshman Joey Larson has been named the CCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year.

Larson joins the Wildcats after an impressive season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League (USHL).

During the 21-22 regular season, Larson registered career highs in points (32-34-66) and goals (32) in 62 games. He led the entire 21-22 USHL Playoffs with 17 points (4-13-17) in nine games. Larson's 13 assists tied Trevor Lewis (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2005-06) for the third-most assists in a single Playoff in USHL Tier I history. His 17 points also tied sixth all-time with Jack Badini (Chicago Steel, 2016-17) in a single Tier I Playoffs. 

Before his junior hockey career, the Brighton, MI native was awarded Michigan's prestigious 'Mr. Hockey Award' following a dominant senior season at Hartland High School in 2019.

Northern returns four of the five double-digit goal scorers from a season ago in AJ Vanderbeck (24), Mikey Colella (15), Andre Ghantous (10), and David Keefer (10). Vanderbeck's 43 points were second best on the team while Ghantous had 35 for third best.

Sophomore goaltender Charlie Glockner is back between the pipes after earning All-CCHA All-Rookie Team honors last year.

Full Coaches' Poll results: 
  1. Minnesota State - 69 points (6 first-place votes)
  2. Northern Michigan - 61 (2)
  3. Bowling Green - 58
  4. Bemidji State - 51
  5. Michigan Tech - 47
  6. Lake Superior State - 45
  7. Ferris State - 32
  8. St. Thomas - 30
The Wildcats begin their season on Saturday, October 1st as they welcome Bowling Green to the Berry Events Center for a CCHA contest to open the 2022-23 season. Hockey tickets can be purchased HERE

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