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DU makes strong showing in NCHC preseason polls

Pioneers named unanimous conference favorites, place four on all-NCHC preseason team

2017 NCAA Div I Men's Ice Hockey Championships Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

NCHC writers and other national media showed the DU Pioneers some much deserved attention in advance of conference media days tomorrow.

In the preseason poll announced today, DU received all 30 first-place votes. With talk of a repeat national title swirling, that the Pioneers landed the top spot is hardly surprising. But the unanimous selection in a perennially competitive conference goes to show just how high expectations for the 2017-18 team are.

St. Cloud State, North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth and Miami (OH) rounded out the top five, while rival Colorado College came in last.

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The Pioneers were also well represented in the preseason all-conference team released Monday. Forwards Henrik Borgström, Troy Terry and Dylan Gambrell were given three of four forward spots, and goaltender Tanner Jaillet was given the single spot at the position.

Borgström was a near-unanimous selection after a 43-point freshman season a year ago, which earned him Second Team all-conference and NCHC rookie of the year honors. Terry (22 G, 23 A) and Gambrell (13 G, 29 A) also banked 40-point seasons, again making their selection unsurprising.

Jaillet returns for his senior season after being named the nation’s best goaltender in 2016-17. He maintains the spot on the all-conference First Team that he earned last season with impressive numbers — 1.84 GAA, .929 save %.

North Dakota junior Shane Gersich was included as the fourth forward because he and Gambrell received 13 points each in the voting. Miami senior Louie Belpedio and St. Cloud State senior Jimmy Schuldt rounded out the team on defense.