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Tech’s Bantle named WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year

Michigan Tech freshman Carson Bantle was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Preseason Media Rookie of the Year on Monday.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound forward garnered 16 votes, edging Minnesota State defenseman Akito Hirose by two votes. Huskies freshman defenseman Jed Pietila also received two votes.

Bantle was a fifth-round draft choice by the Arizona Coyotes in October. Bantle played for the Madison Capitols in the USHL, scoring 49 points in 48 games.

Michigan Tech was ranked No. 5 in the WCHA Preseason Media Poll, a point behind No. 4 Northern Michigan. Minnesota State was a unanimous selection as the No. 1.

The Preseason Media All-WCHA Team included Northern Michigan’s Griffin Loughran, Bowling Green’s Connor Ford, Bemidji State’s Owen Sillinger and Elias Rosen, Ferris State’s Jake Willets and Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay.

McKay received 25 votes for WCHA Preseason Media Player of the Year.

Tech junior forward Trenton Bliss and junior defenseman Colin Swoyer received a vote for the Preseason Media All-WCHA Team.

Bliss scored 12 goals and 27 points last season. He received the Gary Crosby Memorial Award as the team’s leading scorer. Swoyer led the Huskies with 17 assists and also scored four goals in 39 games.

Pietila played 128 games in the NAHL and was the captain for the Austin Bruins last season. He scored eight goals and 21 assists last season.

Michigan Tech begins its 100th season on Nov. 21-22 at Lake Superior State. The Huskies’ home opener is Nov. 28 against Northern Michigan.

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