Sept. 25, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - The returning Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner Brianna Decker was selected as the coaches' favorite for the WCHA Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday. The Badgers were also tabbed to finish tied with North Dakota for second place in the conference.
Wisconsin returns 16 players from last year's WCHA regular-season championship squad, including the nation's goal-scoring leader in Decker and the nation's leader in saves Alex Rigsby.
The University of Minnesota, garnered six first-place votes for the top spot in the poll, while Wisconsin and North Dakota both received one first-place vote. Minnesota Duluth rounds out the top four, while Ohio State, Bemidji State, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State claimed the fifth-through-eighth spots, respectively.
Decker received four votes for WCHA Preseason Player of the Year, while Minnesota's Amanda Kessel and North Dakota's Jocelyne Lamoureux both received two votes. Minnesota's Hannah Brandt was named the conferences' Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Decker enters her senior season and will don the captain's `C' this year. Fellow seniors Stefanie McKeough and Jordan Brickner, along with Rigsby, were voted assistant captains by their teammates.
The Badgers open the 2012-13 season this weekend, traveling to Mankato, Minn., to take on Minnesota State Friday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m.