September 26, 2012

Union is Preseason Coaches’ Choice

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Union, coming off a magical season which it claimed its second consecutive ECAC Hockey regular-season title and first-ever league tournament crown and first-ever trip to the Frozen Four, was selected atop in the 2012-13 ECAC Hockey Men’s Coaches’ Preseason Poll according to voting by the league coaches in the annual poll.  

The Dutchmen, led by reigning Tim Taylor award recipient as the league’s Coach of the Year Rick Bennett, garnered a total of 118 points, including eight of 12 first-place votes. Union, which led all NCAA Division I teams in scoring defense last season totalling 1.83 G/GM, returns its top netminder Troy Grosenick, who earned the Ken Dryden Award last season as the league’s top netminder. The Dutchmen shattered a school record by surrendering just 75 goals in 41 contests. Establishing a strong defensive corp, the Dutchmen have allowed fewer than three goals per game in five consecutive seasons.
 
Seeking its eighth trip to the NCAA tournament in the last 11 years, Cornell claimed three first-place votes in finishing second in the poll. The Big Red, who are led by head coach Mike Schafer, who enters his 18th-season behind the bench, return eight of their top 10 scorers from last season, amassed 110 total points.   

Harvard, which set an NCAA record earning 11 ties last season, is slotted to finish third in regular-season play according to the voting by the coaches. Head coach Ted Donato’s squad compiled 98 points, including one first-place vote in the annual poll. Quinnipiac, coming off its 11th 20-win season on the NCAA Division I level, ranks fourth in the preseason poll with 93 points; Yale occupies the fifth slot with 77 points, followed by St. Lawrence, guided by first-year head coach Greg Carvel, with 61 points.

Dartmouth sits in the No. 7 spot with 58 points, while Rensselaer under head coach Seth Appert comes in the No. 8 position with 46 points. Colgate was selected in the No. 9 position in the preseason coaches’ poll under veteran head coach Don Vaughan with 45 points and Clarkson came in the tenth spot with 41 points.

Princeton, led by second-year head coach Bob Prier is the No. 11 team in the poll, while Brown, under Brendan Whittet comes in at No. 12 in the poll.

The men's season opens Saturday, October 6 with two non-conference games when Union hosts Merrimack and Quinnipiac travels to Maine. Three other ECAC Hockey schools will face-off in exhibition affairs on this evening as well with Rensselaer taking on Acadia at Houston Field House; St. Lawrence welcoming Carleton to Appleton Arena; and Colgate skates against Queen’s in Hamilton.

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