ALBANY, N.Y. --Two-time defending regular-season and tournament
champion Cornell is the team to beat in the 2011-12 regular-season,
according to voting by the League coaches as part of the preseason
poll and all-league team selection process.
The Big Red, led by reigning coach of the year Doug Derraugh, who has quickly brought Cornell women’s hockey to national prominence, garnered a total of 121 points, including 11 of 12 first-place votes. Cornell, which advanced to the NCAAâWomen’s Frozen Four the last two seasons, heads into the upcoming campaign with an experienced squad showcasing a potent offense, which returns five of the League’s top six scorers from last season in conference action. In addtion, several key student-athletes on defense from a squad which only surrendered 20 goals in 22 conference games last year fill the roster.
Harvard, which is led by the winningest coach in the history of Division I women’s hockey, Katey Stone, who has amassed 356 victories over the course of her storied career, accumulated 105 points earning the No. 2 spot. Quinnipiac claimed the other first-place vote in the poll finishing in the No. 3 spot. The Bobcats return their top nine scorers from last season and their starting goaltender who logged nearly 2,200 in net during the 2010-11 campaign.
In the fourth spot the coaches’ selected last season’s tournament runner-up Dartmouth, which earned 91 points. Clarkson, which advanced to the League quarterfinals a year ago, ranks fifth in the preseason poll with 82 points; north country partner St. Lawrence occupies the sixth slot with 70 points. The Saints return 15 letterwinners from a season ago.
Princeton and Rensselaer garner slots Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, while Colgate, which is led by Scott Wiley, who begins his tenth season behind the Raiders’ bench was selected in the No. 9 position in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Yale comes in as the No. 10 team in the poll. Brown, led by first-year head coach Amy Bourbeau, and Union are the Nos. 11 and 12 teams in the poll.
Clarkson, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, and Union officially open the 2011-12 campaign Friday, September 30 as the Golden Knights open their 34-game regular-season schedule traveling to Vermont, the Bobcats season-opening tilt has them at Mercyhurst, the Engineers play their first of six straight road contests, beginning with a visit at the University of Connecticut, while Union makes its first-ever trip to Minneapolis to take on perennial power and two-time National Champion, Minnesota.
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