BOSTON – The University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team was picked to third in the Hockey East preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was announced on Monday afternoon at the league’s annual media day at Legends Restaurant at the TD Banknorth Garden.

The Wildcats garnered 78 points in the poll and received one first-place vote, which was good enough for third place outdistancing fourth-place Northeasrtern by 16 points. UNH is just eight points behind defending National Champion Boston College (86) and two behind Boston University (80). The ‘Cats have captured back-to-back regular-season titles  by posting a combined 37-12-5 record in league play over the past two season, including a program-best 19 wins last season.

UNH, under 19th-year head coach Dick Umile, finished the 07-08 season with a 25-9-3 overall record, which helped the ‘Cats qualify for the NCAA tournament for the seventh-straight season.

UNH, which spent all of 2007-08 in the top 10 nationally, earned its 19 wins in Hockey East the hard way by capturing the final seven season series in Hockey East play including regular-season sweeps of perennial powers Boston College, Boston University and Maine. In 2007-08, UNH had a program-record four All-Americans including two first-teamers and boasted the nation’s four-best offense as they averaged nearly three and a half goals per game.

In addition, Hockey East announced the composite television schedule for 2008-09, which includes 12 UNH men’s hockey broadcasts. The Wildcats will have four games on NESN as part of the “Hockey East Friday Night” package, three games each on ESPNU and CN8 as well as the annual match up with Dartmouth on WMUR-TV.

New Hampshire opens the 2008-09 season on Saturday, Oct. 4 in an exhibition game against St. Francis Xavier. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center.

2008-09 Hockey East Men’s Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk. Team (FPV) Pts

1. Boston College (6) 86
2. Boston University (3) 80
3. New Hampshire (1) 78
4. Northeastern 62
5. Vermont 58
6. Massachusetts 48
7. UMass-Lowell 46
8. Providence 34
9. Maine 28
10. Merrimack 20

2008-09 UNH Men’s Hockey Television Schedule
Oct. 19 vs. Boston U. (ESPNU) 5:00 p.m.
Oct. 26 at St. Lawrence (ESPNU) 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 31 vs. Northeastern (CN8) 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 8 at Minnesota (FSN North-MN) 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 6 vs. Mass.-Lowell (CN8) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 4 at Maine (ESPNU) 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 17 vs. Dartmouth (VWA) (WMUR) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 23 at Boston U. (NESN) 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 vs. Boston U. (CN8) 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 6 vs. Maine (NESN) 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 vs. Boston College (NESN) 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 vs. Merrimack (NESN) 7:00 p.m.


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