BOSTON – The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was picked to finish third in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was announced on Wednesday afternoon at the league's annual media day at Legends Restaurant at the TD Garden.
The Wildcats garnered 76 points in the poll, which was good enough for a third place preseason standing. UNH was picked fourth in the preseason and finished in first place in last year's regular season standings.
UNH returns a depth of talent from the 2009-10 squad that captured the Hockey East regular season title for the third time in the last four years. The 'Cats, which sat atop the league standings for 16-straight weeks last season, welcome back All-American Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) as well as four other starters on defense and an offensive senior trifecta in Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.), Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) and Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.).
New Hampshire opens the 2010-11 campaign on Saturday, Oct. 2 in an exhibition matchup against St. Francis Xavier. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center.
2010 Hockey East Men's Preseason Poll
1. Boston College (9) 90
2. Maine (1) 80
3. New Hampshire 76
4. Boston University 59
5. Northeastern 54
6. Vermont 53
7. Merrimack 48
8. UMass-Lowell 33
9. Massachusetts 26
10. Providence 21
UNH TELEVISION SCHEDULE
Oct. 8 New Hampshire at Miami CBS-College Sports 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 Boston U. at New Hampshire NESN 7 p.m.
Dec. 10 New Hampshire at Maine CBS-College Sports 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 Boston U. at New Hampshire NESN 7 p.m.
Feb. 4 Maine at New Hampshire NESN 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5 Maine at New Hampshire NESN 7 p.m. Feb. 18 New Hampshire at Vermont CBS-College Sports 7:30 p.m.
March 4 New Hampshire at Boston College NESN 7:30 p.m.