CENTERVILLE, Mass. - The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team was voted as the preseason favorite in the ECAC Women's Eastern Hockey League Coaches' Poll that was released Monday.
The Wildcats, who are No. 8 in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine preseason poll, received six of eight first-place votes and a total of 55 points. Providence College received the other two first-place votes and 42 points while Niagara University finished third in the poll with 36 points.
Northeastern (32 points), Maine (27) and Boston College (17) occupy No. 4-6. Newcomers Connecticut (15) and Quinnipiac (7) round out the poll.
New Hampshire is led by 10th-year head coach Karen Kay, who has a 196-78-20 record and guided UNH to a national championship in 1998.
The ECAC Women's Eastern Hockey League features a 21-game conference schedule. Every team will qualify for postseason play with a single-game elimination in the quarterfinal round. The winning teams will advance to a single site for the semifinals and title game.
New Hampshire, which is hosting the 2002 Frozen Four on March 22-24, begins the 2001-02 season Oct. 19 at home against 10th-ranked Ohio State. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.