WAKEFIELD, Mass. - The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team, under the direction of first-year head coach Brian McCloskey, was selected third in the inaugural Women's Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Tuesday.
UNH, which returns 20 letterwinners from last year's team that was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation and finished 19-12-5, received one of the six first-place votes and a total of 19 points to place behind preseason favorite Providence College (24 points, four first-place votes) and Northeastern University (20, one).
The University of Connecticut (13 points), University of Maine (11) and Boston College (5) complete the poll.
New Hampshire boasts a strong defensive unit that ranked sixth in the nation last year (1.67 goals allowed per game) and broke the school records for consecutive shutouts and consecutive shutout minutes. Jen Huggon (Plymouth, Mass.) returns as a four-year starter in goal. She holds the school record for career saves and her .931 save percentage a year ago was the third-best single-season mark in the program's 25-year history.
UNH opens the regular season Oct. 11 at home against the University of Vermont. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.
The inaugural Women's Hockey East season will conclude March 15-16 with a tournament at Northeastern University.
2002-03 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Pts.
1. Providence (4) 24
2. Northeastern (1) 20
3. New Hampshire (1) 19
4. Connecticut 13
5. Maine 11
6. Boston College 5