BOSTON - The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team, led by 2003 Hockey East Coach of the Year Brian McCloskey, placed second in the 2003-04 Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Tuesday at the FleetCenter.
UNH, which finished second in the league standings and as runner-up in the postseason tournament a year ago, garnered one first-place vote and 21 points to place behind Providence College. The Friars, winners of both the regular season and tourney titles, received five first-place votes and 25 points.
The Wildcats are followed in the poll by Maine (14 points), Boston College (11), UConn (10) and Northeastern (9).
McCloskey, in his first year as head coach, guided the 2003 New Hampshire squad to the second-highest single-season win total with a 27-7-2 overall record. The team returns 12 letterwinners, including Hockey East All-Star First Team selections Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.) and Kristen Thomas (Wilmington, Mass.) as well as Second Team honoree Allison Edgar (Brigden, Ontario).
UNH opens the 2003-04 season Oct. 12 with an exhibition game against McGill University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m. The Wildcats open the regular season Oct. 24 (7 p.m.) at the University of Connecticut.