Jennifer Hitchcock
BOSTON – The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, which has won four consecutive Hockey East regular-season titles as well as tournament championships each of the last two years, has been selected as the preseason favorite in 2008 according to the Preseason Coaches Poll that was released at the league’s Media Day on Tuesday. This marks the fourth straight year that UNH tops the Hockey East preseason poll.

UNH (28-4-5 overall, 18-1-2 Hockey East) garnered six first-place votes and a total of 55 points to edge out Boston College (51 points; two first-place votes), last year’s regular-season runner-up.

The University of Connecticut, which finished fifth in the 2007 standings, placed third in the ’08 poll with 41 points. UConn was followed by Boston University (38 points), Providence College (35), Northeastern University (24), University of Vermont (20) and University of Maine (16).

UNH returns 16 letterwinners, including 2007 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario). The senior defenseman and 2008 captain also garnered 2006 All-America honors, as did senior forwards Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) and Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.).

New Hampshire opens the 2008 season Oct. 5-6 for a two-game series at St. Lawrence University. The Wildcats’ home opener at the Whittemore Center is Oct. 14 (1 p.m.) against Colgate University. Tickets for all home games are available online (www.unhwildcats.com) or by calling 1-866-WILDCAT; home games will also be video- streamed online at UNHwildcats.tv.
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