UMass Picked 7th In Hockey East Preseason Poll
Sept. 28, 2011
BOSTON - Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna released the 2011-12 men's preseason coaches poll on Tuesday afternoon, which was announced at the league's annual media day in the Legends Club at the TD Garden.
The Boston College Eagles are picked to win the league for second consecutive season, according to the conference's 10 head coaches. The Eagles earned seven first-place votes with a total of 88 points. BC won the regular-season in 2010-11 for the 11th time in school history with a 20-6-1 record and 41 totals points. Jerry York's club returns 18 players from a season ago, including junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin (Biddeford, Maine), the lone returning First-Team Hockey East All-Star, from last season.
UMass was picked to finish 7th in the poll. Massachusetts (42) brings back 84% of its scoring prowess from 2010-2011, including three 20-point scorers in league action; Danny Hobbs (Shawville, Que.), Michael Pereira (West Haven, Conn.) and T.J. Syner (Springfield, Mass.).
Boston University (83 pts.) was chosen second in the poll and garnered the remaining three first-place votes. Senior goaltender Kieran Millan (Edmonton, Alta.), a Second-Team All-Star in 2011, will headline the group of returning players, along with captain Chris Connolly (Duluth, Minn.) and junior forward Alex Chiasson (St. Augustin, Que.). The Terriers return 86% of the team's scoring from last year's 19-win squad.
UNH (72) brings back standout goaltender Matt Di Girolamo (Ambler, Pa) for his senior season in between the pipes. The Wildcats' offense will be led by seniors Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.), Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) and junior John Henrion (Holden, Mass.), who accounted for a combined 42 points last year in league games.
Maine (64) returns senior forward Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.), the league's top returning point getter from a season ago (30 pts.) and All-Rookie Team selection Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) in goal.
Merrimack (61 pts.) will look to capitalize off its finest Division I season in the program's history, as the team won 25 games and reached the Hockey East Championship Game for the first time in school history. Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) returns for his senior campaign. His 16 wins in league play last year were third best among league netminders.
Vermont (44) will return six of its top eight scorers from last year, including junior forward Sebastian Stålberg (Gothenburg, Sweden), who led the team with 20 points in 27 league contests.
Northeastern (33) will have Chris Rawlings (North Delta, B.C.) in net once again and blueliner Anthony Bitetto (Island Park, N.Y.) should improve off a very solid freshman season and will anchor the defense under first-year head coach Jim Madigan on Huntington Ave.
UMass-Lowell (27) and first-year head coach Norm Bazin will look to Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) and David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) to lead the River Hawks offense. The goaltending position is up for grabs with two of the three goalies returning from last year.
Providence (26) returns senior Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, Ont.) in goal, as Nate Leaman transitions the club in his first season with the Friars. Beaudry was one of six goalies in the league to make 700+ saves in conference play last year.
The Hockey East Association is a 10-team Division I college men's hockey conference founded in 1984 and an eight-team Division I women's league which began play in 2002-03. The men's league has won seven NCAA championships in the past 19 years.
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