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September 25, 2012
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Boston College has been selected by the league coaches as the preseason favorite

BOSTON - Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna released the 2012-13 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 Eagles of Boston College are favored for the fifth consecutive season with 90 points and nine first-place votes. Boston College, the reigning NCAA, Hockey East Tournament and Regular-Season Champions, return 19 players from last season's squad, including Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player Parker Milner (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in goal and Hockey East Tournament MVP Johnny Gaudreau (Carneys Point, N.J.).

UMass-Lowell (74 points) is coming off one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history under second year head coach Norm Bazin with a 24- win season in 2011-12. The River Hawks return Second-Team All-Star Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) in net, along with senior captain Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) and Hockey East Rookie of the Year Scott Wilson (Oakville, Ont.).

The Terriers (73 pts.) will return 14 players from last season's team that went to the NCAA Tournament and will add 10 newcomers to the mix. BU will have to replace four-year starter Kieran Millan at the goaltender position, who they lost to graduation. Senior captain Wade Megan (Canton, N.Y.) and junior Matt Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.) are the top two returning scorers on the Terriers' roster.

New Hampshire (63 pts.) garnered the only other first-place vote in the coaches poll. The Wildcats return sophomore goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) and senior captain Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alta.) on the defensive side of the puck, while Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) will most likely pace the 'Cats offense.

The Black Bears (56 pts.) will be paced offensively by Second-Team All-Star Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.), after losing five of its top six scorers. Maine will return junior Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) in goal for another season in Orono.

Northeastern and Providence were deadlocked in the sixth spot with 44 points. The Huskies will look to return to the playoffs after missing last year by just one point and will return with five of their top seven scorers, along with senior goalie Chris Rawlings (North Delta, B.C.). The Friars will look to improve upon last season's appearance in the Hockey East semifinals at the TD Garden. Head coach Nate Leaman returns 75% of the team's scoring from a season ago, but will have to replace four-year starter Alex Beaudry in goal, who the Friars lost to graduation.

Merrimack, Massachusetts and Vermont rounded out the rest of the poll with 39, 35 and 23 points respectively. The Warriors will have 18 players back from last season's 18-win team, but will also have the task of replacing a First-Team All-Star Joe Cannata, who they lost to graduation. UMass, under guidance of first-year head coach John Micheletto, will return a league-high 25 letterwinners from last season's team. Vermont will return 20 letterwinners, which includes six of their top eight scorers from last year.

The Hockey East Association is a 10-team Division I college men's hockey conference founded in 1984 and an eightteam Division I women's league which began play in 2002-03. The men's league has won eight NCAA championships in the past 20 years. Since 1999, Hockey East has won six NCAA Championships and have placed 20 teams in the Frozen Four, along with 53 teams in the NCAA Tournament.

Team (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Boston College (9) 90
2. UMass Lowell 74
3. Boston University 73
4. New Hampshire (1) 63
5. Maine 56
6. Northeastern 44
  Providence 44
8. Merrimack 38
9. Massachusetts 35
10. Vermont 23

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