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September 30, 2009
BOSTON UNIVERSITY TABBED TO REPEAT IN HOCKEY EAST PRESEASON POLL
~UMass-Lowell and Boston College selected right behind Terriers~

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Nick Bonino and the Terriers were selected at the top of the annual coaches' poll
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BOSTON - Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna announced on Wednesday the 2009-2010 Hockey East preseason coaches poll at the league’s annual media day at TD Garden in Legends Restaurant.

The defending National Champion Boston University Terriers were chosen by the league’s 10 head coaches to win the regular-season crown. The Terriers garnered 84 votes and six first-place tallies. BU is coming off a school record 36 win season for its fifth national title in school history, but return only three of its top eight scorers from a season ago. The Terriers will be led offensively by Nick Bonino (50 pts.) and Hockey East Rookie of the Year Kieran Millan in goal. UMass-Lowell was voted in the second spot with 79 points for the second time in school history with two first place votes. BU also features a league-best 14 NHL draft picks on its current roster. Boston College was right behind BU and UML with 76 total points and two first place votes. The River Hawks return a league-best 84 percent of their scoring from their 2008-09 roster. Back once again will be league all-stars Maury Edwards and Kory Falite, along with the two-headed goaltending tandem of seniors Nevin Hamilton and Carter Hutton. UML will return all of their top seven leading scorers from last season’s squad. The Eagles return 59% of their scoring from as season ago where the team won 18 games overall and tallied 11 wins in league play.

New Hampshire and Vermont were picked tied for fourth in the poll with 59 points apiece, followed closely by Northeastern with 57 points. The Wildcats return three of their top four scorers, but lose some key pieces to their blueline to graduation. UNH also returns Brian Foster for his senior season in Durham. UNH’s offense should once again be a solid option for Coach Umile’s squad, as they ranked third in the league last season scoring 3.05 goals per contest.

The Catamounts are coming off of a banner season in Burlington, as they made an appearance in the Frozen Four for the first time since 1997 with a 22-win season. Vermont will return 63% of its offense for the coming year and the Catamounts are the only Hockey East team to return all of their regular defensemen and goalies intact from last season. The key to the ‘Cats success this year will be replacing the offense left by Peter Lenes, Dean Strong and Viktor Stålberg. The Huskies return five 20-point scorers for the 09-10 season, as one of three Hockey East teams that can lay that claim. Junior forward Wade MacLeod and Tyler McNeeley will shoulder most of the Huskies’ offensive production.

Massachusetts was voted in the seventh spot with 47 points, followed by Maine (32), Providence (24) and Merrimack (23) rounding out the preseason poll. The Minutemen graduate five seniors from last season’s squad, but return an impressive 21 letterwinners and six of their top 10 scorers, which includes Hockey East First-Team All-Star James Marcou, who headlines the returning group UMass forwards. The Black Bears will return six of their top eight scorers from a season ago in which they finished in eighth place and took the BU Terriers to three games in the Hockey East quarterfinal playoffs. Maine only graduated four players from 08-09 and they return 17 letterwinners from last seasons squad.

Providence College will attempt to rebound from missing the Hockey East playoffs for the first time in league history. The Friars will return seven of their Top 10 scorers from a season ago and will also bring back sophomore goalie Alex Beaudry. Merrimack College looks to return to the Hockey East Tournament for the first time since 2004 with 22 letterwinners returning and six new additions to the Warriors squad. Merrimack set a program low last year with a 2.58 team GAA and its goal scoring output was the highest it had been since the 04-05 season.

The Hockey East Association is a 10-team Division I college men’s hockey conference and an eight-team Division I women’s league which began play in 2002-03. Founded in 1983, the men’s league has won six NCAA championships in the past 17 years.

2009-10 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Boston University (6) 84
2. UMass Lowell (2) 79
3. Boston College (2) 76
4. New Hampshire 59
  Vermont 59
6. Northeastern 57
7. Massachusetts 47
8. Maine 32
9. Providence 24
10. Merrimack 23
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