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Hockey East Press Releases
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September 20, 2011
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BOSTON UNIVERSITY FAVORED IN 2011-12 WHEA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
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Jenn Wakefield and the BU Terriers have been chosen as the preseason WHEA favorites

Wakefield, Mass. -- Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna released the 2011-12 WHEA preseason coaches poll for the upcoming 10th anniversary season on Tuesday morning.

The Boston University Terriers are the favorites to win the league championship for the second consecutive season, after winning the regular-season championship last season with a 15-3-3 record and 33 points in the league standings. BU garnered six of the eight first-place votes and 55 total points. The Terriers are coming off their best season in program history, as they earned their second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and made the conference's first appearance in the NCAA Championship Game vs. Wisconsin last spring. BU returns senior Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ont.) and sophomore Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.), the second and fifth leading scorers in league play last year, to go along with Kerrin Sperry (North Reading, Mass.), the reigning WHEA Goaltending Champion.

Boston College (51 pts.) is right behind the Terriers in the poll, garnering two first place votes. The Eagles return seven of their top eight scorers from last season's squad that took home the school's first-ever WHEA Tournament Championship defeating Northeastern and advanced to the Frozen Four. Senior forward Mary Restuccia (Chester Springs, Pa.) is the Eagles leading returning scorer with 22 points in 21 league games last year and is league's second returning leading point getter from a season ago. Freshman Alex Carpenter (Reading, Mass.) is one of seven first-year players at the Heights and should be one of the top freshmen in the league this season.

Northeastern's third place prediction is the highest in team history. The Huskies, who garnered 42 points in the preseason voting, return 16 players from last year's team that appeared in the WHEA title game for the first time in school history, including 2010 WHEA Player of the Year Florence Schelling (Oberengstringen, Switzerland). Northeastern will also add nine newcomers to the 11-12 team, including highly touted recruit Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.).

Providence (39) is led by two-time WHEA Coach of the Year Bob Deraney and will return 76% of the team's scoring from its team that finished in third place in 2011. Senior goaltender Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ont.) will once again be the anchor of the Friars' defense. Her 526 saves in league play was third among league netminders.

Connecticut (31 pts.) will return six of its top seven scorers from a year ago and will be accompanied on the defensive side of the ice by senior netminder Alexandra Garcia (Pointe-Claire, Que.). Garcia's .943 save percentage in league play last season was second best among WHEA goalies, while her 598 saves was most among any goaltender in league play.

Vermont (24) was chosen sixth in the poll and will feature sophomore Roxanne Douville (Beloeil, Que.) in goal for the Catamounts. She posted impressive numbers in her rookie season with a 1.96 GAA and .928 save percentage in 18 league contests. New Hampshire (21) and Maine (18) rounded out the pre-season coaches poll. The Wildcats return their top two scorers in Arielle O'Neill (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ont.). The Black Bears are looking to capitilize off their sixth place finish last year and their first tournament appearance in last four seasons. Second-year head coach Maria Lewis returns 84% of the team's scoring from last season and will feature the goaltending tandem of Candice Currier (Goffstown, N.H.) and Brittany Ott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.).

The league's 10th anniversary season will open when Maine hosts Sacred Heart at Alfond Arena for a two-game series beginning this Friday, September 23rd. The conference schedule will commence on Friday, October 14 as UNH hosts Boston College at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H.

The Women's Hockey East Association is an eight-team, Division-I college hockey conference which began play in 2002-2003, with offices based in Wakefield, Mass. The league also sponsors a 10-team men's league which began play in 1984.

2011-2012 WHEA PRESEASON Poll
Team (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Boston University (6) 55
2. Boston College (2) 51
3. Northeastern 42
4. Providence 39
5. Connecticut 30
6. Vermont 24
7. New Hampshire 21
8. Maine 18
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