WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross men's hockey team has been picked eighth in the Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Crusaders received 60 total points.
Last season's tournament and regular season champion RIT, who was also a 2010 NCAA Tournament semifinalist, was picked as this year's preseason favorite with 118 points and eight first place votes, followed by Mercyhurst with 101 points and two first place votes. Air Force was picked third with 98 points, while league additions Niagara and Robert Morris tied for fourth with 82 points each. Robert Morris also had two first place votes.
Canisius was sixth (63 points), Sacred Heart was seventh (61 points), the Crusaders were eighth (60 points), Army was ninth (48 points), Bentley was 10th (47 points), UConn was 11th (21 points) and AIC was 12th (11 points).
All 12 teams will compete in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. The first round is on March 5, while the best-two-out-of-three quarterfinals will be on March 11-13. The semifinals (March 18) and the finals (March 19) will be held in Rochester, N.Y.
The Crusaders return 22 letterwinners and four starters from last season (12-19-6, 10-13-5 AHA). Holy Cross will start the season when they host AIC in an exhibition game on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 3:00 p.m.