WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross men's hockey team has been selected sixth in the Atlantic Hockey Association Pre-season Coaches' Poll. The Crusaders received 74 total points.
Last year's regular season and tournament champions, Air Force, has been picked as this year's preseason favorite with a total of 112 points and eight first place votes, followed by Niagara, who reached the semifinals of the AHA Tournament last year, with a total of 101 points and three first place votes. Mercyhurst was selected third behind Niagara with a total of 89 points.
Bentley and RIT were tied for fourth in the poll with 87 points respectively for each school. The Crusaders were picked sixth, followed by Connecticut in seventh (65 points), Robert Morris in eighth (61 points) as well as receiving one first place vote, Canisius in ninth (38 points), Army in 10th (30 points), American International in 11th (20 points) and Sacred Heart in 12th (19 points).
All 12 schools will be competing in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament with the top four teams receiving a first round bye. The first round will be held on March 8-10 with the quarterfinals being 15-17. Both rounds will be determined on a best two-out-of-three basis, and the semifinals and finals will take place on the 22 and 23 respectively in Rochester, N.Y.
This year the Crusaders will be returning 17 letterwinners and four starters from last season's campaign. Last year, Holy Cross was 20-15-4 overall (15-8-4 Atlantic Hockey, tied for third) and built off of the year before where they won 17 games. The Crusaders' total number of wins last year (20) was the most in a single season since 2005-2006 when they won 27 games.
Holy cross will open up the season when they host St. Thomas in an exhibition game on Saturday, October 6 at 3:00 p.m.
2012-2013 Atlantic Hockey Association Pre-Season Coaches Poll
|1. Air Force (8)||112|
|2. Niagara (3)||101|
|6. Holy Cross||74|
|8. Robert Morris (1)||61|
|12. Sacred Heart||19|
(First Place votes)