Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
If the coaches of College Hockey America’s Women’s League are right, that’s how things will shape up this season in the four-team Division I conference. Mercyhurst, the defending CHA regular season and postseason champion, was picked to set the pace once again this season by league coaches.
The Lakers, an impressive 25-8-1 last year, received three of four first-place votes and 13 total points in the annual CHA preseason coaches’ poll. Mercyhurst was a perfect 6-0-0 in CHA play last season, with no other team finishing over .500.
Niagara was a close second in the final tally, receiving the other first-place vote and finishing with 12 points in the poll.
Findlay and Wayne State rounded out the poll with 10 and five points respectively.
The CHA also selected its preseason all league team. Mercyhurst again led the way with four players named — forwards Teresa Marchese-Del Monte, Sara McDonald and Samantha Shirley, and defenseman Britney Millar.
Niagara defenseman Bradi Cochrane and WSU goaltender Anna VanderMarliere were also named to the team.
Marchese-Del Monte was picked as the league’s preseason favorite for Player of the Year. The junior transferred to Mercyhurst from Niagara after recording 34 goals and 76 points in 71 games for the Purple Eagles over two seasons.