ALBANY, N.Y. — St. Lawrence, which has finished among the top three teams in the regular-season standings each year since 2000-01, is the team to beat in the 2007-08 regular season, according to voting by the League coaches as part of the pre-season polls and all-League team.
The Saints, led by head coach Paul Flanagan, garnered a total of 121 points on the strength of 11 first-place votes. St. Lawrence, which advanced to NCAA Women’s Frozen Four a year ago, heads into the upcoming campaign with an experienced squad headlined by returning all-Americans Sabrina Harbec and Annie Guay. A year ago, St. Lawrence finished second in the regular-season standings with a mark of 17-4-1.
Harvard claimed the only other first-place vote in finishing second in the poll. The Crimson, who are led by head coach Katey Stone, amassed 111 total points. Harvard finished in a tie for second place with St. Lawrence in the 2006-07 regular-season standings, compiling a mark of 17-4-1 in League play. The Crimson advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, dropping a heart-breaking 1-0 four-overtime loss at Wisconsin, which went on to claim the NCAA title.
Dartmouth, the defending regular-season and tournament champion, is slotted to finish third in regular-season play according to the voting by the coaches. Head coach Mark Hudak’s Big Green compiled 95 points in the poll. Colgate, which advanced to the League semifinals for the first time a year ago, ranks fourth in the preseason poll with 91 points; Princeton occupies the fifth slot with 78 points, followed by Yale with 67 points.
Clarkson and Cornell, which are separated by four points in the poll, garner slot Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, while Rensselaer begins its second campaign in the League as No. 9 team in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Brown, led by head coach Digit Murphy, the all-time wins leader in NCAA Division I women’s hockey, is the No. 10 team in the poll. Quinnipiac and Union, under first-year head coach Claudia Asano, are the Nos. 11 and 12 teams in the poll.
The women’s season opens Wednesday, September 26 when St. Lawrence takes on McGill in an exhibition contest. The first league games of the season take place September 28-29 as Union plays host to two-time NCAA defending champion Wisconsin at Messa Rink at Achilles Center in Schenectady, New York.
2007-08 ECAC Hockey Preseason Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. St. Lawrence (11) 121
2. Harvard (1) 111
3. Dartmouth 95
4. Colgate 91
5. Princeton 78
6. Yale 67
7. Clarkson 56
8. Cornell 52
9. Rensselaer 46
10. Brown 43
11. Quinnipiac 21
12. Union 11
2007-08 ECAC Hockey Preseason All-Conference Team
Goaltender: Carli Clemis, JR, Dartmouth
Defense: Annie Guay, SR, St. Lawrence
Defense: Caitlin Cahow, SR, Harvard
Forward: Sabrina Harbec, SR, St. Lawrence
Forward: Sarah Parsons, SO, Dartmouth
Forward: Sarah Vaillancourt, JR, Harvard