ALBANY, N.Y. — Harvard, last seasons ECAC Hockey womens regular season and tournament champions, as well as Frozen Four participant has been chosen to defend its ECAC Hockey title in the preseason coaches poll. The Crimson, who finished 22-0-0 in the conference and have claimed four out of the last six regular season crowns earned 119 votes, including 10 first place votes.
The Crimson, led by head coach Katey Stone, who became only the third womens Division I ice hockey coach to reach 300 career victories last season, had the second-highest overall win total for an ECAC Hockey womens team last season. In addition to their undefeated league season, the team went 10-2-0 in non-conference play.
St. Lawrence, which has finished among the top three teams in the regular-season standings each year since 2000-01 and has made it to the ECAC Hockey championship game the last two years, came in second in the voting, with 103 votes and two first place votes. The Saints will be looking to avenge a tough 3-2 overtime defeat at the hands of the Crimson in the league championship game last season.
Two of the nations most prolific offenses, Dartmouth and Clarkson round out the top four, with the Big Green earning 98 votes and the Golden Knights garnering 84 votes in the coaches poll.
Cornell, Princeton, Colgate and Yale were Nos. 5-8, gaining 72, 64, 64 and 50 votes respectively.
Rensselaer, with 41 votes, was chosen as the No. 9 team, while Brown rounded out the top ten, receiving 30 votes.
Quinnipiac, with 27 votes and Union, with 15 votes round out the poll.
The women’s season opens September 26 with a pair of games, as Rensselaer takes on the Toronto Aeros and Quinnipiac under new head coach Rick Seeley take on midwest power Wisconsin. The first league game of the season takes place October 31st, when Brown travels to Rensselaer to take on the Engineers. Season play will conclude on February 21st, when there is a full slate of games.
2008-09 ECAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Harvard 119 (10)
2. St. Lawrence 103 (2)
3. Dartmouth 98
4. Clarkson 84
5. Cornell 77
6. Princeton 72
7. Colgate 64
8. Yale 50
9. Rensselaer 41
10. Brown 30
11. Quinnipiac 27
12. Union 15
2008-09 ECAC Preseason All-Conference Team
Goaltender: Christina Kessler, Jr., Harvard
Defense: Sasha Sherry, So., Princeton
Defense: Helen Resor, Sr., Yale
Forward: Rebecca Johnston, So., Cornell
Forward: Sarah Parsons, Jr., Dartmouth
Forward: Sarah Vaillancourt, Sr., Harvard