Norwich Tops East Preseason Poll

The East Ice Hockey League coaches have selected 2000 NCAA Division III ice hockey champion Norwich as the league favorite in the 2000-01 preseason coaches’ poll.

Norwich, which swept the conference regular-season and tournament titles on its way to claiming the NCAA crown a year ago, amassed 55 points, including six first-place votes. The Cadets posted a 16-0-1 conference mark in 1999-00. Norwich defeated St. Thomas (Minnesota), 2-1, March 18 to win its first national title.

Salem State, which finished runner-up to Norwich in both the regular-season standings and the conference tournament, earned the second slot in the poll with 51 points. The Vikings received two first-place votes.

New England College (41 points), Mass.-Boston (34) and Southern Maine (29) rounded out the top five. Mass.-Boston begins the campaign under the guidance of new head coach Joe Mallen.

The poll was based on an eight-point system (i.e., eight for first, seven for second, etc.). Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team.

2000-01 East Ice Hockey Coaches’ Poll

1. Norwich (6)          55
2. Salem State (2) 51
3. New England College 41
4. UMass-Boston 34
5. Southern Maine 29
6. Babson 28
St. Anselm 28
8. Mass. College 11
Skidmore 11