Wildcats Favored Again in Women’s Hockey East

Defending Hockey East champion New Hampshire took the top spot in the league’s preseason poll for good reason. The Wildcats graduated just three seniors from last year’s squad, which was the first from Hockey East to reach the Frozen Four. They return Player of the Year Sadie Wright-Ward, Rookie of the Year Samantha Faber, Coach of the Year Brian McCloskey, and the nation’s top scorer Jennifer Hitchcock.

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Boston College, who would made NCAAs last year had it not been for ECACHL tournament upsets, earned second place and the first-place vote from UNH (coaches cannot vote for their own team). Coaches had high expectations for Boston University, giving the Terriers the No. 3 spot in just the program’s second season.

Longtime power Providence, who won the first three league postseason titles, placed fourth, Connecticut was fifth, and Northeastern was sixth. Maine, fourth place a year ago, earned just seventh in this poll. Maine coach Guy Perron departed in the off-season, and was replaced by Lauren Steblen on an interim basis. The other team with a new coach, Vermont under Tim Bothwell, placed eighth.

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