Boston College and New Hampshire tied for the top spot in this season’s Hockey East preseason coaches’ poll, released Tuesday from the TD Banknorth Garden. Each team earned five first-place votes to go along with 84 points apiece.
Last March, the Eagles won the 2007 Lamoriello Trophy for a league-record seventh time with a 5-2 win against UNH in the 23rd Hockey East title game, while the Wildcats earned their sixth regular-season league title with a 18-7-2 conference record in 2006-07.
Boston University was again picked in the top half of the league, third with 77 points, while Maine finished with 61 points in the fourth slot. NCAA Regional finalist Massachusetts and Vermont were tied in a dead heat for fifth with 54 total points.
Northeastern placed seventh in the predictions (43 pts.), while Providence (39), Massachusetts-Lowell (25) and Merrimack (19) filled out the three remaining slots.
Hockey East placed five teams in the NCAA for the first time ever last season, which included Boston College and Maine earning Frozen Four berths in St. Louis. The Eagles, led by head coach Jerry York, played in the national championship game for the fourth time in the last eight seasons.
The regular season will determine the eight teams that qualify for the Hockey East Tournament, which begins with the quarterfinal round on the campuses of the highest four seeds from on the weekend of March 14-16. The four quarterfinal winners will advance to the TD Banknorth Garden for the semifinals and championship on Friday, March 21 (5/8 p.m.) and Saturday, March 22 (7 p.m.).
2007-08 Hockey East Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (1st) Pts
1 Boston College (5) 84
1 New Hampshire (5) 84
3 Boston University 77
4 Maine 61
5 Massachusetts 54
5 Vermont 54
7 Northeastern 43
8 Providence 39
9 Massachusetts-Lowell 25
10 Merrimack 19