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Allen Lessels' College Hockey: UNH, Notre Dame share 3rd in Hockey East poll
The two teams — one a founding member of Hockey East and the other its newest contender as it begins play this year — already have something in common.
UMass Lowell and Boston College tied for the top spot in the poll. The River Hawks pulled down seven first-place votes and the Eagles picked up the other four.
“We’re just getting stronger within our league,” said longtime Boston College coach Jerry York. “It used to just be Boston College, New Hampshire, Boston University and Maine (at the top) and it was, who’s going to win? Now there’s Lowell, Providence, Vermont. Merrimack has made some runs. Now we reach out and bring in Notre Dame. Let’s make this even harder. I think it’s good.”
There are new coaches at Maine and Boston University. There is Notre Dame, the first new team since Vermont signed on for the 2005-06 season. There is a new tournament format. There’s even a new schedule.
That adjustment has allowed UNH to set up two-game home series against Michigan (Oct. 18 and 19), Nebraska-Omaha and Union this year and the Wildcats will also be playing in a holiday tournament in Florida against Cornell and either Maine or Princeton.
7 and No. 8 teams will host a single-game playoff. After the first-round the three surviving teams will be reseeded for a best-of-three quarterfinal series. The final four teams will be re-seeded again for the championship round at the TD Garden on March 21 and 22.
UNH, 20-12-7 overall last season, plays an exhibition at home against Arcadia on Saturday, Oct. 5. The Wildcats open the season against Clarkson on Oct. 11 in the first game of the Ice Breaker tournament at Minnesota.
DAN PARKHURST, a 1993 UNH grad and longtime radio and TV voice of the team, was named the 2013 winner of the Concannon Media Award for his coverage of Hockey East on Tuesday. Parkhurst lives in Conway.
ECAC Hockey released two pre-season polls on Tuesday at its Media Day in Lake Placid.
Dartmouth was picked No. 7 in the coaches’ poll with one first-place vote and was tied at No. 5 with Cornell in the media poll.
Dartmouth finished 15-14-5 overall and 9-9-4 in the ECAC last year.
The Big Green play an exhibition at home against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on Friday, Oct. 18.
They start a four-game home stretch with contests against Union on Friday, Nov. 1 and Rensselaer on Saturday, Nov. 2.