MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The New England Hockey Conference announced the 2017-18 coaches' poll and have selected women's ice hockey to finish second this season, after earning 54 points.
Norwich University earned the top-spot on the poll as they collected all eight first place votes and 64 total points. Castleton University was picked to finish third with 44 points, followed by the University of New England who received 40 points to close out the top-4.
Southern Maine was picked to finish fifth with 29 points. Plymouth State University received 27 points and was picked to finish sixth, while Salve Regina University and New England College closed out the preseason poll with 20 and 10 points respectively.
This season, head coach Lindsay Berman will welcome back her most veteran roster to-date. Amongst the Beacons key returners is two-time All-Conference selection Rachel Myette (Duxbury, Mass.). The senior netminder, has appeared in over 2,400 minutes and boasts 1,071 career stops. She currently has an overall record of 25-15. Last season, Myette registered 542 saves and earned 12 wins as she led the Beacons back to the NEHC semi-final round.
Five of the Beacons six top point earners from a year ago will also be back this winter. Kaleigh Beauregard (Gaylord, Mich.) led UMass Boston in 2016-17 with her 10 goals and 18 points. Emily Harris (Littleton, Colo.) returns for her junior season, after posting seven goals and 10 assists in her first season as a Beacon.
UMass Boston will host Nichols College this Saturday in an exhibition game. They will open their regular season on October 28 when they host former NEHC member St. Anselm College at 1 p.m.
2017-18 New England Hockey Conference Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. Norwich University (8) 64 pts.
2. UMass Boston 54 pts.
3. Castleton University 44 pts.
4. University of New England 40 pts.
5. University of Southern Maine 29 pts.
6. Plymouth State University 27 pts.
7. Salve Regina University 20 pts.
8. New England College 10 pts.
(First Place votes in parentheses)