The Massachusetts hockey team was picked to finish ninth out of 10 teams, according to the Hockey East’s 2012-13 preseason coaches poll released at the league’s annual media day on Tuesday.
The Minutemen, who return a league-high 25 letterwinners for first-year head coach John Micheletto this season, garnered a total of 35 points. Only Vermont, which tallied 23 points, was ranked lower by the league’s coaches.
Sitting atop this year’s rankings is preseason favorite and reigning NCAA and Hockey East champions, Boston College. The Eagles, who have entered each of the past five seasons as the league’s top ranked team, received 90 points, including nine first place votes. The lone remaining first place vote went to New Hampshire, which ranked fourth in the poll with 63 points.
UMass Lowell and Boston University placed a close second and third in the rankings, earning 74 and 73 points, respectively. Maine was awarded a total of 56 points by the coaches, good for fifth place, while Northeastern and Providence tied for sixth place with 44 points apiece. Merrimack landed just ahead of UMass in eighth place with 38 points.
The Minutemen are set to drop the puck on their 2012-13 regular season at home against Connecticut on Oct. 12. The UMass schedule features 13 televised games, including a Feb. 9 matchup with Merrimack to be aired on NESN.
Daniel Malone can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @Daniel_Malone.