BOSTON – The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was picked to finish third in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was announced on Wednesday afternoon at the league's annual media day at Legends Restaurant at the TD Garden.

The Wildcats garnered 76 points in the poll, which was good enough for a third place preseason standing. UNH was picked fourth in the preseason and finished in first place in last year's regular season standings.

UNH returns a depth of talent from the 2009-10 squad that captured the Hockey East regular season title for the third time in the last four years. The 'Cats, which sat atop the league standings for 16-straight weeks last season, welcome back All-American Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) as well as four other starters on defense and an offensive senior trifecta in Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.), Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.) and Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.).

New Hampshire opens the 2010-11 campaign on Saturday, Oct. 2 in an exhibition matchup against St. Francis Xavier. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center.

2010 Hockey East Men's Preseason Poll

Rk.            Team (FPV)                              Pts.
1.            Boston College (9)                        90
2.            Maine (1)                                    80
3.            New Hampshire                         76

4.            Boston University                        59
5.            Northeastern                              54
6.            Vermont                                    53
7.            Merrimack                                 48
8.            UMass-Lowell                             33
9.            Massachusetts                            26
10.           Providence                                21

Additionally, Hockey East announced the composite television schedule and the Wildcats will appear on television eight times.

2010-11            UNH TELEVISION SCHEDULE
Oct. 8             New Hampshire at Miami                 CBS-College Sports            7:30 p.m.
Nov. 19            Boston U. at New Hampshire           NESN                                    7 p.m.
Dec. 10             New Hampshire at Maine               CBS-College Sports            7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22            Boston U. at New Hampshire           NESN                                    7 p.m.
Feb. 4                        Maine at New Hampshire      NESN                                    7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5                        Maine at New Hampshire      NESN                                    7 p.m.           Feb. 18             New Hampshire at Vermont           CBS-College Sports            7:30 p.m.
March 4             New Hampshire at Boston College NESN                                     7:30 p.m.

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