|Senior Captain Lindsay Hansen|
BOSTON -- The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team, which successfully defended its 2004 Hockey East regular-season title with a share of the 2005 regular-season crown, was selected No. 1 in the 2005-06 Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Thursday.
UNH received six of a possible seven first-place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team) and a total of 55 points. Providence College received the other two first-place votes and 49 points. The rest of the poll is comprised of Boston College (43 points), Connecticut and Maine (36), Northeastern (26), Vermont (20) and Boston University (15).
New Hampshire returns 16 letterwinners and adds five newcomers to a team that finished last season at 21-8-6 overall and 13-3-4 in Hockey East. The offense, ranked No. 1 in the league last year, will be led by captains Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) and Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba), who respectively are the 2004 and 2005 Hockey East Scoring Champions. The defense was also tops in the conference a year ago and is anchored by captain Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) and Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec), who was the Hockey East ITECH Goaltending Champion each of the past two years.
UNH opens the 2005-06 season Oct. 15 at home with a league game vs. Maine. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.