COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, which won its fifth consecutive Hockey East regular-season crown and third straight league tournament title in 2008, garnered 125 total points to rank No. 4 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women’s College Hockey Preseason Poll that was released Tuesday.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth (190 points; 19 first-place votes) topped the poll and is followed by the University of Wisconsin (162), University of Minnesota (135), UNH and Harvard University (119). Mercyhurst College (100), St. Lawrence University (51), Dartmouth College (47), Providence College (40) and Boston College (28) complete the poll.
UNH, which last season advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year and to the Frozen Four for the second time in that span, finished at No. 3 in the 2008 poll with a 33-4-1 overall record that included a 20-0-1 mark in Hockey East.
The Wildcats battle second-ranked Wisconsin in a two-game series Nov. 21-22 at Fort Myers, Fla. UNH also faces off against Harvard – twice, including Dec. 5 at home – and plays host to both St. Lawrence (Oct. 18) and Dartmouth (Jan. 16).
New Hampshire plays an exhibition game Sept. 26 against Brampton (Provincial Women’s Hockey League) at the Whittemore Center. The Wildcats open the 2008-09 season Oct. 8 at home against Hockey East rival Boston College. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
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