WAKEFIELD, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team, under the direction of 12th-year head coach Brian McCloskey, was picked fifth in the 2013-14 Women's Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll that was released Tuesday.
UNH garnered 34 points to place behind Boston College (56 points; seven first-place votes), Boston University (48; 1), Northeastern University (41) and Providence College (38). The Wildcats are followed by the University of Vermont (29), University of Maine (19) and University of Connecticut (15).
New Hampshire returns 18 letterwinners and adds three newcomers to last year's team that went 14-16-4 overall and finished fourth in Hockey East at 10-8-3. The 'Cats are led by senior forward and captain Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) as well as assistant captains Hannah Armstrong (Newmarket, Ontario) and Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia). Crossley was an All-Rookie and Second Team All-Star selection last season, whereas junior goaltender Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) was an Honorable Mention selection.
UNH opens the 2013-14 season with a two-game series at St. Lawrence on Sept. 27 (7 p.m.) & 28 (2 p.m.). The Wildcats' home opener is Oct. 4 (7 p.m.) vs. RIT.