Sept. 17, 2013
STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut men’s ice hockey team has been selected to finish sixth in the Atlantic Hockey Association, as announced by the league today (Sept. 17). The results come from a poll of the conference’s 12 head coaches.
Reigning regular season champion Niagara earned the top slot in the poll, followed by Mercyhurst and Air Force in a tie for second, with Canisius and RIT also coming in ahead of the Huskies. Each of the top-four teams received at least two first place votes, led by Mercyhurst receiving four, while Niagara and Canisius each earned three. NU finished just four points ahead of Mercyhurtst and AFA a the top of the poll.
Connecticut received 79 points in the poll, only two behind RIT for fifth and 13 ahead of the seventh place squad, Robert Morris. The Colonials were followed in order by Holy Cross, Bentley, Army, AIC and Sacred Heart to round out the projected order of finish for the 12-team league. UConn will play its final season in Atlantic Hockey this year, before joining the Hockey East Association for the 2014-15 season.
Mike Cavanaugh takes over the UConn program in 2013-14 in his first season at the helm after spending the last 18 years as the top assistant to the legendary Jerry York at perrenial power Boston College. At BC, Cavanaugh was on staff for four national titles, nine Hockey East crowns and 10 Frozen Four appearances.
UConn returns 23 skaters from last year’s squad, which went 19-14-4 and reached the AHA semifinals. Among the returners is netminder Matt Grogan, an All-Conference Third Team member in 2012-13, and the top two goal scorers from a year ago in Brant Harris and Trevor Gerling. Also entering the mix is a talented incoming crop of eight freshmen, including Ryan Segalla, a fourth round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
The Huskies begin the 2013-14 campaign with a trip to Minnesota State on Oct. 18, before they host Union on Oct. 25 for the first game of the year at Freitas Ice Forum.
2013-14 Preseason Coaches Poll Results:
1. Niagara (3) 102
2. Mercyhurst (4) 98
Air Force (2) 98
4. Canisius (3) 92
5. RIT 81
6. Connecticut 79
7. Robert Morris 66
8. Holy Cross 59
9. Bentley 53
10. Army 28
11. American International 22
12. Sacred Heart 16