Sept. 20, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The 2011-12 Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches Poll was released today at AHA media day in Rochester, N.Y. and the UConn Huskies have been picked fifth. Connecticut earned 79 points after tallying a 15-18-4 record and advancing to the AHA Semifinals a year ago. This marks the highest preseason placement for UConn since being picked fourth in 2006-07. RIT took the top spot with five first place votes and 113 points.
Defending AHA Tournament Champion Air Force was picked second and earned five first place votes and 112 points. Holy Cross received the remaining two first place votes and 103 points. Niagara followed the top three with 89 points.
Connecticut reached the AHA Semifinals in 2010-11 for the first time since 2006-07. UConn returns eight of the top-nine scorers from last season, including All-Rookie selection Cole Schneider (Williamsville, N.Y.) and team captain Sean Ambrosie (Moorhead, Minn.).
The Huskies will have depth and a balanced attack in 2011-12 as the UConn freshmen totaled 121 points last season, led by Schneider's 13 goals, 20 assists and 33 points. Billy Latta's (West Chester, Pa.) 11-15-26 totals ranked third on the team. Schneider rewrote the UConn record book in his first season, setting top freshman marks with 20 assists and 33 points.
Connecticut will return one of the most dependable and durable goaltenders in the nation with junior Garrett Bartus (St. Charles, Ill.) manning the crease. Bartus ranked second in the nation in 2010-11 and set a new UConn single-season record with 1085 saves. Bartus was sensational for Connecticut in his sophomore campaign, recording 30-plus saves on 21 different nights
Connecticut will face Ryerson in an exhibition at Freitas Ice Forum on Saturday, October 1 at 8 p.m. The Huskies open the regular season with a five-game road trip beginning with a pair at Bowling Green on Friday, October 7. UConn will host the home opener on Thursday, October 27 against Holy Cross at 7:05 p.m.
2011-12 Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Rochester Instit. of Technology (5) 113
2. Air Force (5) 112
3. Holy Cross (2) 103
4. Niagara 89
5. Connecticut 79
6. Robert Morris 70
7. Mercyhurst 59
8. Army 51
9. Canisius 42
10. Bentley 41
11. Sacred Heart 20
12. American International 13
(First Place Votes)