Sept. 25, 2012
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The University of Connecticut men's hockey program has been chosen seventh in the 2012-13 Atlantic Hockey Association coaches poll with 65 points, as announced at the annual AHA media day in Rochester, N.Y.
UConn finished 2011-12 at 16-19-4 and advanced to the AHA Quarterfinals, falling at eventual champion Air Force in three games. Air Force is the preseason favorite with eight first-place votes and 112 points.
Air Force is followed by Niagara (3-FPV, 101), Mercyhurst (89), Bentley (87), RIT (87) and Holy Cross (74).
Connecticut split two games with RIT and swept Holy Cross and Niagara last season.
UConn returns five of the top-six scorers, with Cole Schneider the lone exception after the All-AHA First Team selection signed a professional contract with the Ottawa Senators following his sophomore season.
The Huskies will also welcome back the top defensive pairing of senior captain Alex Gerke and sophomore Jacob Poe. Gerke set a UConn Division I record with 25 points as a defenseman in 2011-12.
Senior goaltender Garrett Bartus will man the cage in 2012-13 after setting several Connecticut records during his junior campaign. In 2011-12, Bartus was named AHA Goaltender of the Week on four occasions, set the UConn single-season saves record and led the nation with 1,179 stops, set the UConn career record with 2,816 saves and notched five shutouts to set a new standard at Connecticut.
Connecticut opens the season with an exhibition against York University at 3 p.m. in Storrs on October 6. The regular season begins with a non-conference contest at Massachusetts at 7 p.m. on October 12 in Amherst, Mass.
2012-13 Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Air Force (8) 112
2. Niagara (3) 101
3. Mercyhurst 89
4. Bentley 87
Rochester Instit. of Technology 87
6. Holy Cross 74
7. Connecticut 65
8. Robert Morris (1) 61
9. Canisius 38
10. Army 30
11. American International 20
12. Sacred Heart 19
(First Place votes)