September 17, 2013

SHU Picked 12th in 2013-14 Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll

HAVERHILL, Mass. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team was picked to finish 12th in the Atlantic Hockey Association's 2013-14 Preseason Coaches' Poll, released on Tuesday.

The Pioneers were 2-30-4 last season, going on a three-game unbeaten streak late in February with wins over Holy Cross and Bentley. Sacred Heart looks to be one of the youngest teams in the nation this upcoming season, with 12 true freshmen on the roster. The Pioneers do return five of their top 10 point scorers from a year ago, led by junior forward Brian Sheehan (St. Louis, Mo.) who had 11 goals and 17 assists in 2012-13. Junior forward Nick Curry (Augusta, Ga.) was third on the team in assists with 11 last season, tallying 14 points. Senior Chad Filteau (Regina, Sask.) looks to build on his nine-goal season of a year ago, while juniors Drew George (Regina, Sask.) and Ben Lake (Calgary, Alb.) had double-digit points last year as well.

Niagara is atop the Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll with 102 points and three first place votes. The Purple Eagles won the conference regular-season title last year and were an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament. Air Force and Mercyhurst each had 98 points to tie for second. Mercyhurst had four first-place votes as Air Force had two. Canisius, the defending Atlantic Hockey Tournament champions, placed fourth with 92 points with three first-place votes.  The Pioneers garnered 16 points in the poll, six behind AIC for 11th.

Sacred Heart opens the 2013-14 season with an exhibition game against Simon Fraser on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. at Milford Ice Pavilion.

2013-14 Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll (First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

1. Niagara (3)                 102

2. Mercyhurst (4)             98

2. 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. AIC                             22

12. Sacred Heart              16