The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team was picked to finish seventh in the Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll released on Monday.
The Pioneers had their third consecutive season with double-digit wins last season, finishing 13-20-4.
SHU returns 18 skaters from last season, including their top two scorers. Returning 2015-16 Atlantic Hockey Second Team All-Conference selection senior captain Justin Danforth led Sacred Heart with 41 points last season on 20 goals and 21 assists. Fellow senior captain Evan Jasper finished with 33 points on 12 goals and 21 assists. Junior Alec Butcher had a team-high 22 assists. Eight returning players put up double-digit points in 2015-16.
2015-16 Atlantic Hockey tournament champions RIT sit atop this season's poll with 95 points and eight first place votes. Air Force is second with 88 points and two first place votes. Holy Cross was third, followed by Army West Point and Mercyhurst tied for fourth. Last season's regular season champions, Robert Morris was picked to finish sixth, 12 points above the Pioneers. Bentley, Canisius, Niagara and AIC rounded out the Poll.
2016-17 Atlantic Hockey Preseason Poll
1. RIT (8 First-Place Votes) - 95 Points
2. Air Force (2) - 88 Points
3. Holy Cross (1) - 72 Points
T4. Army West Point - 70 Points
T4. Mercyhurst - 70 Points
6. Robert Morris - 60 Points
7. Sacred Heart - 48 Points
8. Bentley - 43 Points
9. Canisius - 27 Points
10. Niagara - 17 Points
11. AIC - 15 Points