Coaches Tab RIT Top Choice for 2010-11 Season
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HAVERHILL, Mass. – The Atlantic Hockey Association coaches have voted who they believe will take home the regular season crown for the 2010-11 season. Last year’s regular season and tournament champions, RIT is the top pick in this year’s pre-season poll. The Tigers collected eight (8) first place votes en route to 118 total points. RIT became the first Atlantic Hockey institution to play in the Frozen Four, as the Tigers defeated Denver, 2-1 and New Hampshire, 6-2 to capture the East Regional crown at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. RIT then fell to Wisconsin in the National Semifinal contest at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.
Mercyhurst was selected second by the coaches, as the Lakers collected a pair of first place votes and totaled 110 points. Air Force comes in behind Mercyhurst with 98 points, while Atlantic Hockey newcomers Niagara and Robert Morris (2 first place votes) tied for fourth with 82 points. Canisius rounds out the top six with 63 points.
Coming in right behind Canisius is Sacred Heart with 61 points and Holy Cross is eighth with 60 points. Army was chosen ninth with 48, while Bentley trails then for tenth with 47 points. Rounding out the rest of the poll at Connecticut (21 points) and American International (11 points).
Mercyhurst will open the regular season with a trip to Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, October 2 to take on Michigan at Yost Arena at 7:35 pm. The other games on the slate for the opening weekend will be exhibition contests. RIT will host Wilfrid Laurier on Saturday at 3:05 pm while Niagara will host York at 4:00 pm. Robert Morris and Sacred Heart will also host exhibition contest Saturday, against Queens and St. Thomas, respectively. Holy Cross will take on American International in an exhibition contest Sunday, October 3, while Canisius and Mercyhurst will face York and Queens, respectively. Air Force will host Lethbridge in an exhibition contest on Monday, October 4. Ten teams will open regular season action during the following weekend.
The 2011 Tournament will feature the same format from a year ago with a slight twist. There will be four First Round, single game contests on Saturday, March 5. The top two teams in each scheduling region will receive a bye into the quarterfinals with the remaining eight teams playing First Round contests. Those eight teams will be seeded 3 thru six in their scheduling region with the 3rd seed hosting the 6th seed and the 5th seed traveling to the 4th seed. The winners will the be re-seeded by the final regular season standings with the top four teams from those standings playing host to the bottom four teams in a best two-out-of-three quarterfinal series the following weekend. The four winners will then travel to the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. with the highest remaining seed facing the lowest remaining seed in the first semifinal with the other two remaining seeds facing off in the second semifinal on Friday, March 18. The two semifinal winners will then face-off in the Championship Game on Saturday, March 19 with the NCAA automatic berth on the line.
The Atlantic Hockey Association arose on June 30, 2003, to form a new Division I Men’s Ice Hockey conference. The is comprised of twelve members: Air Force Academy, American International College, Bentley University, Canisius College, University of Connecticut, College of the Holy Cross, Mercyhurst College, Rochester Institute of Technology and Sacred Heart with Niagara University and Robert Morris University becoming full members at the start of the 2010-11 season.
2010-11 Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Rochester Instit. of Technology (8) 118
2. Mercyhurst (2) 101
3. Air Force 98
4. Niagara 82
Robert Morris (2) 82
6. Canisius 63
7. Sacred Heart 61
8. Holy Cross 60
9. Army 48
10. Bentley 47
11. Connecticut 21
12. American International 11
(First Place votes)