Men's Ice Hockey Selected Fifth in Preseason Poll
BOSTON, Mass. -- The University of Maine men's ice hockey team has been selected to finish fifth in the 2012-2013 Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll released on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Hockey East Media Day in Boston. The Black Bears received 56 points in the poll overall.
Boston College, the defending national champion, received nine first-place votes and 90 points overall. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. UMass Lowell was selected second with 74 points overall. The River Hawks were followed by Boston University with 73 points and New Hampshire, who received the lone remaining first-place vote, and 63 points overall. Following Maine was Northeastern and Providence, who tied for sixth place, each receiving 44 points. Merrimack was selected eighth with 38 points. Massachusetts was picked to finish ninth with 35 points, while Vermont rounded out the poll in 10th place with 23 points.
Maine returns 17 letterwinners from last year's squad that made the NCAA Tournament, including top goal scorer Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.). Diamond netted 25 goals and added 22 assists for 47 points. He finished fourth in the nation in goals per game and tied for the national lead with 11 power play goals. Kyle Beattie (Avondale, Ariz.) had his best offensive season, tallying six goals and 21 assists for 27 points. Adam Shemansky (Robbinsville, N.J.) added 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points. Mark Anthoine (Lewiston, Maine) scored 12 goals and added seven assists for 19 points. He also scored 11 power play goals, tying for the national lead.
Seniors Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) and Mark Nemec (Rouses Point, N.Y.) return to anchor the defense. They will be joined on the blueline by senior Nick Pryor (St. Paul, Minn.) who had a breakout season last year with two goals and 11 assists, and junior Brice O'Connor (Londonderry, N.Y.), who scored arguably two of Maine's biggest goals late in the season.
Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.), who finished 22-11-3 on the season with a 2.59 goals against average and a .909 save percentage, returns between the pipes this season. Challenging Sullivan for time in goal will be classmate Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) and newcomer Matt Morris (Ridgewod, N.J.).
Maine has several highly-touted newcomers including Devin Shore (Ajax, Ontario) who was selected in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars, and Ben Hutton (Prescott, Ontario), who was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. Forward Will Merchant (Eagan, Minn.) is slated to play in the 2012 All-American Prospects game later this week.
Cornell, Diamond and Nemec will all serve as captains of the Black Bears.
Maine opens the 2012-2013 season when it hosts Quinnipiac on Saturday, Oct. 6. Season and single game tickets are on sale now and available by calling the Black Bear Ticket Office at 207-581-BEAR (2327) or 1-800-756-TEAM. Fans can also purchase tickets online at www.GoBlackBearsTickets.com(.)