After being picked in the lower half of the ECAC Hockey preseason coaches and media poll in its first 17 years of NCAA Division I hockey, the Union men’s hockey team has moved on up to the upper half.
The Dutchmen were picked to finish fifth in the coaches poll, and sixth in the media poll, the league announced at its annual coaches media day. They are the highest spots ever for the Dutchmen. The previous highs were seventh in the 1994-95 coaches poll, and eighth in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 media polls.
Union is coming off a program-best fourth-place finish last season, and it earned its first-ever ECACH tournament first-round bye. Last year, Union was picked to finish last.
There was another first for Union. Defenseman Lane Caffaro was chosen for the preseason all-conference team by the coaches and media. It is the first time a Union player has been selected for that honor.
RPI was picked to finish ninth by the media, and 10th by the coaches.
Defending ECACH tournament-champion Princeton was picked by the coaches and media to finish first. In the coaches poll, the Tigers were followed by Harvard, Cornell, Clarkson, Union, Quinnipiac, Yale, St. Lawrence, Colgate, RPI, Dartmouth and Brown.
In the media poll, Harvard was second, followed by Cornell, Clarkson, Quinnipiac, Union, Yale, St. Lawrence, RPI, Colgate, Dartmouth and Brown.
The coaches all-conference team has forwards Lee Jubinville (Princeton), Colin Greening (Cornell), Sean Backman (Yale) and Matt Beca (Clarkson); Caffaro and Alex Biega (Harvard) on defense; and Princeton goalie Zane Kalemba.
The media all-conference team is Jubinville, Beca and Riley Nash (Cornell) at forward; Biega and Caffaro at defense; and Cornell goalie Ben Scrivens.
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