ALBANY — The Union men’s hockey team was picked to finish eighth by the ECAC hockey coaches in their annual preseason poll, which was announced Tuesday.
The Dutchmen earned 57 points. They finished seventh in the league last season with a 10-10-2 record. They ousted Colgate in the first round of the ECACH tournament in two games before falling to Cornell in three games in the quarterfinals. The Dutchmen’s overall record was 20-13-6.
Union will have a lot of work to do this season. The Dutchmen not only lost nine players to graduation, they saw their second-leading scorer Liam Morgan leave after two seasons to turn pro with the Belfast Giants. Jack Adams, a forward who was expected to be a major contributor offensively this season, suffered a major knee injury during Detroit Red Wings prospects camp during the summer and is expected to miss the season.
The Dutchmen’s top returning scorer is senior Anthony Rinaldi. He had 11 goals and 12 assists in 37 games.
Union should be solid in goal with junior Darion Hanson returning. He took over the No. 1 spot last season, going 13-9-5 with a 2.33 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and three shutouts.
RPI finished tied for ninth in the poll with Princeton with 31 points. The Engineers went 7-13-2 in ECACH play and 10-23-3 overall.
Sophomore forward Ottoville Leppänen is the Engineers’ top returning scorer with four goals and 15 assists in 36 games.
Cornell, which shared the regular season title last year with Quinnipiac, was picked to win the league. The Big Red received eight first-place votes and 118 points. Quinnipiac, which earned three first-place votes and 109 points, was picked to finish second.
Clarkson, which captured the ECACH tournament championship, was selected third. The Golden Knights got one first-place vote and 100 points.
Harvard (93 points) was picked to finish fourth, followed by Yale (74 points), Dartmouth (68 points) and Brown (61 points). Colgate (29 points) was picked 11th, and St. Lawrence (21 points) was selected 12th.
The forwards on the preseason all-conference team are Cornell’s Morgan Barron, Quinnipiac’s Odeen Tufto and Clarkson’s Haralds Egle. The defensemen are Yanni Kaldis of Cornell and Reilly Walsh of Harvard. The goalie is Cornell’s Matthew Galajda.
The ECACH Media Association’s preseason poll will be released Wednesday.
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