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September 20, 2012
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Boston College was voted by the eight league head coaches to win the regular-season title

Wakefield, Mass. - Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna released the 2012-13 WHEA preseason coaches poll for the league's upcoming 11th season of play on Thursday morning.

The Boston College Eagles were voted by the eight league head coaches to win the regular-season title this year with 54 points and five of eight first-place votes. The Eagles finished second in the league standings a year ago and return 19 letterwinners from that team and 82% of the team's offense, including First-Team WHEA All-Star Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) and starting goaltender Corinne Boyles (Wheaton, Ill.), along with senior captain and First-Team WHEA All-Star Blake Bolden (Stow, Ohio). Carpenter's 20 points in league play last year with eighth among conference skaters, while Boyles' 1.80 GAA in conference games was second among WHEA goalies.

Boston University, the reigning 2012 WHEA Tournament Champions, earned the second spot in the poll with 51 points and earned the remaining three first-place votes from the league's head coaches. The Terriers also return 19 letterwinners, including 12 forwards and all three goalies. The BU offense will be paced by junior captain Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.), along with senior Isabel Menard (Ottawa, Ont.) and sophomore Kayla Tutino (Lorraine, Que.). Poulin notched 11 points in eight league games, missing the majority of the conference schedule due to injury. Menard's 26 points in league action leads all returning Terriers, while Tutino's 18 points in league play was third best among freshman skaters in 2011-12, as a WHEA All-Rookie selection. Kerrin Sperry (North Reading, Mass.) will anchor the Terriers defensive core, after posting a 2.28 GAA and a .917 save percentage with 12 wins in league play last year.

Northeastern was selected third with 44 points, after winning their first WHEA Regular-Season title in school history last February. The Huskies have a league-high 21 letterwinners returning and 91% of the team's offense from last season. Sophomore forward and WHEA Rookie of the Year Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) and senior co-captain/WHEA Second-Team All-Star Casey Pickett (Wilmington, Mass.) will lead the Huskies' offensive attack this season. Coyne led the league last season with 19 goals in league contests. Northeastern will have to fill the shoes of two-time WHEA Player of the Year and All-American Florence Schelling in goal, who they lost to graduation this past spring. Providence College (37 points) was selected fourth under 14th year head coach and two-time WHEA Coach of the Year Bob Deraney. The Friars also have to deal with the loss of a world class goaltender in Genevieve Lacasse to graduation. The team returns 15 letterwinners from a season ago and will look for junior Corinne Buie (Edina, Minn.) and senior Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ont.) to step up with the departure of the teams top three scorers. The duo combined for 31 points in conference play last season in 21 contests.

The Maine Black Bears (30 pts.) were picked fifth and New Hampshire (28 pts.) was selected sixth. The Black Bears are looking to build on fourth place finish from a season ago. Senior forward Brittany Dougherty (Chesterfield, Mich.) will pace the team on offense, while Brittany Ott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) will return for one more season in Orono, anchoring the team in goal, as the team returns 14 letterwinners. Dougherty's 22 points in league action were tied for fifth among WHEA skaters last season and Ott's 579 saves in conference games last year were second best among league netminders. The Wildcats will return 18 letterwinners and 94% of the team's offense from last year. Senior forward Kristina Lavoie's (Fonthill, Ont.) 55 career points in league play makes her the active career leader entering the season for the Wildcats.

Vermont (22 pts.) and Connecticut (14 pts.) rounded out the 2012-13 preseason coaches poll. The Catamounts return 17 letterwinners under first-year head coach Jim Plumer. Junior goalie Roxanne Douville (Beloil, Que.) notched 503 saves in league play last year and will once again anchor the Catamounts on defense. Connecticut will have 11 returners and a league-high nine newcomers this season. Sophomore Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) is the team's leading returning scorer with 12 points in conference play.

The Women's Hockey East Association is an eight-team, Division I college hockey conference which began play in 2002-2003, with offices based in Wakefield, Mass. The league also sponsors a 10-team men's league which began play in 1984.

Team (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Boston College (5) 54
2. Boston University (3) 51
3. Northeastern 44
4. Providence 37
5. Maine 30
6. New Hampshire 28
7. Vermont 22
8. Connecticut 14

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