September 27, 2007

RIT Picked To Repeat As Atlantic Hockey Champions

RIT PICKED TO REPEAT AS ATLANTIC HOCKEY CHAMPIONS

This article first appeared on the United State College Hockey Online website.  To view the online story please click here

by Chris Lerch/Atlantic Hockey Correspondent

RIT, which won the Atlantic Hockey Regular season in its first year in the league, was picked to repeat in the league's coaches preseaon poll, released Wednesday. The Tigers received eight of the 10 first-place votes, with playoff champion Air Force and Mercyhurst getting one first-place vote each.

"It's nice to receive the honor, but our league is so balanced that any team can beat the other on any given night," said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. "We exceeded expectations last year, but now the target is on our back."

With RIT eligible for the postseason for the first time, the league will use its fifth different playoff format in five years. The first round will consist of a best-of-three series played at the home rinks of the top five seeds the weekend of March 7-9, with the five winners advancing to Rochester for the championships, which will again be held at the Blue Cross Arena on March 14-16.

The league is in negotiations with ESPNU to carry the title game.

"We're looking forward to another exciting season," said AHA commissioner Bob DeGregorio. "The quality of play and parity continues to improve, as evidenced by our team's performances in the NCAA tournament the past two seasons."

2007-08 Atlantic Hockey Association Preseason Coaches Poll

Rk Team (1st) Pts
1 RIT (8) 80
2 Air Force (1) 67
3 Army 58
4 Mercyhurst (1) 55
5 Sacred Heart 54
6 Holy Cross 45
7 Connecticut 34
8 Canisius 25
9 Bentley 23
10 American International 9