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ECAC pre-season ice hockey polls announced

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III ice hockey polls have been announced, and the Plymouth State University men's team is ranked fourth out of 13 schools in the ECAC Northeast, while the Panther women are at the bottom in their first year as a new member in the ECAC Women's East.

            The defending champions are picked to repeat in both conferences - UMass Dartmouth in the Men's Northeast, and Saint Anselm College in the Women's East.  The polls were voted on by the league's head coaches and announced by the ECAC Office.

            The Panther men skated to a fourth-place finish in the Northeast last year with a 10-4-1 conference record, 11-13-2 overall. UMass Dartmouth, Curry and Wentworth finished ahead of PSU both last season and in this year's preseason poll.  Plymouth State is out to finish in the top four and earn home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.

            The Panther women are in their second season as a varsity sport and first season in the ECAC East.  PSU finished its inaugural varsity season as an independent in 2006-07 with a 3-17-0 overall record, and look to show improvement as it builds a foundation at the varsity level.

            Both Panther squads open the season with home games at the Waterville Valley Arena.  The men make their debut on Saturday, Nov. 10, with a non-conference game against Nichols College (6:00 p.m.), while the women drop the puck on their opener on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-17, against Saint Michael's College and Norwich University, respectively (both at 6:00 p.m.)

ECAC Men's Northeast Hockey Pre-Season Poll
1.        UMass Dartmouth (8)                163
2.        Curry (4)                                     156
3.        Wentworth  (1)                           148
4.        Plymouth State                         115
5.        Nichols                                       106
6.        Fitchburg State                          104
7.        Johnson & Wales                      96
8.        Suffolk                                        80
9.        Salve Regina                              65
10.      Western New England               55
11.      Worcester State                        41
12.      Becker                                        29
13.      Framingham State                     25

(first-place votes in parentheses)

ECAC Women's East Hockey Pre-Season Poll
1.      Saint Anselm (11)                         143
2.      Manhattanville                               130
3.      Holy Cross  (1)                              117
4.      UMass Boston                              106
5.      New England College                   103
6.      Southern Maine                             80
7.      Salve Regina                                 66
8.      Saint Michael's                              52
9.      Norwich                                         50
10.    Castleton State                             41
11.    MIT                                                30
12.    Plymouth State                            18

(first-place votes in parentheses)

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