Panthers open season at Franklin Pierce Nov. 5
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Women's Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll was released on Wednesday and Plymouth State University was picked to finish fifth following a vote of the league's nine head coach.
Norwich University, winner of the league tournament seven of the last eight years, was the unanimous choice to repeat after collecting all nine first place votes for 81 points. Suffolk was picked second (68 points), as Castleton (59) narrowly edged UMass Boston (56) for third. Plymouth State (43) rounded out the top five, with Southern Maine (35) and Johnson & Wales (31) in sixth and seventh. Salem State (21) and New England College (11) filled out the last two spots in the poll.
Fourth-year head coach Mykul Haun has led the Panthers to nearly as many wins as the program's three prior coaches spanning ten seasons, and has led PSU to the NEHC Tournament each year, including a semifinal run in 2017-18.
Senior Alexis Fagan (Burrillville, R.I.) is expected to lead the offense. The program's all-time leading scorer finished last season with a team-high eight goals. Senior captains Sydney Linnick (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Alie Louie (Mount Laurel, N.J.) are the top-scoring defensemen, as each finished last season with three goals and five assists, while alternate captains Hannah Bradshaw (Traverse City, Mich.) and Caitlin Connor (Bow, N.H.) will provide additional leadership for a team looking to make the next step.
The most noticeable change will be in goal as Haun looks to fill the void left by the graduation of Emelie Lindqvist, who set program records for career wins, save percentage and goals against average. Junior Gabbie Igo (Phoenix, Ariz.) and freshman Becca Bridge (Gadsby, Alberta) are expected to compete for the starting job.
Plymouth State finished 7-15-4 overall a year ago, and went 5-7-4 in the NEHC. The Panthers captured the sixth seed for the NEHC Tournament, but were nipped by third-seeded Castleton, 2-1, in the quarterfinal round. PSU opens the season at Division I Franklin Pierce on Nov. 5, before kicking off its home schedule with a conference tilt against Suffolk on Nov. 8 at 6:00 p.m.
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