Crusaders Picked Eighth In Pre-Season AHA Poll

Jake Youso

Go here to listen to coach Pearl at AHA Media Day Teleconference

WORCESTER, Mass.- The Holy Cross men's hockey team has been selected eighth in the Atlantic Hockey Association Pre-season Coaches' Poll. The Crusaders received 59 total points.

Last year's regular season champions, Niagara, has been picked as this year's preseason favorite with a total of 102 points and three first place votes, followed by both Mercyhurst (four first place votes) and Air Force (two first place votes), tied at 98 points.

After its first AHA Tournament champion  last year, Canisius received 92 points, with three first place votes. RIT was picked fifth (81 points), Connecticut sixth (79 points), Robert Morris seventh (66 points) and the Crusaders were picked eighth. Bentley received 53 points, in ninth place, Army 10th (28 points), American International 11th (22 points) and Sacred Heart 12th (16 points).

All 12 schools will be competing in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament with the top four teams receiving a first round bye. The first round will be held starting Friday, March 8 with the quarterfinals beginning on Friday, March 15. Both rounds will be determined on a best two out of three basis, and the semifinals and finals will take place on the 22 and 23 respectively at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y.

The Crusaders will be returning 20 letterwinners and two starters from last year's team. Last season Holy Cross was 20-14-3, 15-9-3 in Atlantic Hockey finishing third place. This was the third year in a row the Crusaders finished third in the AHA regular season standings. Last year also marked the first time in program history that the team had back-to-back 20 win seasons as the Crusaders went 20-15-4 in 2011-2012.

Holy Cross will open its season when they host Simon Fraser in an exhibition game on Saturday, October 5 at 4:00 p.m.

2013-2014 Atlantic Hockey Pre-Season Coaches' Pole

  Team (First Place Votes) Points
1.   Niagara (3) 102
2.   Mercyhurst (4) 98
    Air Force (2) 98
4.   Canisius (3) 92
5.   RIT 81
6.   Connecticut 79
7.   Robert Morris 66
8.   Holy Cross 59
9.   Bentley 53
10.   Army 28
11.   American International 22
12.   Sacred Heart 16