Sept. 24, 2008
Fairfield, CT - The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team has been picked fourth in the Atlantic Hockey preseason coaches' poll announced Wednesday at the league's annual media day. Last year's tournament champion, Air Force was picked first in the poll. The Falcons collected seven first place votes en route to 79 total points. The Pioneers had 55 points.
Mercyhurst, runner-up to the Falcons in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, was chosen second with 70 points and one first place vote. The other two first place votes were collected by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which had 68 total points for third in the poll. Sacred Heart and Army round out the top five.
The final five places are garnered by Holy Cross (38 points), Canisius (34), Connecticut (29), Bentley (26) and American International (11). Out of the final five in the poll, only Holy Cross (2004 and 2006) have finished atop the regular season standings.
The 2009 Tournament will feature a different format from a year ago. There will be two First Round contests with the 7th seed hosting the 10th seed and the 8th seed hosting the 9th seed in the single elimination contest on Saturday, March 7. The Quarterfinal Round will take place on the Friday, March 13-Sunday, March 15 and feature four match-ups in a best two-out-of-three format. The four winners will then travel to the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. with the highest remaining seed facing the lowest remaining seed in the first semifinal, with the other two remaining seeds facing off in the second semifinal on Friday, March 20. The two semifinal winners will then face-off in the Championship game on Saturday, March 21 with the NCAA automatic berth on the line.
Sacred Heart will open the 2008-09 season on Friday October 10 when they host defending champion Air Force at the Milford Ice Pavilion.