Ice Hockey, Sports

Women’s hockey picked first in Hockey East preseason coaches’ poll

Junior forward Sarah Lefort and the Terriers are favored to captre their fourth straight conference title in 2014-15. PHOTO BY MICHELLE JAY/DFP SPORTS
Junior forward Sarah Lefort and the Terriers are favored to capture their fourth straight conference title in 2014-15. PHOTO BY MICHELLE JAY/DFP FILE PHOTO

The Boston University women’s ice hockey team topped the 2014-15 Hockey East preseason coaches’ poll, the conference announced Monday. BU edged out rival Boston College for the top spot. While both BU and BC earned four first-place votes, the Terriers received two more total points to edge out the Eagles.

Monday also saw the release of the USCHO.com’s Division I preseason poll, in which the Terriers ranked sixth in the nation. Perennial powerhouse University of Minnesota sits atop the rankings, with the Eagles placing third.

Regardless of the increased media attention, BU coach Brian Durocher said the rankings will not alter the way his team goes about preparing for the upcoming season.

“It certainly puts a target on your back, and I don’t think it means too much other than the fact that it gives motivation to the other teams in the league,” Durocher said. “Everybody wants to be one, two or however many notches higher than they may have been picked in the preseason. It’s a one-day thing that’s nice in a day like this — you get a little bit of coverage — but I don’t think it changes anything we do.”

The Terriers finished last season with a 24-13-1 record, which, along with their third consecutive conference title, was enough to earn them a bid to the NCAA tournament. BU had an early exit after losing 5-1 to Minnesota in the quarterfinals and will be looking to bounce back this year.

Chances look good for the Terriers to make another deep run as the team returns a majority of its skaters from last season. In addition, senior captain Marie-Philip Poulin will once again suit up for the team after taking last year off to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics for Team Canada.

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