The Hobart College hockey team was voted to finish second in the New England Hockey Conference preseason poll as announced by the conference
“I think the league ranking is a reflection of our previous season and the reflection of the success we’ve had over the last decade,” Head Coach Mark Taylor said. “Preseason polls are based off reputation. When you’ve been to the NCAA tournament five straight years I think teams expect you to be good.”
Norwich was picked to repeat as conference champions with 95 points and six first place votes. Hobart was second with 88 points and two first place votes. UMass Boston, last year’s regular season champs, were picked to finish third with 76 points and received one first place vote. Babson was selected fourth (74 points) and Skidmore was fifth with 59 points and one first place vote. New England College (56), Suffolk (36), Southern Maine (30), Castleton (25), and Johnson & Wales (11) round out the field.
Last season, the Statesmen posted a 21-8-2 overall record and an 11-5-2 mark in the NEHC. The Statesmen were edged by the Cadets 2-1 in the conference championship game. Hobart earned an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament and advanced to the national semifinals. The Statesmen were defeated by the eventual national champion Wisconsin-Stevens Point 5-3 in Stevens Point, Wis. Hobart finished the year ranked fifth in the USCHO.com Poll and fourth in the D3Hockey.com poll.
Hobart’s 2019-20 roster features 23 returners and four newcomers. Four of Hobart’s top five scorers from last year return, including leading point getter Zach Tyson (7g, 20a) and leading goal scorer junior Travis Schneider (16g, 7a).Senior Zach Sternbach (8g, 15a) and junior Lawson MacDougall (9g, 12a) also had 20 points last season.
The Statesmen open the season next weekend with a pair of non-league games against Elmira. Hobart will be at Elmira on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. The Soaring Eagles will make the return trip up the lake on Saturday, Nov. 2. Faceoff at The Cooler is scheduled for 7 p.m.