MARSHFIELD, Mass. -- The Castleton University women's ice hockey team has been picked third in the 2019-20 New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Preseason Coaches poll, as released by the conference office on Wednesday afternoon.
Norwich stands alone at the top of the rankings, receiving all nine first-place votes and 81 total points. The Cadets are the favorites once again to bring home the NEHC Championship as the team has held the title since the 2016-17 season. Suffolk was picked to finish second, receiving 68 points followed by the Spartans who received 58 points.
UMass Boston (56 points), Plymouth State (43 points), Southern Maine (35 points), Johnson & Wales (31 points), Salem State (21 points), and New England College (11 points) round out the nine-team poll.
Despite losing their top scorers from a season ago in Aimee Briand (11-16-27) and Jocelyn Forrest (16-10-26), the Spartans return 13 members from the 2018-19 roster who finished runner-up to Norwich in the NEHC Championship game. The team will also welcome in new faces as nine freshman have joined the team to help the Spartans improve on an 11-14-3 (9-5-2 NEHC) record from a season ago.
Senior Alexis Kalm gets the nod as she takes over as starting goaltender for the 2019-20 season. Kalm played in 11 games last season and recorded an .893 save percentage and accumulating a 3.02 goals against average.
Women's hockey begins the season as it welcomes in Oswego State to Spartan Arena on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2. The team will begin conference play on Friday, November 8 against Salem State.