By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)
One year after securing the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title, the Endicott College men’s ice hockey team was picked to capture their second consecutive conference crown this winter, according to this afternoon’s release.
The Gulls collected nine first-place votes for 99 points, while Salve Regina (78 points) earned one first-place vote – the Seahawks checked-in third on the preseason poll. University of New England tallied 85 points for a second-place projection, while Nichols College (74 points) and Curry College (55 points) rounded out the top five.
Wentworth Institute of Technology and Johnson & Wales were tied for sixth in the poll, while Western New England, Suffolk University and Becker College checked-in eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
Last season, the Gulls made their initial appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament after defeating University of New England in the conference tournament finals by a score of 5-4. The Gulls defeated Hobart, 4-3, in the opening round, but fell to Trinity College in the second round, 2-1 (OT).
Endicott completed its second season with a program-best 24 wins, which included a 12-game winning streak, spanning January to March. The Gulls never lost a game in February, winning seven games, including a conference tournament quarterfinal clash against Western New England.
In addition to winning 24 games one year ago, the Gulls concluded their 2016-17 campaign in the top 10 in multiple statistical categories, including first in scoring offense (4.83 goals per game) and scoring margin (2.87).
Additionally, Endicott was one of the top power play teams in the country. They were third on the power play (28.1 percent, 43/153) and 12th in penalty kill (86.5 percent, 147/170).
Endicott begins its season next Friday, October 27th when they host Plymouth State at 7 p.m. Following their season-opener against the Panthers, Endicott will visit Wentworth on Thursday, November 2nd for a 7 p.m. face-off before entertaining the Leopards on Saturday, November 4th at 2 p.m.