Golden Bears open season at home against Westfield State next Friday, October 26
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 17, 2018) – The Western New England University ice hockey team has been picked to finish seventh by the Commonwealth Coast Conference's (CCC) head coaches in the league's Preseason Poll, which was released on Wednesday morning.
Last year's CCC regular season champion and national runner-up Salve Regina was selected as the preseason favorite with 59 points and four first place votes. Endicott collected three first place votes and finished second in the poll with 54 points, while the University of New England received the final first place nod and checked in third with 51 points.
Nichols (43 points), Curry (31), Wentworth (22), Western New England (15) and Becker (13) rounded out the final five spots in the poll.
Western New England is coming off consecutive appearances in the CCC Tournament under head coach Greg Heffernan, who begins his tenth season in 2018-19.
The Golden Bears will be led by a talented senior class that includes 2017-18 All-CCC Third Team selection Steve Beck (Milton, N.Y.) and Joe Concannon Award semifinalist Matt O'Dea (Orland Park, Ill.). O'Dea recorded a team-high 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) last season and Beck ranked second with 31 (16 goals, 15 assists).
Western New England's 2018-19 campaign gets underway on Friday, Oct. 26 when the Golden Bears host rival Westfield State at the Olympia Ice Center. CCC play begins a week later on Nov. 2 when Endicott visits West Springfield.