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Mercyhurst picked first in Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

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Is this the year an Atlantic Hockey team reaches the Frozen Four for the first time since 2010?

Robert Morris is the defending Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament Champion.
Robert Morris is the defending Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament Champion.
Matt Christians

Mercyhurst College was picked first in the 2014-15 Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll it was announced Wednesday morning at the AHA Media Conference Call. Mercyhurst captured the Atlantic Hockey Association Regular Season Championship last year with a dominant regular season that included just four league losses. The Lakers return six scorers who had double-digit goal totals a year ago and both goaltenders. Leading the way will be captain and highly coveted NHL free agent Matthew Zay. The senior had 17 goals and 26 assists last winter.

Robert Morris, the defending tournament champion, lost in the first round of the NCAA West Regional to eventual national runner-up Minnesota. The Colonials return their top seven scorers from last season, including star senior Cody Wydo who had 31 goals and 23 assists.

The league has one less member for the 2014-15 season after the departure of UConn to Hockey East. Holy Cross is the only league team with a new coach this season. Former Providence assistant and UConn interim head coach Dave Berard steps in at Holy Cross for Paul Pearl who left to take an associate head coaching post at Harvard.

Rank Team (First Place Votes) Points 2013-14 Record
1 Mercyhurst (6) 95 21-13-7 (17-4-6 AH)
2 Robert Morris (3) 89 19-18-5 (13-9-5 AH)
3 Air Force (1) 80 21-14-4 (15-9-3 AH)
4 Bentley 69 19-14-4 (16-7-4 AH)
5 Niagara (1) 69 15-20-5 (11-11-5 AH)
6 Canisius 52 17-21-3 (11-13-3 AH)
7 Rochester Institute of Technology 47 12-20-5 (10-14-3 AH)
8 Holy Cross 44 14-22-3 (11-13-3 AH)
9 Sacred Heart 28 12-24-0 (11-16-0 AH)
10 Army 20 6-28-0 (5-22-0 AH)
11 American International 12 10-25-1 (9-17-1 AH)

SB Nation will have a full season preview of the Atlantic Hockey Association next week with predictions and analysis of the year ahead.

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Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.