WESTFIELD, Mass. - The Worcester State University men's ice hockey team has been chosen to finish third in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. The announcement came from the conference office on Wednesday afternoon.
Plymouth State topped the poll, earning five of the seven first place votes for 35 points. They finished last season 15-2-1 in the league on their way to the MASCAC regular season title. All-Conference honoree Ryan Stevens returns after finishing fifth in the league in total points with 37 in 10 goals and 27 assists. His total assists were second best in the conference, averaging 1.08 per game.
Earning the final two first place votes for 31 points is Fitchburg State. The Falcons claimed the 2017- 18 MASCAC Tournament Championship and finished the season with an 11-4-3 mark in league action. Last season Sascha Figi tallied 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points and lead all freshman in scoring to earn not only a spot on the All-Conference team, but the 2017-18 MASCAC Rookie of the Year honors.
Sitting next in third with 27 points is Worcester State. The Lancers were 8-8-2 during MASCAC play last season. All-Conference honoree Mike Moran (Milford, Mass.) is back after netting 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points last season and finishing fourth in the conference in total goals scored.
Tied in the fourth spot with 18 points are Salem State and UMass Dartmouth. The Vikings had six wins in league action throughout last season. The team will look to Callum Hofford who scored seven goals and added 10 assists for 17 points last season. He was sixth among defenseman scoring in the conference. For the Corsairs, they finished with seven wins last season during conference play. Returning is the 2017-18 Player of the Year Jonathan Ruiz who led the league in goals scored with 27 and power play goals with 13. He also collected 18 assists and two game-winning goals on the year.
Rounding out the 2018-19 preseason poll are Westfield State and Framingham State in sixth and seventh, respectively. The Owls claimed 12 points in the poll and tallied eight wins during league action. Aaron Clancy returns after netting 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points. He led the conference in game-winning goals with four. The Rams earned six points in the poll and had two league wins last season. In his first year with the team, Matthew Siegel netted six goals and seven assists for 13 points and was tied in fifth with teammate Ryan Paul who had five goals and eight assists for freshman scoring in the MASCAC.
The Lancers open their 2018-19 campaign on Friday night as they host Becker College in non-conference action at the Worcester Ice Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Release courtesy of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.