With just over a month remaining before the start of the 2004-05 hockey campaign, the coaches of the ECAC Hockey League gathered yesterday in Albany to meet the media in anticipation of the season.
Among the items on the agenda were the release of the annual preseason coaches and media polls, as well as some other announcements by the league, including a couple of multi-year agreements.
Cornell was picked first in the coaches poll, garnering four of a possible 12 first-place votes. Last year, the Red finished second in the regular-season standings with 29 points, one behind first-place Colgate. Cornell received 108 total points in the coaches poll, followed by Colgate and Dartmouth with 102, and Harvard with 98. Clarkson rounds out the top five with 82 total points.
In the media poll, also released yesterday, Dartmouth took the top spot with 304 total points and 13 first-place votes. The Red was picked second, with 285 points, including 11 first place votes. Colgate (269), Harvard (247), and Clarkson (221) took spots three though five, respectively.
In addition, sophomore goalie David McKee was voted to the media’s preseason All-ECAC team. McKee compiled a 16-10-6 record in his freshman year, putting together a 1.84 goals against average and .920 save percentage. He was named ECAC co-Rookie of the Year, the second Cornell goalie to earn that honor in the last three seasons. McKee also earned spots on the the ECAC rookie team, was named honorable mention All-ECAC and second-team All-Ivy League.
The conference also announced yesterday that it has reached a multi-year agreement with CSTV: College Sports Television. Under the terms of the deal, CSTV will televise several ECAC Hockey League games over the course of the season, plus the conference tournament in March. The schedule of games will be released at a later date.
“The ECAC Hockey League is excited to have this partnership with CSTV,” stated Steve Hagwell, ECAC Hockey League acting commissioner. “The agreement allows the ECACHL to have multiple league games presented to a national audience throughout the season. We are delighted to offer our fans the opportunity to see these games, as well as our championship final over the next few seasons.”
The network, which recently signed a similar agreement with the Mountain West Conference, aired several ECAC games last season, including the Cornell-Harvard game at Harvard in January.
“The ECAC Hockey League traditionally produces many of the best teams and student-athletes in college hockey,” stated Chris Bevilacqua, CSTV co-founder and executive vice president. “Our telecasts, the only national telecasts of hockey at any level, will provide fans nationwide with an opportunity to experience college hockey at its finest, and to get a first-hand look at the NHL stars of tomorrow.”
As part of the agreement, CSTV will televise the ECAC conference tournament, which will be held at the Pepsi Arena in Albany through 2008, the conference also announced yesterday.
“The Pepsi Arena and the City of Albany have been great to us these past two years,” Hagwell said. “Our teams and our fans have enjoyed a first-rate experience in everything involved with the tournament, and we are excited to call the Pepsi and Albany our home through 2008.”
The ECAC moved its conference tournament to the Pepsi Arena in 2003, after it had been held in Lake Placid for several years before. Over the summer, the ECAC Hockey League opened its league offices at the arena.
Archived article by Owen Bochner
Sun Sports Editor