Irish Icers picked to finish 3rd in first season in Hockey East

The University of Notre Dame made its first visit to Hockey East Media Day on Tuesday as Coach Jeff Jackson traveled to the TD Garden to meet the league's media for the first time as the start of the 2013-14 hockey season is less than three weeks away.

Hockey East announced the results of its annual Coaches' Poll as part of the Media Day events and the conferences 11 coaches selected the Irish and the University of New Hampshire in a tie for third place with a total of 84 points each.

That puts Notre Dame behind the UMass.-Lowell River Hawks and the Boston College Eagles as those two teams tied for the top spot in the poll with each school getting 104 points. UMass.-Lowell received seven first-place votes while Boston College got four.

Following the Irish and Wildcats in the voting was Providence College as the Friars received 79 points. Boston University was sixth (67), followed by Merrimack (54), Maine in eighth (45), Vermont in ninth with 34 while Massachusetts (32) and Northeastern (28) rounded out the poll.

Also announced at Hockey East Media Day was that Hockey East will compete this season in the inaugural Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge. Eleven different teams will compete in the 13 designated games that will be played between Oct. 18-27 with six games in Hockey East arenas, six in Big Ten arenas and one on neutral ice. A Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge Cup will be presented to the conference that records the most points. Points will be awarded two for a win, one point for a tie and an extra point for a road win. Shootout wins will not be counted into the final totals. This season, Notre Dame will not be involved in any of the games between the two leagues.

On Monday, the first national preseason poll was released - The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason poll that had five Hockey East schools in the top 15 and three in the top seven. Notre Dame was ranked seventh in the nation, receiving 285 points in all. UMass.-Lowell led the Hockey East contingent as the River Hawks were ranked first overall, collecting 480 points and 20 first-place votes. Boston College was fourth with 359 points, followed by the Irish in seventh. New Hampshire was 13th with 116 points and Providence rounded out the group in 15th with 101 points. A complete listing of both polls is below.

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