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BOSTON — Hockey East officially kicked off the start of the 2015 women’s ice hockey season on Monday, revealing the 2015 Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Merrimack College women’s ice hockey team found itself ranked ninth out of nine teams, understandable for a team with no history and readying for its inaugural season.

After going undefeated in regular season Hockey East play in 2014, Boston College was voted as the preseason favorite by the league’s coaches, receiving 64 points and eight of nine first-place votes. Finishing in second in the poll was defending Hockey East champion Boston University, who received 57 points and the final first place vote. Rounding out the top-three and keeping it in Boston, Northeastern polled next with 50 points.

No. 4-7 ranked in extremely close to each other, all finishing within 5 points in the voting. Polling in fourth is Maine, receiving 34 points. Connecticut is next with 32 points, followed closely by New Hampshire with 30 points. The closest votes in the poll came between New Hampshire and Vermont, who finished just behind with 29 points.

Rounding out the 2014 Hockey East teams in eighth is Providence, receiving 20 points. The order of 1-8 is the same order those teams finished in the 2014 Hockey East regular season.

Merrimack received eight points in its first ever appearance in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches’ poll. They will be the women’s ice hockey team added to the Hockey East since 2005, when Vermont and Boston University both joined.

Merrimack will begin its inaugural season on Friday with an exhibition against the Whitby Wolves, and will officially get its first season started on Friday, Oct. 2 when St. Cloud State comes to Lawler Rink for the first regular season game in the program’s history at 6:00 p.m.

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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