Last year: 19-6-2 overall; 11-5-2 ECACE (2nd)
Last NCAA tournament appearance: None
Last conference title: None
2012-13 ranking, total offense: 3rd (4.67 g/gm)
2012-13 ranking, total defense: 41st (3.19 ga/gm)
Change in wins from 2011-12 to 2012-13: +6
Preseason ranking: 9th
Losses to graduation: 5
Coach: Peter Belisle; 8th season overall and at UMass Boston (83-90-12)
Pressure is on: The defense. The Beacons finished third in the nation in scoring last season yet below average in goals allowed. If the defense can begin to approach the same level of production as the offense UMass Boston will be in for a memorable season.
Where did he come from? UMass Boston had six players score at least nine goals last season, although none more than freshman Peter MacIntyre's 19 goals last season. A native of Norfolk, Massachusetts, MacIntyre scored only two of his goals on the power play instead dominating even strength play. He spent his last season before joining the Beacons playing for the Boston Bandits of the EJHL.
Their season will be defined by: With Norwich and Babson both losing key players while UMass Boston returns most of its team unscathed, anything short of challenging for the league title and resultant NCAA tournament bid will be seen as a disappointment.
Predicted ECACE finish: 1st
Capsule: The Beacons made a prolific jump offensively year-to-year. Two years ago they scored 87 goals along with 157 assists. Last year though? An almost 50% increase to 126 goals and 221 assists, good for third in the nation at 4.67 goals per game.
The team did lose some of its offensive punch from last season as forwards Mike DeGrazia (17-18-35) and Tim Richter (12-14-26) and defenseman Rob Florentino (7-21-28) all graduated.
While they will be missed, the one thing the Beacons still have in spades is offense. 13 different players scored at least ten points last season with eight scoring at least 20. They were led offensively by MacIntyre's 19 goals, but it was now-senior Travis Daniel who led the team in scoring with twelve goals and 28 assists for 40 points. Kit Sitterley was yet another freshman who showed up quite often on the scoresheet as his nine goals and 19 assists were fourth on the team.
Defensively the team needs to pick things up. The Beacons finished 41st by allowing 3.19 goals per game last season. They do return both goaltenders who saw action last season. Zach Andrews saw almost 1500 minutes in net last season appearing in 25 games posting a 17-6-2 record behind a 3.12 goals against average and .891 save percentage.
While neither the save percentage or goals against average are anything to get excited about Andrews was only a freshman last season, meaning there is a good chance he will improve with experience.
Unfortunately he will have an almost entirely remade defensive corps in front of him as three of the six defensemen who saw extensive playing time last season have graduated.
While the Beacons will see some turnover up front, head coach Peter Belisle has shown he has a knack for bringing in talent. Seven of the 13 players who scored at least ten points last season were freshmen. If Belisle can show he has as much skill bringing in players who can produce on the defensive front as on the offensive end, then this season for the Beacons may be quite bright.