Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conf. East

Team-by-team previews

Teams listed in predicted order of finish
1. UMass Boston
2. Norwich
3. Babson
4. St. Anselm
5. Castleton
6. Skidmore
7. Southern Maine
8. New England College
9.
  Univ. of New England
10.
  St. Michael's
 
 
UMass Boston and senior captain Travis Daniel hope to make a run at the league title.
Photo: UMass Boston Athletics

 

2012-13 NON-CONFERENCE RECORD

39-22-7

 

2012-13 NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD

1-2

Babson 4-1 L @ Norwich
Norwich 4-1 W v. Babson
Norwich 6-3 L v. Oswego State

 

THEY'RE PLAYING FOR THE TITLE

Norwich and UMass Boston face each other twice in the regular season this year, but the meeting on February 15 at Norwich may loom largest. The final regular season game for both teams, it's possible the regular season title and postseason home-ice privilege could still be up for grabs by the time this game rolls around.  Our picks for one and two in the league this season, the Cadets swept the Beacons last season by scores of 6-1, 2-0.

 

WHY UMASS BOSTON?

Why not?  Well, because Norwich has had a stranglehold on the league for the past 15 years.  Nonetheless, if anyone is going to step up and upend the Cadets, this could be the year.  The blueprint on how to beat Norwich has been layed out in each of the past two Frozen Fours, and now the question is whether anyone in the ECACE is good enough to execute it.  The Beacons return nearly everyone off of last season's team that finished second in the league en route to a 19-6-2 mark, while the Cadets graduated four of their top five scorers which perhaps is just enough to open the door for others to contend.  Throw in the fact that UMass Boston had a considerable amount of freshmen logging signigicant ice time last season, including goaltender Zach Andrews, and we're going to spice it up and go with coach Peter Belisle and the Beacons.

 

THEY'RE PLAYING FOR PRIDE

While we hate to focus on Norwich again instead of spreading things around a bit, it's just too hard to pass up Norwich-Castleton.  This rivalry fostered itself as former Spartans' head coach Alex Todd led the program to league and national relevance and it will now be interesting to see if it persists now that he has moved on to become an assistant at Division I Nebraska-Omaha.  While perhaps a more passionate rivalry from the Castleton standpoint, the Vermont neighbors still just flat out don't like each other.  Despite the hype surrounding recent meetings, Norwich has owned the series recently by winning all six meetings over the past two seasons -- including an 11-1 drubbing in the 2012 league title game.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

UMass Boston senior forward Travis Daniel. The Beacons' senior led the ECACE in scoring last season as he posted 12 goals and 28 assists for 40 points.  His 28 assists also led the league and ranked as third-most in the nation.  With the Beacons looking to be a contender for the league title this seaqson, Daniel again should turn in a prolific campaign.  And heck, these awards tend to like seniors.  Don't sleep on: Norwich forward Travis Janke, UMass Boston sophomore forward Peter MacIntrye.

 

BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Babson sophomore goaltender Jamie Murray. This might be more difficult to peg in the ECACE than it is any other league due to the abundance of high-profile seniors the league boasted last season which means the door is now open for a lot of players to break out. Despite that, while Beavers' netminder Zeke Testa grabbed all the headlines last season, Murray split time with him and earned 14 appearances as a freshman.  He held an 8-4-1 record, 2.24 goals-against-average and .922 save percentage -- all of which are impressive.  Babson is known for its defense, and if Murray can earn the number one job and garner near-exclusive action, he could quickly become a household name in Division III.

 

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