WORCESTER, Mass. – After finishing third in the conference a season ago, the Assumption men's ice hockey team was picked fourth in the NE10 Preseason Coaches' Poll as announced by the conference.
The Hounds earned 12 points in the six-team poll, just ahead of Franklin Pierce and Stonehill who both earned eight points each. Saint Michael's claimed the top spot in the poll with a total of 24 points and four of the six available first-place votes, while Saint Anselm received the other two first place nods and finished with 21 points. The Purple Knights advanced to the title game last year, but fell short to Saint Anselm who claimed the NE10 Championship. Southern New Hampshire is just ahead the Greyhounds with 17 points. To view the complete NE10 release, click here.
Assumption is coming off a third place finish after falling to Saint Michael's in the NE10 Semifinals. The Hounds finished with an overall record of 15-10-2 and 8-6-1 in conference play last year, matching the program's highest win total in 20 years.
The 2018-19 edition of the Hounds bring back 17 returners from an offense which averaged 3.30 goals per game. Three of the Hounds' top six scorers return, led by senior Peter McDonagh (Latrobe, Pa. / Boston Jr. Bruins (USPHL Elite)), who had 7 goals and 13 assists (20 pts) last year. Classmate Matt Damelio (Rochester, N.Y. / Northwood (Prep)) returns with 9 goals and 13 assists (22 pts) after his junior season.
Senior Dante Tomassini (North Branford, Conn. / Connecticut Jr. Wolfpack (EHL)) returns as last year's NE10 Defensive Player of the year with 2 goals and 16 assists (18 pts) in 27 games. Assumption also brings back junior, John McDonagh (Latrobe, Pa. / Shady Side Academy (Prep)) who appeard in 23 games (2g, 1a), and sophomore John Chamberlain (Amesbury, Mass. / Williston Northampton School) who appeared in 24 games (7g, 5a).
Assumption also brings back junior goalie David Zulauf this year (Rochester, Mich. / Bridgton Academy (Prep)). Zulauf made 16 starts last season, posting a 2.47 GAA with a .921 save percentage, a 10-6 record, and totaling 514 saves. Junior Robbie Campbell (Raritan, N.J. / New England Stars (NA3HL)) appeared in four games with one start, totaling 1:22:04 with a 4.42 GAA, a .875 save percentage and 63 saves.
Assumption opens its 2018-19 campaign on Saturday when the team hosts Suffolk in Buffone Arena at 6:05 pm. Last year they fell 5-2 to Suffolk on opening night, but look to start their season strong by taking down Suffolk on Saturday.