2015 Season Preview: Men's ECAC East

Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conf. East

Team-by-team previews

Teams listed in predicted order of finish
1. Norwich
2. Babson
3. UMass-Boston
4. St. Anselm
5. Castleton
6. Univ. of New England
7. St. Michael's
8. New England College
  Southern Maine






1-1. Norwich defeated Plymouth State in the opening round, lost to Amherst in the quarterfinals. 



Expect a rematch of Babson-Norwich come March 2016. Both teams seem built for postseason runs, and perhaps this time the championship takes place in Babson Park, if Babson can get past Norwich in their meetings on February 5th and December 5th. The pair went to overtime on two different occasions, with Norwich taking the season series 3-0.


WHY Norwich?
Why not? Norwich does lose a lot off Division III's best blue line as numbers go, with three key defensemen off to the next chapter of their lives. However, a returning goaltending pair that allowed fewer goals than any starting goaltender or goaltender platoon in the nation and an offense that returns seven of their top ten scorers should be more than enough to mitigate any developing cracks in a younger defensive corps. History tells us that the Cadets will find a way to put the total package together and continue their dominant stranglehold over the ECAC East, and it's hard to doubt their track record. 



Castleton and the University of New England on February 13th. After splitting their two meetings with the Nor'Easters last season, the Spartans will look to spoil UNE's going-away party in what will be UNE's final regular season game in their current league before they move to the new Commonwealth Coast Conference. 



On paper, it will be a two horse race between the league's returning AHCA All-Americans.

The returning conference goaltender of the year and a two-time winner of that award, Babson All-American netminder Jamie Murray will be the backbone for a Beavers squad that will look to make a postseason run and return to the NCAA tournament after missing last year's cut. His numbers last year were already close to perfect, as he stopped 94 percent of the shots he faced, allowed just 1.68 goals per game, and was the goaltender of record in all nineteen of Babson's wins. Now, with an offseason of hard work that included a week under the watchful eye of the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff this summer, Murray may just find another gear for the Beavers.

We'd be remissed if we didn't also mention that reigning ECAC East player of the year William Pelletier returns for his junior season at Norwich after rolling up an astounding 44 points on 17 goals and 27 assists, including five game winning goals, in just 24 games. That stat line was good enough to have Pelletier named to the AHCA All-American first team. The goaltending tandem in Northfield, Ty Reichenbach and Braeden Ostepchuk, may also be worthy of consideration is one of those two players can lock down a full-time starting position. 


Patrick Thornton, Castleton State. The blue liner burst onto the scene as a sophomore with fifteen points on a goal and fourteen assists to place third on the team. As the team's leading returner in total points, Spartan fans are eagerly awaiting to see what the puck moving blue liner may have for an encore. 



No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.