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Women's Hockey Picked Third in ECAC Hockey Preseason Poll; Buesser Selected to Preseason All-League Team

(Gil Talbot).

ECAC Hockey Preseason All-League Team Full Release

ECAC Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll Full Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
The Harvard women's ice hockey team has been picked to finish third in the 2010-11 ECAC Hockey coaches poll, the league announced Thursday.  In addition, Kate Buesser, a tri-captain of this year's squad, has been selected to the preseason All-ECAC Hockey team.

Harvard was one of only three teams to receive more than 100 votes in the poll, totaling 103 total votes, just two behind Clarkson, who received one first-place vote as well. Defending league and tournament champion Cornell topped the list, capturing all but one first-place nod and 121 overall votes. Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey, became the winningest coach in Division I women's hockey history last season and enters her 17th season looking to lead her team back to the top of the conference standings.

"Any year at this time, you are anxious, excited and optimistic," said Stone in a teleconference Thursday. "We've got some great senior leadership in our three captains, Kate Buesser, Leanna Coskren and Liza Ryabkina. I think the big question for us is getting some of these young kinds going right away. We think they certainly have great futures in the program, it's just how quickly they transition. There's a lot of great energy and hopefully we can put it all together."

Last season, the Crimson compiled an overall record of 20-8-5, and a league record of 13-6-3, good for a third-place finish in the regular season. After rolling past sixth-seeded Princeton in the first round the league tournament, Harvard traveled to Clarkson for the semifinal and dropped a heartbreaker, 3-2, to the second-seeded Golden Knights. Harvard hosted an NCAA quarterfinal matchup against Ivy League rival Cornell and the Big Red skated to a convincing 6-2 win en route to an appearance in the national championship game. The Crimson finished the 2009-10 season ranked fifth in the nation and captured the program's 13th Beanpot title in February.

Buesser was the leading scorer for the Crimson last season, totaling 40 points on 16 goals and 24 assists and was a nominee for the 2009-10 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Buesser also received All-ECAC Hockey and All-Ivy first team honors, was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Star team, and garnered New England Hockey Writers Division I All-Star accolades. A member of the academic All-Ivy team as well, Buesser led the team with a +25 rating and ranked 21st in the nation in points per game.

The Wolfeboro, N.H., native joins four Cornell players and one Quinnipiac player on the preseason all-league team and is the lone senior of the six players selected.

2010-11 ECAC Hockey Women's Preseason Coaches Poll

  1. Cornell (11)           121
  2. Clarkson (1)          105
  3. Harvard                 103
  4. Quinnipiac             79
  5. St. Lawrence         77
  6. Princeton               73
  7. Rensselaer            70
  8. Dartmouth             52
  9. Colgate                 43
  10. Yale                       34
  11. Brown                    24
  12. Union                     11
 
ECAC Hockey Women's Preseason All-League Team

Victoria Vigilanti, Goaltender, Quinnipiac
Laura Fortino, Defense, Cornell
Lauriane Rougeau, Defense, Cornell
Kate Buesser, Forward, Harvard

Rebecca Johnston, Forward, Cornell
Catherine White, Forward, Cornell