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WOMEN’S COLLEGE HOCKEY PREVIEW

ECAC women’s teams at a glance

The Boston Globe previews the teams in the ECAC as the puck drops on the 2011-12 season:

Brown - The Bears went 2-23-4 a year ago, but return nearly every key player. Among them are junior forwards Alena Polenska and Laurie Jolin, the team’s top scorers last season.

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Clarkson - Forward Carly Mercer and goalie Erica Howe earned ECAC All-Rookie team honors last season. The Golden Knights lost just five seniors and also return leading scorer Jamie Lee Rattray.

Colgate - The Raiders bring back five of six double-digit scorers. Even more impressive, Colgate returns every player to register a point on the power play from last season’s 11-19-3 squad.

Cornell - A 20-1-1 mark in conference play earned the Big Red a second consecutive regular-season crown. Cornell is a threat to win the national title, returning four first-team All-League players in Rebecca Johnston, Brianne Jenner, Laura Fortino, and Lauriane Rougeau.

Dartmouth - The Big Green bring back All-ECAC second-teamer Kelly Foley and third-teamer Sasha Nanji from a 22-12-0 squad. Lindsay Holdcroft could be a key in net after making 27 starts as a freshman last season.

Harvard - The Crimson finished second in the league and 17-11-4 overall in 2010-11. Harvard returns two All-ECAC second-team players in Jillian Dempsey and Josephine Pucci, as well as defenseman Marissa Gedman, an all-rookie performer.

Princeton - The Tigers’ three leading scorers among forwards last season were all freshmen, so the team could improve on its fourth-place finish. Rachel Weber returns in net after being named to the league’s second team last spring.

Quinnipiac - It all starts with Kelly Babstock, who led the conference with 22 goals last season as a freshman and was named ECAC Player of the Year. Junior goalie Victoria Vigilanti was an All-ECAC third-team player and backstops a squad hoping to improve on its 22-12-3 finish.

Rensselaer - Senior captain Alisa Harrison was the team’s third-leading scorer in 2010-11, trailing junior Taylor Horton and sophomore Jordan Smelker.

St. Lawrence - The Saints finished two games under .500 last season at 16-18-2. Junior Kelly Sabatine led the team with 34 points in 33 games, followed by classmate Brooke Fernandez’s 26 points from the blue line.

Union - At 1-19-2, the Dutchwomen held the bottom spot in the league last season. This year’s squad will be experienced, though, with senior forwards Lauren Hoffman and Lauren Cromartie and senior Kate Gallagher in net.

Yale - The loss of All-ECAC first-team netminder Jackee Snikeris hurts. If there’s hope for the Bulldogs to improve on a 9-17-3 campaign, it’s in sophomore Jackie Raines, who led the team in scoring last season.

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