CANTON--St. Lawrence University sophomore defenseman George Hughes has been selected as an ECAC Hockey pre-season All Star and the Saints are predicted to finish seventh by the media and ninth by the coaches as the 2010-11 ECAC Hockey Media Day was held in Atlantic City on Tuesday.
Hughes, a member of the ECAC All Rookie Team last spring, is the lone sophomore named to the pre-season All Star team by the league's coaches. He is joined by Dartmouth senior Evan Stephens as the defensemen on the all star team while Yale senior Broc Little, RPI senior Chase Polacek and Colgate junior Austin Smith are the forwards. Allen York of RPI, a junior, was named the pre-season all star goaltender.
Hughes scored five goals and had 18 assists for 23 points last season, took only five penalties in 41 games and had a plus-five plus/minus rating. His quick adjustment to Division I hockey and outstanding play as a blueliner helped the Saints to a fifth place finish in the regular season and to their second straight ECAC semifinal appearance after a quarterfinal series win at Colgate.
The Saints will be hoping to duplicate their top five finish in 2010-11. SLU was selected seventh (media) and tenth (coaches) a year ago and went on to befuddle the prognosticators. This season they are sixth in the media poll which has Yale first followed by Cornell, Union, Colgate, RPI, Dartmouth, the Saints, Quinnipiac, Princeton, Harvard, Brown and Clarkson. The top three are the same with RPI picked for fourth followed by Colgate, Dartmouth, Harvard, Quinnipiac, the Saints in ninth, and Princeton, Brown and Clarkson in tenth through 12th in the coaches poll.
The Saints will play an exhibition game against Carleton University of Ottawa on Saturday Oct. 2 at Appleton Arena and then wade into an ambitious schedule which will include a very rigorous road schedule. SLU opens NCAA play with a pair at Minnesota State in Mankato on Oct. 8-9 and will play at Ferris State the following weekend. SLU will travel nearly 3,000 miles in the first two weekends of the season and their total non-league travel distance is 5,815 miles with trips later in the season to New Hampshire and Sacred Heart and to Michigan Tech. SLU's home opener will be against Western Michigan with a two game set starting Oct. 22 and the Saints and North Country rival Clarkson will play a non-league game at the Olympic Arena in Lake Placid on Oct. 30. A four-game home stand opens ECAC league play to start November.