Pittsburgh, Pa. - The Robert Morris University women's ice hockey team was chosen to finish second in College Hockey America (CHA) for the upcoming 2012-13 season according to a poll of conference head coaches.
Despite earning an upset win in the 2012 CHA Tournament Championship game over No. 6 Mercyhurst, the Colonials were predicted to finish below Lakers. The Lakers were selected to win their 10th overall conference championship, receiving four first-place votes while RMU received two votes.
Robert Morris will look to carry over their success from the 2011-12 season. Last season, in his first year as head coach, Paul Colontino led the Colonials to unprecedented heights. He helped RMU break its program record for wins by the end of January and finished the season with 19 victories. Colontino was the recipient of the CHA Coach of the Year Award and also took home USCHO National Coach of the Year accolades. Colontino guided the Colonials to the largest year-to-year win improvement in Division I before the squad earned the program's first-ever conference championship.
The Colonials return the 2012 CHA Tournament MVP and CHA Goaltending Trophy winner Kristen DiCiocco (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres). Last season, DiCiocco led the CHA in both goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.928) and ranked among the top ten nationally in each category. During the middle portion of last season, she became the first Colonial ever to win honors in four consecutive weeks which RMU hit the ice. In the 2012 CHA Championship, DiCiocco registered a career-high performance with 45 saves.
Sophomore Rebecca Vint (Caledon, Ontario / Brampton Junior Thunder) the reigning CHA Rookie of the Year also returns for RMU. Vint had the best offensive season in program history. She broke RMU's single season records in points (44), goals (22) and assists (22) as she became the first Colonial to ever reach 40 points or 20 goals in a season. Vint also reset the mark for longest point streak in school history (12). She finished ranked fourth nationally in points per game among rookies and tied for third nationally in goals by rookies. She was selected to the USCHO All-Rookie Team to complete her impressive freshman campaign.
Junior forward Thea Imbrogno (Etobicoke, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs), an All-CHA Second-Team selection will serve as an assistant captain for the Colonials this season. Last season Imbrogno ranked second on the team in points (36), goals (16) and assists (20). On Jan. 21, Imbrogno scored the game-winning-goal to lead the Colonials to their first-ever victory against Mercyhurst highlighting her career here at RMU.
The Colonials also return key seniors Cobina Delaney (Sittsville, Ontario / Ottawa Senators), Jamie Joslin (Richmond Hill, Ontario / Aurora Panthers) and Dayna Newsom (Oakville, Ontario / Oakville Ice), who along with Imbrogno will serve as the 2012-13 team captains.
RMU will begin exhibition play next weekend, Friday, Sept. 28 and Sat., Sept. 29. as it takes on the Guelph Gryphons of the Ontario Universities Athletics Conference (OUA). Faceoff is set for 7:35 p.m. both nights.
Women's Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll
(first-place votes in parenthesis)
1. Mercyhurst (4)
2. Robert Morris (2)
4. Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
5. Lindenwood6. Penn State