Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

CHA coaches: Mercyhurst, RMU again teams to beat

Colonials and Lakers battle for the puck in 2018. -- JENN HOFFMAN

The coaches of College Hockey America think that the regular season crown will be decided somewhere on Interstate 79.

The conference’s preseason coaches poll, released last week, had Mercyhurst come in first, with rivals Robert Morris just behind in second.

The Lakers bested the Colonials in the 2018 CHA Tournament championship game after Robert Morris took home the conference’s regular-season title.The rivals will meet early in the 2018-19 season, with the Colonials making the trek up I-79 to Erie on Oct. 19 and 20 to play at Mercyhurst Ice Center. The Lakers will come to RMU Island Sports Center on Feb. 22 and 23.

The teams split their regular season series, 2-2 in 2017-18 before Mercyhurst triumphed in the postseason. In 2016-17, the Colonials went 3-0-1 against the Lakers to win the season series for the first time since 2012-13. The teams did not meet in the 2017 postseason, when Robert Morris won the tournament and advanced to the program’s first NCAA Tournament.

In the preseason poll, Mercyhurst took home 25 points and five of the six first-place votes. Robert Morris had 25 points and one first-place vote. The Lakers and Colonials were followed by Syracuse (17), Penn State (14), Lindenwood (10) and RIT (5).

Robert Morris start its season Friday with a home game against St. Lawrence at 7:05 p.m.

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