The ECAC men's hockey coaches picked Yale University as the favorite to win the league title for the third straight season - a year after winning it in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.

The Bulldogs received nine of 12 first-place votes despite losing nine seniors. They return 19 players, including senior Brian O'Neill, who had 20 goals and 26 assists, and Andrew Miller, who had 12 goals and 23 assists.

The ECAC Final Four will be held in Atlantic City March 16-17, 2012 for the second straight year.

The season opens this weekend with two exhibition games on Oct. 1. The first regular season game is next Friday, Oct. 7.

Coaches' Poll (first-place votes)

1. Yale (9)

2. Union (2)

3. Cornell

4. Renesselaer

5. Dartmouth

6. Quinnipiac

7. Harvard

8. Princeton

9. St. Lawrence

10. Colgate

11. Clarkson

12. Brown