For hockey fans in the Capital Region, truth is stranger than fiction in this year's ECAC Men's Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Union Dutchmen finished with 40 points in the poll, ranked eighth among their ECAC Hockey peers. The RPI Engineers finished with, you guessed it, 40 points as well, tied for eighth with their Capital Region brethren.

Here's how the rest of the poll breaks down, and what you can expect from the ECAC in 2021-22.

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Here's the poll from the official ECAC Hockey Twitter account:

The Quinnipiac University Bobcats (shoutout to the alma mater) took home the top overall spot in the poll, topping Clarkson by two points, and tallying four first place votes. New York-based teams Clarkson, Cornell and St. Lawrence were three of the other four teams receiving first place votes, with Harvard also tallying a few.

Neither Union nor RPI suited up for the 2020-21 college hockey season, and with that, comes a great deal of uncertainty around the product that both teams will ice this upcoming season. The Union Dutchmen, finished 10th in the ECAC in 2019-20, winning just five out of a possible 22 league games. The team did receive strong first-year performances from forwards Gabriel Seger and Dylan Anhorn, and knowing the track record of head coach Rick Bennett, won't struggle for much longer.

The RPI Engineers were a bit of an upstart team in 2019-20, finishing tied for fourth in the conference after winning 13 league contests. They will, however, have to fill the void left by goaltender Owen Savory, who departed the program for UMass Lowell after the Engineers' season was shut down due to COVID-19. On top of that, six of the team's seven leading scorers in 2019-20 were seniors, which may lead to a young roster, and a slower start to the season.

The teams open up against each other in an exhibition game this Saturday, October 2nd, at 4:00PM at the Achilles Center in Schenectady.

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