MINNEAPOLIS — Winning its only game of the week in dominating fashion, 14-2, and improving to a perfect 7-0-0, Norwich held on to its top ranking in the USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll. The Cadets head into the holiday break on a high note, winning 14 of their last 15 games dating to last season, the only loss in that time coming in overtime in the NCAA Division III championship game. Norwich next takes to the ice on January 3 against Utica in the first round of the Times-Argus Tournament.
Idle St. Norbert also held on at No. 2, with a 12-1-0 record. The Green Knights have already started an extended break that, when finished, will have lasted nearly a month. The next games will be meaningful, as St. Norbert will be facing No. 9 St. John’s and No. 15 Concordia out of the gate in January.
The only team other than top-ranked Norwich to earn first-place votes was Bowdoin, which earned two first place votes with a 6-0-0 record. Bowdoin sits alone atop the NESCAC standings, albeit with a game in hand over its nearest competitors.
Bowdoin and this week’s No. 4 team, RIT, climbed one spot in the rankings when last week’s No. 3 team, Wis.-River Falls, fell two spots to No. 5 following a 2-1 loss to No. 9 St. John’s.
With most team’s already on holiday break, only a few teams were in action. St. Thomas stayed steady at No. 6 with a 7-0 win over Wis.-Stout and a 4-1 victory over Wis.-Stevens Point. No. 10 Fredonia celebrated it’s decisive lead in the SUNYAC with a pair of dominating non-conference wins, 5-1 and 10-0 over Neumann. No. 14 Oswego climbed into the poll with a 5-2 win over Elmira.
Tournaments rule the roost over the next few weeks, as most Division III teams see action in one holiday tournament or another, including the Codfish Bowl, the Salem State Hockey Classic, the Cardinal Classic, and the Times-Argus Tournament.
The USCHO.com Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 15 voters, including coaches and beat writers from across the country.