MINNEAPOLIS — Norwich won two games on the weekend, improving the Cadet’s record to 14-0 and cementing their lead at the top of the USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll. In 14 games this season, Norwich has outscored its opponents 95 to 31.
Norwich also holds first place in the USCHO.com Division III Men’s East Region PairWise Rankings (PWR), a system that mimics the selection process for the NCAA postseason tournament. The PWR is broken into East and West regions, and the teams are selected from these regions based on an algorithm available in detail.
The top four teams in this week’s poll stayed the same as the previous week, as No. 2 St. Norbert captured three points from Lake Forest, Wis.-River Falls satyed No. 3 with a 4-2 win over Gustavus Adolphus, and RIT ran its record to 12-1-1 with impressive wins over SUNYAC leader Fredonia and No. 9 Plattsburgh.
The big mover of the week, however, was Middlebury, which downed No. 11 Colby 5-1 and No. 7 Bowdoin 4-2 and so jumped five spots in the poll to No. 6. After starting the season a mediocre 2-2, the Panthers have gone a stellar 7-1 in their last eight games. Middlebury is also No. 6 in the Eastern PWR.
No. 14 Hamilton makes its debut this week, after a three win week, as the Continentals downed Amherst, Southern Maine and Salem State in a five day stretch. Hamilton will play three games in five days this week, too, taking on Mass. College of Liberal Arts, Skidmore and No. 10 Oswego.
Other big games include No. 9 Plattsburgh at No. 11 Colby, as the Cardinals are in the middle of a tough stretch where five of six opponts are ranked. They lost 5-3 to No. 1 Norwich and 5-2 to No. 4 RIT, sandwiched around a 5-1 win over Williams. Still to come is the aforementioned game with Colby, followed by a meeting with No. 6 Middlebury.
On Friday and Saturday, No. 4 RIT takes on No. 10 Oswegomeet for a home-and-home set. Also on Saturday, No. 1 Norwich battles No. 15 Trinity, and No. 5 Wis. Superior travels to No. 2 St. Norbert.
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.
The East and West Region PairWise Rankings attempt to mimic the process used by the NCAA Division III Selection Committee to determine participants for the men’s hockey tournament. A team is only compared against Division III teams within that team’s region.
The PWR can be reformatted and redistributed by any media outlet or person, provided USCHO’s URL (http://www.uscho.com/) accompanies the results.