MINNEAPOLIS — St. Norbert recaptured the top spot in this week’s USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll, becoming the No. 1 team for the first time since November 18, 2002. The Green Knights won two games, over St. Scholastica 7-2, and over No. 6 Wis.-Superior 4-3, improving to 18-1-2 on the season. St. Norbert is also first in the Division III Men’s West Region Pairwise Rankings (PWR), a model of the NCAA’s Division III selection process.
Slipping to No. 2 in the poll is Norwich, following a 5-3 loss to No. 9 Trinity. The Cadets still hold the top spot in the Division III Men’s East Region PWR, as well as enjoying a commanding six point lead in the ECAC East. Norwich finished just four points behind St. Norbert, capturing six of the 15 first-place votes.
The biggest mover this week is No. 5 Oswego, which moved up five spaces from last on the strength of a two game sweep over No. 7 RIT. The Tigers plummeted three spots as a result. The Great Lakers passed RIT in the East PWR as well, moving up to No. 4.
With a shocking 10-1 win over No. 15 Manhattanville, Elmira leapt into the poll at No. 11, sporting a 11-4-1 record. The Soaring Eagles now stands at No. 2 in the PWR East.
In tight voting, three teams finished within one point of each other, as No. 8 Bowdoin had 106 points, and Plattsburgh and Trinity totaled 105 points and landed at No. 9. Bowdoin fell one spot after a tie with unranked Connecticut College, Plattsburgh held steady at No. 9 with a 5-3 win over No. 14 Colby, and Trinity moved up from No. 15 following the win over former No. 1 Norwich.
Key games coming up include Tuesday’s battle between No. 4 Middlebury and No. 9 Plattsburgh, which is a rematch of the championship game of the Primelink Shootout won 6-1 by Plattsburgh.
In the NCHA, No. 3 Wis.-River Falls meets No. 6 Wis.-Superior on Friday, while conference play gets underway in the SUNYAC second-half, as new No. 5 Oswego hosts Fredonia, which is undefeated in league play and won a 3-2 meeting back of the two teams back in early November. After losing three straight games to teams from the ECAC West, the Blue Devils failed to get a single vote in this week’s poll.
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.