MINNEAPOLIS — St. Norbert was the No. 1 team in the USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll for the fourth consecutive week. The Green Knights, along with No. 4 Wis.-River Falls and No. 5 Wis.-Superior, advanced to the NCHA semifinals, to be held in Green Bay after a week’s break. The three schools are No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in the USCHO.com Division III Men’s West Region Pairwise Rankings (PWR), a barometer for NCAA tournament selection.
No. 2 Middlebury moved up one place in the poll this week following a pair of victories, 4-1 over No. 14 Trinity and 5-0 over Wesleyan. Middlebury is in the midst of a 16 game unbeaten streak, and is currently No. 5 in the USCHO.com Division III East PWR.
Norwich, which trailed Middlebury by a single point to finish at No. 3, split the weekend with a 7-5 loss to No. 11 New England College followed by a 6-2 win over St. Anselm. Norwich leads the east PWR with 22 points. The stage is set for a battle as Middlebury travels to Norwich in a deciding game on Friday.
In a tie with Wis.-Superior, No. 5 RIT solidified its ECAC West conference standing with a 5-3 win over Elmira and a 8-4 triumph over Utica. In a SUNYAC surprise, No. 7 Oswego dropped a 3-2 decision to Brockport before rebounding with a 5-1 win over Geneseo. The Great Lakers are still as high as No. 3 in the east PWR.
The No. 4 and No. 5 teams in the west PWR, St. John’s and St. Thomas, met in an MIAC showdown this weekend. St. John’s took a pair of 3-2 victories, climbing four spots to No. 9 in the process. The Tommies fell to No. 13.
Next week sees a conclusion of almost all conference play, as the ECAC East, the NESCAC, the SUNYAC and the ECAC Northeast all wrap up their regular seasons. The MIAC and NCHA will be awaiting postseason play.
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.