MINNEAPOLIS — St. Norbert maintained first place in this week’s USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll, despite not playing a game. The Green Knights await Wis.-Stevens Point in the NCHA semifinals on Friday. St. Norbert also stays No. 1 in the USCHO.com West Region Pairwise Rankings (PWR).
With a 3-2 overtime win over No. 4 Norwich, Middlebury finished soundly at No. 2 in the poll. However, the Panthers are No. 4 in the USCHO.com East Region PWR. Norwich received the No. 1 spot in the computer ranking, which simulates NCAA selection criteria, but ended up at No. 4 in the poll.
Three of the top five positions in the poll were filled with teams from the NCHA, as No. 3 Wis.-River Falls and No. 5 Wis.-Superior find themselves facing each other on Friday night in an NCHA semifinal game. Both schools had the week off.
Through a fluke of scheduling, many teams were off last week, and so play was spotty. Some big upsets include an 8-1 trouncing of No. 11 Colby by unranked Hamilton. Colby fell three spots as a result, despite a 5-0 victory of Amherst on Saturday. Also, No. 15 Bowdoin fell three places following a pair of ties, also against Amherst and Hamilton.
Postseason play begins in earnest next week, as the ECAC East, the MIAC, the NCHA, the NESCAC and the SUNYAC all have semifinal or quarterfinal games.
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.