MINNEAPOLIS — No. 1 in this week’s USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll, for the sixth consecutive week, is St. Norbert. The Green Knights won the NCHA postseason tournament title with a 5-2 defeat of No. 5 Wis.-Superior, and thus became the first team to earn a pass to the NCAA Division III Tournament. To reach the final, St. Norbert downed Wis.-Stevens Point by a 3-1 score. St. Norbert is also No. 1 in the USCHO.com West Regional Pairwise Rankings (PWR), a measurement of NCAA selection likelihood. Wis.-Superior met the Green Knights due to a 6-3 victory over No. 7 Wis.-River Falls in the semifinal.
Most leagues saw the beginning of tournament play. In the NESCAC quarterfinals, No. 2 Middlebury trounced Tufts, No. 10 Colby shutout Amherst 8-0, and No. 11 Trinity squeaked past Williams 3-2. Middlebury stands at No. 4 in the East Regional PWR.
No. 3 Norwich defeated Mass.-Boston 12-0 in the ECAC East tournament quarterfinals, and No. 9 New England College stopped Southern Maine 8-1.
In the MIAC, No. 8 St. John’s outlasted No. 15 St. Thomas 4-3 in the championship game, after first vanquishing Gustavus Adolphus 4-2 in one semifinal. The other saw the Tommies edge Augsburg 7-6. St. John’s earns the MIAC automatic berth in the NCAA tournament with the win.
Oswego finsihed No. 6 after passing Potsdam in two games to advance to the finals. The other final competitor is No. 12 Plattsburgh, which ended Fredonia’s dream season in two games.
New to the poll this week is No. 14 Wentworth, which got the ECAC Northeast quarterfinals started in style with a 1-0 defeat of Worcester State. Wentworth has a 19-4-3 record, and is currently No. 7 in the East Regional PWR.
Finally, finishing up regular season play this week were members of the ECAC West. In particular, No. 4 RIT defeated Hobart to wrap up the ECAC West title, and No. 12 Manhattanville downed Utica 3-2 in overtime before falling to Elmira 5-4.
Next week, playoffs continue in the ECAC East, NESCAC and SUNYAC, and the ECAC West gets underway.
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.