College Hockey:
St. Norbert Unanimous No. 1 in Final D-III Poll

— St. Norbert is the unanimous No. 1 in the final USCHO D-III Men’s Poll of the 2004-2005 season. The Green Knights capped the season with an NCHA championship win over Wisconsin-Superior, 8-3. It was the fifth-straight No. 1 for St. Norbert, which was the preseason No. 1 in the poll as well.

Jumping four spots to No. 2 is Manhattanville. The Valiants won the ECAC West championship by downing Utica, 3-1, and trouncing RIT, 6-2, in the league’s semifinal. St. John’s, which lost the MIAC championship to St. Thomas, dropped one spot to third.

Middlebury moved up one position to fourth; the Panthers, second seed in the NESCAC tournament, won that league’s crown over Bowdoin. Dropping from third to fifth was Trinity, which as the top seed in the NESCAC was upset in the semifinal round by Bowdoin.

With a win over St. John’s, MIAC champ St. Thomas moved from tenth to sixth. Geneseo, which swept Plattsburgh in the SUNYAC championship series, moved from No. 11 to No. 7.

At No. 8 was Wisconsin-Superior, droppng four places after the NCHA finals.

Three teams tied at No. 9: Utica, which lost the ECAC West final as the league’s top seed, dropped from No. 8; Oswego, which had its season ended by a series loss to Plattsburgh last week moved up from No. 12; and Bowdoin, which upset Trinity and narrowly lost to Middlebury in the NESCAC finals, moved up from No. 13.

Dropping five places to No. 12 was Norwich; the Cadets, the ECAC East’s top seed, were upset by league champ New England College in the semifinal round. Babson went down to defeat in that tournament’s championship game to New England College and fell from No. 9.

At No. 14 was Curry. The Colonels, unranked last week, won the ECAC Northeast title. Rounding out the poll was New England College at No. 15 on the strength of two ECAC East tournament wins.

Others teams receiving votes were: Wisconsin-River Falls, Plattsburgh, Bethel, Fredonia, Colby, Hobart, and RIT.

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.

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