MiNNEAPOLIS — Middlebury tops the USCHO.com Division III Men’s preseason poll, with the three-time defending national champs receiving all 15 first-place votes. Coming in second in the poll is last year’s NCAA runner-up, St. Norbert.
The next four in the poll were all in the NCAA tournament last season. Norwich, which bowed out in the quarterfinal round, is ranked third. Elmira, last year’s NCAA Cinderella story, was absent from the poll most of last season, but enters the preseason poll at No. 4. The Soaring Eagles’ ECAC West rivals Manhattanville and Hobart follow closely behind at fifth and sixth respectively.
Tapped at No. 7 is Oswego, which last season saw an early SUNYAC playoff exit at the hands of Plattsburgh.
New England College, which narrowly missed an NCAA berth last season, tied with St. Thomas for eighth.
At No. 10 is Wisconsin-Superior, followed by NCHA rival Wisconsin-River Falls. No. 12 Plattsburgh is followed by St. John’s at No. 13. The poll is rounded out by last year’s SUNYAC champion Geneseo and by No. 15 St. Olaf.
Also receiving votes were Bethel, Babson, Bowdoin, Mass.-Dartmouth, St. Scholastica, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Curry, Colby, Trinity and Williams.
The USCHO.com Poll is compiled weekly and consists of 15 voters, including 13 coaches of Division III programs and two hockey writers. USCHO.com provides in-depth coverage of college sports, including hockey, lacrosse, soccer and others.