MINNEAPOLIS — The only thing that seems to change among the upper echelon elite of Division III hockey teams these days is the apportionment of first place votes.
Two polls ago, St. Norbert had 19, Elmira 1. Last week, the ratio was 17-3. Now it is 18 for the Green Knights and two for the Soaring Eagles. And like last week’s poll, all three top teams — Plattsburgh again is third — remained the same. The unbeaten streaks of St. Norbert and Elmira have each reached 15 games.
By virtue of a 4-3 victory over in-state rival and then ninth ranked UW-Stout, the UW-River Falls Falcons ascended a spot to fourth. Manhattanville, one of the hottest teams in college hockey, jumped two spots to fifth after two big wins while St. Thomas — who split with St. John — dropped a couple rungs to seventh.
Perennial powerhouse Middlebury, winners of eight in a row, made the biggest jump this week, moving up three spots to No. 7. Newly eighth ranked Hobart’s split with Neumann caused their two position fall while Norwich’s weekend — 1-0 shutout of Babson and 3-2 overtime win over UMass-Boston — propelled them up two spots in the poll. They now sit at No. 9.
UW-Stout’s aforementioned loss to newly fourth ranked UW-River Falls pushed them
down a spot to No. 10 while the week’s most precipitous fall belongs to Southern Maine who dropped three spots to No. 11.
While Bowdoin remained at No. 12, Adrian’s two convincing wins — 9-1 and 14-2 over University of Minnesota-Crookston — was enough evidence voters needed to vault them up the polls. Babson (shutout loss new-No. 9 Norwich and 5-2 win over St. Michael’s) and defending champion Oswego (idle) each fell a rung to Nos. 14 and 15.
Remarkably jumbled, all 15 teams remain unchanged from last week’s poll.