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College Hockey:
Plattsburgh Preeminence

Despite Shootout Loss, the Cardinals Remain Nation's Top Team; In Otherwise Static Poll, Middlebury Ascends Four Spots as St. Scholastica Reenters the Fray, Replacing Colby

— While it may not have gone entirely as scripted, the Plattsburgh Cardinals nonetheless held on to the nations No. 1 ranking again this week, even adding seven converts to their supremacy along the way.

Pitted against then-fifth ranked Norwich in the prestigious Primelink Shootout in Middlebury, Vermont, the Cardinals notched two third period power-play tallies to pull even with the Cadets before falling in a shootout. Technically a tie for NCAA purposes, the loss relegated them to the third place game on Saturday, where they defeated St. Thomas, 5-3.

The countrys second ranked team, University of Wisconsin-Superior, also remained in the same position as the Yellowjackets bested Bethel, 5-2, before settling for a 3-3 tie with the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Superior received the remaining three first place votes, four less than last week.

The biggest mover of the week was also the winner of the Primelink Shootout: Middlebury. Now a perfect 4-0 on the season, their victories over the Tommies (5-3) in the semis and Cadets (3-2) for the championship, propelled the Panthers up four rungs to third on the national ladder.

Perpetually top-ranked St. Norbert fell again (this time losing a tough 4-3 decision in the semis of their own tournament to then-No. 6 Oswego), before bouncing back to shutout Lawrence, 4-0, in the consolation draw. The Green Knights now rank fourth nationally, one spot ahead of idle Elmira, who also dropped a spot in the wake of the Panthers cat-quick ascension.

Aforementioned Norwich and Oswego also dipped one spot each in the polls after following up massive wins (Plattsburgh and St. Norbert, respectively) with defeats at the hands of Middlebury and newly ranked (at No. 15) St. Scholastica.

With no games scheduled over the Thanksgiving holiday, Adrian remained eighth.

Equally stagnant were teams nine through 13: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, UW-Eau Claire, Hobart, UW-Stout, and Hamline, who went a combined 3-0 over the holiday weekend.

The Bowdoin Polar Bears are the new No. 14 in the country, getting the boost courtesy of dominating efforts against Salve Regina (10-1) and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (4-2) in winning the Bowdoin/Colby tournament.

After back-to-back thrilling wins over Lawrence (4-3 in overtime) and the huge 5-4 upset of the Lakers to take the St. Norbert Tournament championship, the St. Scholastica Saints re-entered the top 15 in the final available spot.

The previously No. 14-ranked Colby Mules — after losses to Curry (2-0) and UMass-Dartmouth (3-2) and managing only a tie with Salve Regina (3-3) — Colby Mules dropped out of the poll.


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