MINNEAPOLIS — In their sixth consecutive poll atop the national rankings, the still-unbeaten Plattsburgh Cardinals retightened their grip on Division III hockey in earning 15 out of a possible 20 first place votes. The buzzing (and clearly undaunted) Yellowjackets from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, now 15-1-1 on the season, remained in second, receiving the other five top tallies.
Despite a 3-2 loss at St. Thomas, defending national champion St. Norbert remained third (although lost their lone first place vote) after topping St. Marys, 5-1, in their next game. Middlebury was not so fortunate. After losing at home to Castleton and beating Skidmore, the Panthers dropped a spot to fourth.
Taking their place was red-hot St. Scholastica, winners of eight in a row and who are now 12-3-1 on the year.
By virtue of their 5-3 win on the road at Potsdam, the Elmira Soaring Eagles rose one spot to sixth. UW-Stout fell two spots to seventh after defeating St. Johns, 5-3, before falling to Concordia (MN), 3-1.
Rungs eight and nine remained unchanged (Adrian and Hobart), despite the Bulldogs dominant display — 9-0 and 7-0 wins over Concordia (WI) — and the Statesmens four exhibition game tour through the French Alps.
The Oswego Lakers continued their remarkable push as of late, edging Hamilton, 2-1, to remain No. 10 in the nation.
Another team continually on the move up is Manhattanville. Vying in four contests in a six day span, the Valiants recorded three wins (Connecticut College, Becker, Nichols) and a tie (Curry) to jump two spots up to No. 11. A home loss and tie to UW Eau Claire (4-1) and Stevens Point (0-0), respectively, dropped the Hamline Pipers two rungs down to No. 12.
Adjacently, that rare scoreless tie — coupled with doubling up Augsburg on the road, 6-3 — made the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point this weeks biggest mover, jumping up to No. 13 after being unranked in the last poll.
The Norwich Cadets hit a rough patch, falling to No. 1 Plattsburgh (3-1) and Tufts (2-1), before salvaging the week by eking by Conn. College, 2-1. Previously unranked New England College — now 9-2-0 on the season — generated impressive wins over then-No. 15 Bowdoin and Colby to move back among the nations elite.
After a combined 0-3 week, Geneseo and the aforementioned Polar Bears fell out of the top 15.