MINNEAPOLIS — Fickle and divided Division III college hockey voters finally are in agreement — at least about who should be No. 1.
In a poll where only four schools are in the same place as they were a week ago, the Oswego Lakers — much as they have been all season — remained the only constant, garnering all 20 first place votes after downing upstart Adrian 5-2 in the most anticipated game of the season. They are now a robust 16-1 on the year.
Somewhat under the radar, Norwich continues to impress. Now the only undefeated team in the land, the Cadets soundly beat then-second ranked Plattsburgh at home before going on the road to best Bowdoin and skate to a 1-1 draw with Colby to move up a slot to second. The St. Norbert Green Knights, also hot as of late, used two victories to secure the third position.
The Cardinals, who bounced back to rally for a tie on the road against sixth ranked Elmira, fell two spots to fourth. The St. Scholastica Saints and the Soaring Eagles remained in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Middleburys 3-1 win over Hamilton and deadlock with new-No. 9 Amherst bumped the Panthers up one slot to seventh. After their gigantic sweep of Adrian last weekend, the Hamline Pipers went in the other direction, falling one rung after getting blanked by St. Scholastica and skating to a 4-4 tie with the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
By virtue of their deadlock with the Panthers and sound defeat of previously undefeated (and tenth ranked) Williams, the Lord Jeffs jumped up an impressive five spots to ninth. The aforementioned Ephs stay in the same spot and round out the top 10.
Teams 11 through 15 illustrate the volatile nature of the current D-III campaign.
Suddenly struggling Adrian fell two spots to No. 11 while the Gusties from Gustavus Adolphus dropped one poll position after losing to St. Olaf before upending UW-Stout the next evening.
UW-River Falls remains at No. 13 after a successful road trip, featuring wins over St. Thomas (5-3) and St. Marys (4-3 in OT). Wentworths nonconference road sweep of MASCACs Plymouth State buoyed ECAC Northeasts reputation and upped the Leopards one spot to No. 14.
The Manhattanville Valiants, long a staple of the Division III poll, return this week at No. 15.
Currys 6-4 loss to Bowdoin and 4-2 defeat at the hands of Hobart resulted in the then-No. 12 Colonels to fall out of the national rankings.