And then there were three
There are now just three unbeaten teams left in Division III in No. 1 Norwich (10-0-0 overall), No. 5 Adrian (9-0-0), and No. 8 Bowdoin (9-0-1). The nation-leading Cadets stayed perfect with a 1-0 win over No. 7 Plattsburgh (7-2-1) on Friday, with Kyle Thomas scoring the game’s only goal.
No. 4 Hobart (11-1-2), which had been undefeated, suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday in a 3-2 overtime defeat to No. 2 Oswego (9-2-0). Chris Brown notched the game-winner for the visitors at 4:43 of the extra session, one night after the Lakers had fallen, 3-2, to No. 9 Utica (9-2-0).
Long time coming
Saturday’s setback was also Hobart’s first loss in nearly 10 months. The Statesmen last came up on the short end of a score on Feb. 10 against Elmira, 6-4, then reeled off five straight victories to claim the 2012 ECAC West title. (Hobart didn’t qualify for the 2012 NCAA Tournament because its league doesn’t have an automatic bid.)
Senior goaltender Nick Broadwater of Hobart is now 8-1-2 following the Statesmen’s loss at Oswego, a game in which he posted a season-high 40 stops. He’s tied with Oswego senior counterpart Andrew Hare with a .948 save percentage, tops among Division III goaltenders who have seen action in 10 or more games. Hare had 44 saves in the OT win over Hobart.
Top point producers
Senior forward Paul Rodrigues of Oswego is the nation’s top scorer with nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points in 11 games, and scored Oswego’s second goal in the win at Hobart. Lakers linemate Luke Moodie, who had been running one-two on the national scoring scroll most of the year with Rodrigues, is now tied for third overall with 10-10—20 points.
Junior forward Mike Zannella of Buffalo State (5-7-1) is the top goal scorer in Division III with 13 goals in 12 games, while Rodrigues is atop the national assist chart with 15 helpers.
A pair of senior forwards, Mike DeGrazia of Massachusetts-Boston (7-2-1) and Chris Kaleta of Cortland (4-7-2), are the national leaders with six power-play goals apiece. Three different players are tied for the national lead with three short-handed markers each.
The top scoring defenseman in Division III to date is junior Rob Florentino of Massachusetts-Boston, who has 3-12—15 points in just 10 outings.
Freshman Nick Kohn of the No. 14 Milwaukee School of Engineering (8-3-1) has been perhaps the busiest netminder in Division III so far, making 312 saves in more than 772 minutes played. He’s also 8-3-1 with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in 12 appearances for the Raiders, who sit second in the MCHA behind Adrian and are unbeaten in their last six games. Kohn stopped 60 of 62 shots over the weekend in a sweep of Marian.
Sophomore David Jacobson of No. 6 St. Norbert (10-2-1) leads the nation with a 1.27 goals-against average, is third with a .937 save percentage, and is 8-2-1 overall for the Green Knights. He’s allowed just 14 goals in 11 games, and has also recorded a nation-high four shutouts, one year after going 19-2-3 with six whitewashes and leading St. Norbert to its second straight national title. Jacobson denied 41 of 44 shots last weekend in a sweep of St. Scholastica (3-9-0).
Adrian is averaging six goals per game, having collected 54 goals in nine outings. Trinity (5-1-1) has allowed just 1.27 goals per contest, although the Bantams have played just seven games so far. No. 3 Wisconsin Eau-Claire (10-1-1) has tallied a nation-high 68 goals in 14 games, while No. 1 Norwich has surrendered only 14 goals in 10 games.
No. 11 Middlebury (3-1-2) has the nation’s top power play by percentage, having connected 14-of-32 times (43.8 percent). St. Norbert leads all Division III schools with 25 power-play goals, and is third overall at 35.7 percent.
Babson (5-2-2) has the nation’s top penalty kill by percentage, having snuffed 22-of-24 enemy chances (91.7 percent), although Utica is right behind at 91.5 percent (43-of-47). No team has eradicated more opposing power plays so far, however, than the 70 kills performed by Morrisville (1-12-2). Lake Forest (4-7-2) has eliminated 63 opposing power plays, while Cortland has canceled 62 such chances.
Slight disparity in divisions
Finlandia (3-8-0) suffered a two-step sweep at NCAA Division I independent Alabama-Huntsville last weekend, but only by 5-2 and 4-1 margins. Division III independent Canton (4-8-0) split a two-game series with visiting club program Rhode Island, winning, 1-0, before falling, 4-1.