Elmira Loses Two, Holds On To First

Elmira lost its third and fourth games of the season, but still kept a firm grasp on the top spot in the USCHO.com Division III Women’s Poll. The Soaring Eagles were playing Division I opponent Findlay, and so the games do not count for NCAA Division III tournament selection, and correspondingly do not appear in the USCHO.com East Region Pairwise Rankings (PWR), where Elmira is also No. 1. Elmira finishes the regular season 19-0-2 against Division III opponents.

Bowdoin received two first-place votes in the poll, the only nods that did not go to Elmira. Bowdoin finishes the regular season as the only team in varsity hockey, men’s or women’s to go undefeated, standing at 20-0-3 on the season. The team tied No. 4 Middlebury 2-2 on Friday.

While Bowdoin may be No. 2 in the poll, the Polar Bears are No. 3 in the East PWR, after Manhattanville, which finished third in the poll. The Valiants outscored opponents a remarkable 170 to 21 during the regular season.

Topping the USCHO.com West Region PWR is No. 6 Wis.-River Falls, which defeated No. 8 Wis.-Stevens Point 5-1 in the NCHA championship game on Saturday. The top three spots in the PWR are held by NCHA teams, with Lake Forest joining the two Wisconsin schools. Previously, St. Thomas was in that group, but plummeted to No. 6 in the PWR after two losses to unranked St. Mary’s. Remarkably, the Tommies stayed No. 10 in the poll despite the losses.

Postseason play gets underway in all the conferences except the NCHA, which finished up this past weekend. All ranked teams except the two Wisconsin schools will see action against unranked conference foes. If favorite teams win, there will be a match-up between No. 1 Elmira and No. 5 Plattsburgh on Sunday afternoon in the ECAC West championship game.

The USCHO.com Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 12 voters, all coaches of Division III programs.

The East and West Region PairWise Rankings attempt to mimic the process used by the NCAA Division III Selection Committee to determine participants for the women’s hockey tournament. A team is only compared against Division III teams within that team’s region.

The PWR can be reformatted and redistributed by any media outlet or person, provided USCHO’s URL (http://www.uscho.com/) accompanies the results.