Men’s D-III NCAA Hockey Bids Announced

Bids were announced Sunday night for the 2006 NCAA Division III men’s ice hockey championship. This season marks the expansion of the tournament to a 10-team field. For the first time, three at-large bids were awarded to teams from the ECAC West.

The Pool B berth was awarded to Manhattanville, which lost in the ECAC West semifinals, but had the highest overall ranking of teams not in a league with an automatic qualifier. The Valiants are the second seed in the east region.

St. Norbert, the top seed in the NCHA tournament, and that league’s runner-up, received the first of three Pool C bids for teams not receiving automatic qualifiers. The Green Knights are the top seed in the west. They will host the winner of Wednesday’s first round game, MIAC champion St. Olaf — the third western seed — at Wis.-Superior — NCHA champion and second seed — in a quarterfinal on Saturday.

Receiving the remaining Pool C bids were Elmira and Hobart from the ECAC West. Elmira, the east’s fifth seed, finished third in the ECAC West, and won that league’s championship on Saturday. The Soaring Eagles will travel to Manhattanville for a quarterfinal. Hobart, the league’s second seed, was beaten by Elmira in the semifinals of that tournament. The Statesmen are seeded fourth in the east. They will travel to Norwich, the ECAC East champion and third seed, for a quarterfinal next Saturday.

Middlebury, which received the NESCAC autobid, is the top eastern seed. The Panthers will host the winner of Wednesday’s eastern first-round game, which pits No. 7 Mass.-Dartmouth at No. 6 Geneseo, in a quarterfinal.