Forgive the Green Knights of St. Norbert if they take a moment to reflect on their amazing accomplishment.
Beginning over three months ago — on Nov. 10, a week after their only blemish of the season, a 4-2 loss to Gustavus Adolphus — they have gone 21 consecutive (17-0-4) games without a loss. After defeating and tying fellow state schools UW-River Falls (No. 9) and UW-Stout (No. 12), they were fittingly honored this week by the pollsters with 17 first place votes.
And since you can’t go too far in the world of D-III hockey without mentioning their consummate counterpart at the top of the USCHO.com poll . . . Elmira — fresh off a hard-fought 3-3 tie with new No. 7 Hobart — is again ranked second in the nation and received two first place tallies.
Plattsburgh, rebounding nicely after a disappointing weekend, remains third after wins over Brockport and Geneseo. And fresh off back-to-back pummeling (8-1, 10-0) of Lebanon Valley, the Manhattanville Valiants vaulted two spots up to No. 4.
After a strange weekend in which they lost to unranked Williams before emphatically responding to shutout then-No. 7 Middlebury, Norwich fell one spot to fifth.
Speaking of the Panthers, voters did not seem to penalize them too much for their loss — or rewarded them by default for a combination of a 7-4 victory over St. Michael’s and then-fifth ranked St. Thomas only mustering a tie out of a two game set with St. Thomas — as they moved up one slot to No. 6.
The Tommies fell a precipitous three positions to eighth. By virtue of its tie with No. 2 Elmira, Hobart ascended one spot, slipping comfortably into the seventh rung of the ladder.
The country’s hottest — and most explosive — team continues to be Adrian. Besting their own personal accomplishment from last week (where they entered the top 10 for the first time in school history), they now can add another notch to their belt, having received their inaugural first place vote.
Though a tepid week by their standards — they only outscored their opponent (Milwaukee School of Engineering) 12-4 — the Bulldogs have now won 14 straight games, pushing them another spot higher in the D-III strata.
Rounding out the top 10 is UW-River Falls, who lost to No. 1 St. Norbert, 4-1, before besting Lake Forest, 10-1.
After taking the top ranked team in the country to the brink (a 3-3 tie), UW-Stout jumped up a spot to No. 11. Defending national champion Oswego continued to build on its impressive second half run, recording two victories to push their winning streak to five and poll position up a spot to 12.
The Bowdoin Polar Bears were not so fortunate, falling a rung after losing their second game of weekend, 2-1, to Amherst. Similarly, Neumann split their two contests with Utica — 2-7 and 1-0 — but remained steady at 14.
Back in the mix after a month or so on the outside-looking-in, New England College reenters the top 15. A 5-2 victory over UMass-Boston and 4-0 upset of No. 15 Babson was enough to curry favor with the voters.
The ECAC East’s Beavers dropped out of the poll.