There will be a new NCAA champion in men’s D-III hockey this season.
Defending champion Oswego and perennial winner and last year’s runner-up Middlebury each lost championship games in their conferences and each failed to receive an at-large bid.
The NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Committee announced tonight the field of ten teams for the 2008 Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.
Six conferences have been awarded automatic qualification. The remaining four teams were selected at-large by the committee.
The championship playoff format involves two first-round games and four quarterfinal games that are played on the campuses of the participating institutions. All games in the championship are single elimination. The four quarterfinal winners advance to Lake Placid, New York at Herb Brooks Arena at the Olympic Center for the semifinals and championship game, which will be conducted March 22-23.
Conferences receiving automatic qualifications are:
ECAC East — Norwich (22-6-0)
ECAC Northeast — Mass.-Dartmouth (18-8-1)
MIAC — St. Thomas (19-6-2)
NESCAC — Trinity (16-10-2)
NCHA — St. Norbert (24-1-4)
SUNYAC — Plattsburgh (23-4-0)
Elmira receives the Pool B at-large bid, while Hobart, Manhattanville, and Wisconsin-Stout enter the field as the the three Pool C at-large selections. This is the second season in the past three that the ECAC West has received three bids to the tournament. Hobart and Elmira each lost semifinal games in 2006.
Wis.-Stout travels to St. Thomas and Trinity visits Mass.-Dartmouth in Wednesday’s first round. The winner of the western contest will take on St. Norbert on Saturday, while the eastern winner will travel to Elmira.
The other second-round matchups are Hobart at Plattsburgh and Manhattanville at Norwich.
Despite a 26-3 record in its inaugural season, MCHA champion Adrian did not receive a bid. No MCHA team has made it to the NCAA D-III men’s hockey tournament.
The championship game will be televised live on CSTV Sunday, March 23 at 4 p.m. Eastern.