High Five

When all top 15 teams remain the same from one poll to the next, proffering the notion of change seems disingenuous. Looking closer, however, elicits some interesting findings.

For the fifth straight poll, the still unbeaten Plattsburgh Cardinals (11-0-2) have been judged by the voters as Division III’s best team. But for the third consecutive time, the number of first place votes they received has changed, oscillating from 17 to 16 and now back to 17. Interesting, too, is the allocation of the remaining top tallies.

While the University of Wisconsin-Superior garnered four first place votes in the final 2008 poll, the Yellowjackets lost two during this balloting — one to the Cardinals and the other to the resurgent Green Knights of St. Norbert, who capitalized on of a home-and-home sweep of the Milwaukee School of Engineering to rise one spot to third and siphon away the final first place vote.

After a 4-1 loss to ECAC Northeast’s Curry in the semifinals of their own Middlebury Classic, the Panthers responded with a 6-1 win over St. Anselm to salvage a third place finish. The defeat cost them a rung in the poll as they fell to fourth.

Spots five through nine were jumbled due to inopportune losses and lack of game play. University of Wisconsin-Stout, previously fifth, idled its way to sixth while St. Scholastic’s 6-2 win over Northland upped them one slot to No. 6.

After getting their wings clipped by Gustavus Adolphus, 4-1, the Elmira Soaring Eagles fell two spots to seventh, despite an impressive 4-2 home win over Neumann.

The Adrian Bulldogs continued their winning ways — they are now 11-1-1 on the season — by besting St. John’s, 5-2, to move up to No. 8. Idle Hobart fell a spot to ninth while the Hamline Pipers, who also didn’t play over the holiday break, remained at No. 10.

Despite two dominating wins over Skidmore (8-3) and Augsburg (5-2), the Oswego Lakers remained at No. 11. Ditto for No. 12 Norwich, who defeated Neumann 2-1 before upending Gustavus Adolphus, 4-3.

The Valiants from Manhattanville and Geneseo each moved up a slot (Nos. 13 and 14, respectively) after taking off the holidays. Bowdoin, who bested Salve Regina, 5-1, before falling to Salem State in overtime, 4-3, dropped two places to No. 15 to round out the poll.

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