We’re underway with the 2009-2010 season (at least most of the teams are by now). It’s going to be tough to top last season. Neumann College, the last team into the NCAA tournament, a team that finished fourth in the ECAC West and had to play a play-in game to get into its conference playoffs, stunned the Division III world by defeating Gustavus Adolphus, another Cinderella team, to win the national title. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago that I was in the press box at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, covering the Atlantic Hockey championships but watching in amazement the Division III games from Lake Placid over the internet.
Preseason polls tend to be unsettled. Teams that finish at or near the top last season are shown respect irregardless of what their teams may look like this season. Up and coming teams get their due, and then you have the perinnial powers who tend to reload and not rebuild.
This year’s first poll is exceptionally diverse with eight teams getting at least one first place vote and a total of 27 squads getting a mention.
Stay tuned for regular weekly polls beginning November 9.