Some random D-III observations:
East Meets West
Thanksgiving tournaments saw three teams crossing the “border” to play some out-of-region games. UW-Stout bussed 1,300 miles to Northfield, VT to play in the Primelink Tournament, while Salem State and Buffalo State went West. The Vikings were in Duluth participating in the St. Scholastica tournament while the Bengals bussed to Adrian, MI to play Adrian and Concordia. Buffalo State’s trip to Michigan was actually shorter than a league game in Plattsburgh (345 miles to Adrian compared to 371 miles to Platty).
The East came out on top, four games to two. Buffalo State and Salem State split their games against Western foes (the biggest news was the Vikings’ 3-0 win over Then-Number-One St. Norbert). UW-Stout had a miserable weekend, losing 9-1 to Norwich and 7-3 to Middlebury.
Rise and Fall
A pair of teams crashed and burned in the USCHO.com Division III Poll recently. Back on Nov. 23, Manhattanville was ranked fourth, and UW-Stout was seventh in the nation. After both teams were swept in convincing fashion, the Nov. 30 poll saw Stout out of the Top 15, while Manhattanville dropped to 11th. Following another bad weekend, and both squads are now completely out of the poll, not garnering a single vote between them.
Salem State defeated top-ranked St. Norbert 3-0 on November 28. Westfield State, in just its second varsity season, tied Salem State a week later. The Owls are turning some heads at 6-1-2. They have some big non-conference games at Amherst and Fredonia to start 2010.