The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team ended 2011 with a rough 3-0 shutout loss at the hands of Neumann University in the championship game of the Pathfinder Bank/Oswego Hockey Classic. It was the first time the Lakers had been shutout since Jan. 18, 2002 against RIT, who have since moved up to the Division I level. But the Lakers did receive a bit of good news to start 2012: they will remain the No. 2 team in the country for at least another week. The loss to Neumann did not hurt Oswego State in the rankings, but the comfort room between the No. 2-4 spots are slim. The Lakers did, however, lose their one first place vote from the previous poll.
The Lakers continue to look up at Norwich, who again hold the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The idle Cadets received all 20 first place votes and is the only team that has yet to lose a game among teams in the top 15. Norwich will begin its 2012 portion of the schedule with its annual tournament, the Norwich Classic, on Jan. 6. Right behind the Lakers in the No. 3 spot is archrival Plattsburgh, who again won its annual tournament, the Cardinal Classic. The Cardinals shutout Babson before edging Castleton, who dropped a spot to No. 4 in this week’s poll, in the championship game. Plattsburgh sits just 11 points behind the Lakers in the poll. Wisconsin-River Falls dropped one spot to No. 5 after splitting games against Adrian College.
St. Norbert remained at No. 6 for another week while Amherst moved up a spot to No. 7 after blanking Lake Forest on Friday. Amherst plays at Manhattanville on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Neumann move up three spots to No. 8 after winning the Pathfinder Bank/Oswego Hockey Classic with wins over Hamline University and Oswego State. Adrian dropped down two spots to No. 9 and Utica dropped one spot to No. 10 to round out the top 10.
Elmira and Milwaukee School of Engineering both dropped down a spot, coming in at No. 11 and No. 12, respectively. Williams (No.13), Wisconsin-Superior (No. 14) and Middlebury (No. 15) remained in their respective spots from the last poll.
USCHO.com Men’s Poll (Jan. 2, 2012)
1. Norwich (20)
2. Oswego State
5. Wisconsin-River Falls
6. St. Norbert
12. Milwaukee School of Engineering
14. Wisconsin-River Falls