Norwich near unanimous No. 1; Lakers No. 2 in latest poll

A week after losing its first game of the season, Norwich University got back on track with two decisive victories in a weekend series with St. Michael’s. As a result, the Cadets again have a stranglehold on the top spot in this week’s USCHO.com Men’s Ice Hockey Poll. With a record of 13-1-1 overall, Norwich received 19 out of a possible 20 first place votes and received 299 points. The Cadets currently sit tied for first in the ECAC East with Castleton College at 9-1-0. Norwich plays a non-conference game at home on Tuesday against Middlebury.

The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team again finds itself as the No. 2 team in Division III hockey, receiving 277 points and the only other first place vote. The Lakers returned to conference play on Friday night, defeating SUNY Cortland, 5-1, at the Campus Center Ice Arena before playing their final non-conference game of the regular season against Hamilton on Saturday. Oswego State defeated the Continentals, 6-1, thanks in part to a five-goal third period at Russell Sage Rink. The Lakers head in the road for four games starting on Friday against SUNY Geneseo.

The SUNYAC has two teams in the top three, as SUNY Plattsburgh remains as the No. 3 team. The Cardinals also returned to conference play on Saturday, defeating Morrisville State College, 3-1, at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. Plattsburgh is unbeaten in its last 11 games, going 7-0-4 in those games. The Cardinals are just one point behind Oswego State for a share of the SUNYAC lead. Castleton moved up to No. 4 after defeating Southern Maine and University of New England on the road. The Spartans and Lakers share the Division III lead in wins with 14. St. Norbert was one of three teams to make the biggest jump in this week’s poll, moving up three spots to No. 5. The Green Knights swept Wisconsin-Stout on the road over the weekend.

Another team to make a three-spot jump in the poll was Adrian College, who moved up to No. 6. The Bulldogs defeated Marian on Sunday and play again on Monday. Amherst dropped down one spot to No. 7 and Wisconsin-River Falls struggled over the weekend and dropped four spots to No. 8. Wisconsin-River Falls was swept by St. Scholastica, including a 7-1 loss on Saturday. St. Thomas was the third team to move up three spots, vaulting into the top 10 at No. 9. St. Thomas swept St. Mary’s and now has a 13-3-2 overall record. Elmira College moved up one spot to No. 10.

Utica College moved up a spot to No. 11 and Williams College fell two spots to No. 12. Neumann College had the toughest week, plumeting six spots to No. 13. Just a few days after learning that they would not be eligible for postseason play after financial aid violations, the Knights were swept by Manhattanville, including a shutout loss on Friday. Milwaukee School of Engineering and St. Scholastica share the No. 14 spot this week. Gustavus Adolphus dropped out of the top 15.

Other teams receiving votes were Bowdoin, Gustavus Adolphus, Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Manhattanville, Johnson and Wales and Wentworth.
USCHO.com Men’s Poll Jan. 23

1. Norwich (19)

2. Oswego State (1)

3. Plattsburgh

4. Castleton

5. St. Norbert

6. Adrian

7. Amherst

8. Wisconsin-River Falls

9. St. Thomas

10. Elmira

11. Utica

12. Williams

13. Neumann

14. Milwaukee School of Engineering

15. St. Scholastica

Mike Kraft

Managing Editor of The Oswegonian Executive Editor of The PlayMaker & The Oswego State Men's Ice Hockey Guide Men's Ice Hockey Beat Writer 2009-Current