Lakers overtake Norwich for No. 1 spot

After months of being the second-ranked team in Division III, the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team leapfrogged Norwich University and will hold the No. 1 ranking heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Oswego State remained unbeaten in SUNYAC play this season with a 10-2 victory over SUNY Fredonia on Friday night and a 4-1 victory over Buffalo State on Saturday night, highlighted by junior forward Jon Whitelaw’s natural hat trick. At 19-2-2 overall and 12-0-2 in SUNYAC play, the Lakers hold the top spot in the latest men’s ice hockey poll for the first time since Nov. 7, 2011. Oswego State received a total of 290 points and received 10 first place votes. The Lakers close out the regular season with the annual “White Out” game against SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday and Senior Night on Saturday against SUNY Potsdam.

Norwich’s reign atop the poll ended Monday, as they dropped to No. 2 in the latest poll after losing to Skidmore College on Friday night. It was just their second loss of the season, but the Cadets rebounded to defeat Castleton College on the road the following night in a match up of top 10 teams. The Cadets received 287 points and nine first place votes in this week’s poll. Amherst moved up a spot to No. 3 and received the last remaining first place vote. The Lord Jeffs continued their winning wins by shutting out Tufts College on Saturday and defeating Connecticut College on Sunday. Amherst is 18-3-1 this season. SUNY Plattsburgh dropped down to No. 4 after being stunned by The College at Brockport on Friday night. It was the first loss for the Cardinals against the Golden Eagles. Plattsburgh kept its slim chances of winning the SUNYAC regular season title alive by beating SUNY Geneseo on Saturday night. St. Thomas remained at No. 5 to round out the top five.

St. Norbert and Castleton remained in its respective spots, coming in at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively. Adrian College and Wisconsin-River Falls flip-flopped positions, as the Bulldogs took the No. 8 spot and Wisconsin-River Falls fell to No. 9. Adrian currently sits two points ahead of Milwaukee School of Engineering in the MCHA and close out the regular season with a two-game series with Finlandia. Milwaukee School of Engineering jumped up two spots to No. 10 after defeating Lake Forest in a two-game series.

Elmira remains at No. 11 after a weekend split against Hobart College. The Soaring Eagles lead the ECAC West standings by three points over Manhattanville at 7-2-1. St. Scholastica moved up one spot to No. 12, while Utica had a tough weekend, dropping three spots down to No. 13. The Pioneers lost and tied Neumann University over the weekend. Bowdoin remains at No. 14 and Gustavus Adolphus returned to the poll at No. 15. Wisconsin-Stevens Point dropped out of the top 15 after losing to St. Norbert on Thursday.

Other teams receiving votes were Neumann, Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wentworth, Manhattanville, Middlebury, Curry, Plymouth State, Williams and Wisconsin-Superior. Men’s Poll (Feb. 13, 2012)

1. Oswego State (10)

2. Norwich (9)

3. Amherst (1)

4. Plattsburgh

5. St. Thomas

6. St. Norbert

7. Castleton

8. Adrian

9. Wisconsin-River Falls

10. Milwaukee School of Engineering

11. Elmira

12. St. Scholastica

13. Utica

14. Bowdoin

15. Gustavus Adolphus

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