NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich women’s ice hockey team will start the 2011-12 season the same place they finished last year’s campaign, on top of the rest of the Division III world.
The Cadets received 14 of the possible 15 first-place votes in the United States College Hockey Online.com (USCHO) Preseason Poll that was released on Monday. NU finished with 145 points which easily outdistanced Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) who was second with 135 points.
Norwich upset R.I.T. 5-2 in last year’s Division III National Championship game in Rochester, N.Y. to claim the program’s first title in just its fourth year as a varsity program. NU finished 25-4-1 overall and went unbeaten in ECAC East play with a 17-0-1 record.
Middlebury was third with 110 points, followed by Plattsburgh State (105 points) and Wisconsin-River Falls (70 points) completing the top five. Amherst, Gustavus Adolphus, Manhattanville, Trinity (Conn.)and Elmira rounded out the rest of the poll.
Northfield, Vt. will be the place to be on Oct. 28 and 29 as four of the nation’s top 10 teams will be in action at Kreitzberg Arena as the Cadets host the 2nd annual East/West Hockey Classic. The star-studded field includes the top two ranked teams in Norwich and R.I.T., as well as No. 8 Manhattanville and No. 10 Elmira.
R.I.T. and Manhattanville kick things off on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by Norwich hosting Elmira at 7 p.m. The Cadets will also raise their 2011 National Championship banner before the start of their game on Friday. Saturday’s action will feature Elmira taking on Manhattanville at 3 p.m., followed by the highly anticipated national championship rematch at 6 p.m. between R.I.T. and Norwich.
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