MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The USCHO.com Division III Preseason Poll was released on Monday and the Bulldog men's hockey team will begin their seventh season in the seventh spot. Adrian finished 23-2-3 overall in 2012-13 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament after winning its fifth MCHA Harris Cup. The new wrinkle for 2013-14 is the newly revamped move to the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) putting to bed the six-year run with the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). The MCHA schools absorbed St. Scholastica and St. Norbert and went with keeping the NCHA intact after the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) decided to start sponsoring hockey.
The new alignment has certainly created a buzz amongst current members including Adrian. St. Norbert begins the season ranked second with two first-place votes in the national poll. The Green Knights are the biggest obstacle now from the Bulldogs competing for a seventh straight conference regular season title. Adrian won all six regular season crowns as a member of the MCHA.
UW-Eau Claire the defending national champion is on top with 12 first-place votes. Norwich checks in at No. 3 followed by Oswego State, whom beat the Bulldogs in the NCAA Quarterfinals a year ago at Arrington Ice Arena in overtime. Plattsburgh is No. 5 and Utica represents No. 6. No other school in the NCHA is ranked in the top 15.