Elmira, Norwich, Wentworth Selected for the 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship
INDIANAPOLIS--Three Eastern College Athletic Conference institutions have been selected to participate in the 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship, including Elmira College from the ECAC Men’s West, ECAC Men’s East champion Norwich University and Wentworth Institute of Technology out of the ECAC Northeast.
The 11-team championship playoff format involves three first-round games and four quarterfinal games that are played on the campuses of the participating schools. All games in the championship are single elimination. The four quarterfinal winners advance to Lake Placid, N.Y., at Herb Brooks Arena for the semifinals and championship game, which will be conducted March 16-17. The Olympic Regional Development Authority and Plattsburgh State will co-host the championship.
Elmira is an at-large selection and will travel to Oswego, N.Y., to face fellow at-large team and State University of New York Athletic Conference runner-up Oswego State in the NCAA Quarterfinals (both teams received a first-round bye) at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Soaring Eagles are 15-8-3 overall and ranked 11th in the USCHO.com national poll, while the No. 3-ranked Lakers are 22-3-2 following a 3-2 loss to Plattsburgh in the SUNYAC title game (dropping them from the top spot). Elmira is making its fifth consecutive appearance and 15th overall in the NCAA Tournament.
Top-ranked Norwich will host an NCAA quarterfinal contest on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday's Plymouth State/Wentworth first-round game. The Cadets (23-2-2) captured their 10th ECAC East Tournament title with an 11-1 thrashing of Castleton State on Saturday to earn an automatic berth into their 13th NCAA Tournament.
Wentworth (20-6-1) won the ECAC Northeast title over two-time defending conference champion Curry, 1-0, on a penalty shot goal in overtime, giving the Leopards their fifth ECAC Northeast championship. The team will travel to Plymouth State to play a first-round game on Wednesday night (7 p.m.). The Leopards, who are an automatic qualifier, are making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2004 and fifth all-time in program history. Wentworth is on the cusp of the USCHO.com rankings with 34 points in the “others receiving votes” category, coming in 16th if the poll was extrapolated.
The NCAA championship game will be streamed live on NCAA.com at 7 p.m. ET.
In 2011, St. Norbert claimed its second national championship title with a 4-3 win against Adrian College at the Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.