ADRIAN, Mich.--For the first time since the 2013-14 season, the Adrian College Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division III men's hockey.
In the new national polls released today, Adrian edged Northern Collegiate Hockey Association rival St. Norbert by two points (290 to 288) and three first-place votes (11-8) in the D3hockey.com panel of 20 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members. The teams shared the top spot in the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO.com), receiving identical points (290) and first-place votes (10).
Over the weekend, the Bulldogs and Green Knights had an epic two-game battle in Wisconsin as each team earned a hard-fought one-goal win. In Friday's series opener, Adrian turned a 3-2 second-period deficit into a 5-4 win as senior alternate captain Chris Leone's goal from the left point in the last 3 minutes was the difference maker. St. Norbert, however, salvaged a split of the series with a 2-1 victory despite getting outshot 32 to 15.
Previously, Adrian was top-ranked by both USCHO.com and D3hockey.com for four straight weeks in 2014 from Jan. 6-27.
Statistically-speaking, the Bulldogs also own Division III top marks in winning percentage (.861, 15-2-1), victories (15), scoring margin (+3.44) and scoring offense (5.44 goals per game). Individually, sophomore center Mathew Thompson leads the nation with four game-winning goals, freshman center Connor Armour paces rookies with 22 assists and 25 points, and freshman goalie Kevin Entmaa tops Division III with a 1.000 win-percentage (9-0)--the only unbeaten netminder currently on the NCAA men's side all-Divisions who has played at least 33 percent of his team's games.
From Oct. 31 to Jan. 22, Adrian won 12 games in a row as part of a 16-game unbeaten streak--both bests during second-year head coach Adam Krug tenure. Those marks also were once the longest in the nation this season.
Adrian will have its hockey alumni weekend on Friday (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday (3:05 p.m.) when the Bulldogs host NCHA opponent Lawrence University at Arrington Ice Arena.