Top ten stories of 2012
By Matthew Webb
2013 is here and the second semester is set to erupt in full in just a few hours. As always, the heart of the Division III season will serve up plenty to talk about as things ultimately climax with the Men's Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y. and its women's counterpart in Superior, Wis.
As the full heft of the season bears down upon us, we take one more look back at everything 2012 had to offer as not only was it a rather lively calendar year, but the 2011-12 season also marked the first for D3hockey.com.
Thus, without further ado and before the second semester heats up for good, we present our top ten Division III hockey stories of 2012:
10. New faces in NCAAs
2012 brought a bit of change on the national scene as not one, not two, but three teams made their first ever appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Two came on the men's side as both Plymouth State and MSOE entered the fray for the first time. Plymouth State earned its berth by claiming the first MASCAC bid in history with a thrilling 5-4 win over Salem State in the MASCAC championship game. Then, in a bit of a twist, despite being a lower seed than first round NCAA opponent and ECAC Northeast champion Wentworth, a scheduling conflict at Matthews Arena allowed the Panthers to host their first tournament game, though they ultimately fell 3-1 to the visiting Leopards.
MSOE earned its first bid in school history and became the first team in the MCHA other than Adrian to represent the league in the NCAAs with a 4-3 overtime win over the Bulldogs in the MCHA Harris Cup finals. In the opening round the Raiders had to travel to face Gustavus Adolphus where, like Plymouth State, they came out on the short end of a 3-1 decision.
The final newcomer to the NCAA scene came on the women's side as Pool C recipient Concordia-Moorhead snuck in as the last team in the field. Its reward was a trip to Rochester, N.Y. to face the top-ranked Tigers. Despite leading 2-1 after one period and being tied 2-2 after two, the Cobbers fell short as the host Tigers rattled off three third period goals en route to a 5-2 win.
9. Top women's coaches move on to Division I
Last offseason brought plenty of changes on the coaching...[read more]