's Dutchmen went 14-1-1 in their final 16 regular-season games to clinch the league title, while leading the nation in power-play efficiency at 29.5 percent. (Courtesy: Union College)
They rolled into Durham, New Hampshire, last Friday night ranked No. 11 in the country for an early battle with the host and perennial power UNH Wildcats.
No, it wasn't Minnesota or Denver -- or Michigan or Miami.
Rather, the Union Dutchmen from upstate Schenectady, New York, whose education program is ranked the 29th best for a college or university by Forbes Magazine.
For most of Union's hockey history, being ranked anywhere near No. 29 among the 58 Division I teams would be a good season.
Coming off an eight-year rebuilding effort by coach Nate Leaman and staff, the Dutchmen have improved the past four years from 15 to 19 to 21 to 26 wins. Last season's 26-10-4 mark propelled the program to a highest-ever No. 4 rank, a first-ever ECACHL league title, and a first-ever NCAA tournament appearance (a first-round loss to eventual champion Minnesota-Duluth.)