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College Hockey:
Women’s D-I wrap: Dec. 5

Yale’s biggest season success comes off ice in White Out for Mandi
On the ice, the Yale Bulldogs are having a season that they’d just as soon forget. After dropping a pair of home contests to Princeton and Quinnipiac, Yale’s mark for the year dipped to 1-14. Over the weekend however, the Bulldogs also paid homage to one of their own that they’ll likely never forget.

On Friday, Yale held its second annual White Out for Mandi. The event raised at least $18,000 to benefit the Mandi Schwartz Foundation through an auction and other sales and contributions. The charitable organization, named in honor of the former Yale player whose valiant fight against acute myeloid leukemia ended eight months ago, provides support to youth hockey players with cancer.

Yale is also planning a drive to enlist more marrow donors, tentatively in April.

So near, but yet so far
Lindenwood nearly secured its first point against a D-I opponent on Saturday. The Lions were only 78 seconds away from an overtime tie at Syracuse when Nicole Ferrara scored to give the Orange a 2-1 victory. The Lions struck first; when Caitlyn Post connected on the power play at 1:47 of the third period, it was the first time all season they held the lead in a D-I game.

With only three meetings remaining against full-time D-I competition, all ranked opponents, with Mercyhurst twice plus North Dakota, it is unlikely that losing streak will end this year. At least Lindenwood served notice of its intent to battle in the CHA next season by extending its future conference rival beyond 60 minutes.

The Lakers sail right along
After No. 6 Mercyhurst graduated six seniors that had collectively accrued 915 points while at Erie, questions abounded as to the caliber of skaters that coach Mike Sisti would be able to put on the ice. The Lakers dropped two of their first three games, hinting at negative answers to those questions, before Sisti’s charges tabled any talk of impending doom by rattling off a nine-game winning streak. However, the game that ended the streak on Friday, a 5-4 defeat at the hands of No. 3 Cornell, was the first indication that this year’s edition of Mercyhurst hockey may actually exceed last year’s star-studded cast. The Lakers enjoyed 2-0 and 3-1 leads before the Big Red rallied and won on Laura Fortino’s goal with two and a half minutes to play.

Saturday saw MC start a new winning streak, spotting Cornell the first goal, exploding for the next four, and claiming a 5-2 victory. The Lakers look to be rolling as they head to Boston College for a series with huge NCAA tournament implications.

Weekend results
In another series matching top-10 opponents, No. 2 Minnesota put away No. 5 North Dakota early on Friday and won, 7-2; UND took the rematch, breaking a scoreless duel early in the final period and adding a pair of last-minute goals for a 3-0 shutout. Seventh-ranked, but wounded, Boston University fell twice on the road at Northeastern and Providence before salvaging the back half of a home-and-home with the Friars. Meanwhile, two of the more enigmatic teams in Hockey East met in Orono, where No. 4 Boston College needed overtime to vanquish Maine on Saturday and had to wait for 58:32 on Sunday before Blake Bolden netted the game’s only goal.

Offense discovered
In the most recent game predictions on this blog, I hypothesized that Clarkson’s offense was buried in the deep freeze. That was intended as a little fun at the expense of the Golden Knights, who had scored as many as three goals but once in their last 10 games. They demonstrated over the weekend that the joke is actually on me, striking for 16 goals in two victories, matching their output from those previous 10 matches. It could have been worse; I could have predicted that Clarkson would lose.

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