Two top-10 teams had slip ups in the road this past weekend with Wis.-River Falls falling for the first time this year with a loss to Wis.-Superior and Norwich tying Salve Regina 1-1 for the second straight year.
Wis.-River Falls got the monkey off its back a lot earlier this season after the Falcons finished last year undefeated during the regular season before losing two straight playoff games in the NCHA finals and the NCAA Tournament First Round. Coach Cranston’s Falcons will get a chance to get back on track real quickly though as they take on undefeated Gustavus Adolphus tonight in a matchup between the West Region’s two colossal titans that have separated themselves a bit over the past few years from the rest of the region.
For those interested in watching, you can view tonight’s western showdown here: http://athletics.blog.gustavus.edu/2011/12/06/no-6-womens-hockey-squares-off-against-no-7-uw-river-falls-tonight/
There are links to game notes, as well as live stats and live video at that link.
Wis.-River Falls will be motivated coming into tonight’s matchups for not only dropping a game to Superior this past weekend, but the Falcons will also be looking to avenge NCAA Tournament First Round losses to Gustavus Adolphus the last two seasons. The Gusties dropped the Falcons 4-1 last year at Hunt Arena and took the 2010 meeting 2-0 at the Don Roberts Ice Arena.
Gustavus Adolphus has been rolling along so far this season with Allie Schwab, Mollie Carroll, Carolyn Draayer and Lindsey Hjelm all with 10 or more points. Danielle Justice has been her usual self between the pipes with a perfect 6-0-0 record to go along with a .922 save percentage and a 1.40 goals against average.
Historically Gustavus Adolphus has been known to have a couple of hiccups in the first semester before going on a second half tear. I think UWRF takes their frustration out on Gustavus Adolphus tonight from the weekend and having their season ended the last two seasons by the Gusties with a close 3-2 win.
The other interesting result from this past weekend came from the Norwich/Salve Regina game where for the second straight season the Seahawks stymied the Cadets and forced a 1-1 tie despite being outshot 57-8. The Cadets are unbeaten in 29 straight ECAC East regular season games with a 27-0-2 record. The only team that has been able to halt their path has been Salve Regina with both of the ties coming to the Seahawks at St. George’s Rink in Middletown, R.I.
Norwich followed up the next afternoon however with a 5-0 dominating win over previously unbeaten Holy Cross to cement its hold atop the ECAC East standings. In Sunda’s game, NU senior forward Julie Fortier broke the school record for career goals by tallying the 73rd of her career in the first period to surpass Sophie Leclerc. Fortier also has a good shot at breaking the all-time points record as she now sits just 24 points shy of tying Leclerc’s all-time mark of 163.
You can view the Norwich athletics release here: http://www.norwichathletics.com/sports/wice/2011-12/releases/Holy_Cross_12-4-11
Tomorrow night we’ll have another top-10 showdown between No. 2 Norwich and No. 7 Plattsburgh. The game will be video streamed live at www.nsnsports.net/norwich and is free to anyone who wants to watch.