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College Hockey:
Weekend Rewind: RIT holds Tribute to the Troops

RIT held another overwhelmingly successful charity weekend on Friday and Saturday night against Buffalo State at the Frank Ritter Memorial Arena.

After holding the “Tigers Black Out Heart Disease” weekend against Plattsburgh, which included a sellout crowd of 2100 the first night, the Tigers held a “Salute the Troops” and a tribute to the US Armed Forces this year by wearing special camoflauge jerseys.

RIT picked up the two wins over the weekend and they also generated a total of $8,609.33 from just the jersey bid auctions, including an astounding $3,000 from Kristina Moss’ #4 jersey.

Kudos to RIT for another successful event this season and its no wonder they are able to do such a great job with the website they have set up for the jersey auctions.

Across Division III there weren’t a whole lot of unexpected results this past weekend. Bowdoin gave Middlebury fits but couldn’t quite get over the hump against the Panthers, dropping both games by a goal each. It was an encouraging sign though from the Polar Bears that maybe they still are pushing toward the NESCAC elite level after a promising season last year where they finished with their best record in years.

Norwich continued its dominant ways in the ECAC East as the Cadets rolled past Manhattanville 6-1 on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena. Although Manhattanville scored first, Norwich scored six unanswered to cruise to the win and up its streak to 33 straight unbeaten in ECAC East regular season play. Friday’s win was only the third all-time for the Cadets against Manhattanville as the Valiants have been a thorn in Norwich’s side ever since NU started up its women’s hockey program five years ago.

Nichols is now in its fourth year as a varsity women’s hockey program and the Bison have been through a lot in just four short years. They have had three different coaches already, including a change in the middle of this season with Guy Angers stepping down and Kyle Daly stepping up into the head coaching role. Even with the coaching change, this has been a season of improvement and small victories for the program.

Mandy Manopla became the first player in progam history to surpass 50 career points and with Nichols’ 3-2 overtime win at St. Michael’s on Friday night, the Bison set a new single-season high for wins with five.

Another interesting tidbit on Nichols this year is the Bison have one of the weirdest schedules I’ve ever seen in my 20 years of following college hockey. Nichols started off the season with eight straight road games and didn’t play its first home game until Dec. 6 against Wesleyan. The Bison have played just three home games so far this season and 13 on the road. However, the good news is Nichols has played its final road game of the regular season and now the Bison will have eight straight at home to close out the regular season and try and reach double digit wins for the first time in program history. It all starts this weekend against St. Anselm and UMass-Boston.

This weekend has some big matchups on tap with Gustavus Adolphus and Concordia (Minn.) finally meeting to decide the MIAC’s best. Also, Elmira hosts Plattsburgh for the first time since the 2008-09 season and a lot will be on the line as the Soaring Eagles will try to stay perfect in ECAC West play against their arch-rivals. If Plattsburgh takes three points or more, the Cardinals will be in the driver’s seat for the ECAC West regular season crown after they took three from RIT two weeks ago.

USCHO has broke out the Pairwise Comparison Rankings once again this year. These are important to keep tabs on as they show you how the top teams rank up against each other when it comes to some of the primary criteria for the NCAA Tournament including winning percentage, strength of schedule, opponent’s winning percentage, opponents’ opponents winning percentage, common opponents, and head to head.

The only factor we’re missing is the NCAA ranked teams and those rankings haven’t come out yet. The NCAA normally starts releasing those in early February so we can start gauging how the teams are stacking up with each other and who will be in and out as well as who will be playing who come NCAA Tournament time.

It’s hard to believe but we’re already closing in on the home stretch with the final month of the regular season almost upon us. Buckle up, it’s sure to be another great ride!

 

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