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College Hockey:
Women’s D-III wrap: Jan.26

As the impending postseason nears, the top teams are intent on tightening up any remaining loose ends before jumping into the playoffs. For the most part, this past weekend was all about keeping said momentum.

Junior defenseman Brooke Wilgosh’s goal at 3:53 of overtime capped a successful weekend for Elmira, which remained undefeated in the tight ECAC West race. The Soaring Eagles (13-3-1, 8-0-0 ECAC-West) kept pace with No. 1 Plattsburgh following a two-game sweep of Oswego at the Campus Center Hockey Arena. The two victories away from home upped Elmira’s road record to 9-3-0. Wilgosh got helpers from the nation’s fourth leading scorer in Ashley Ryan and classmate Ashton Hogan in wrapping up the win for the visitors.

In its first week as a resident of the top 10, Utica took the brunt force of a momentum-fueled Plattsburgh team over the weekend, falling twice by way of shutouts. The records continue to topple whenever the Cardinals step on the sheet. Goalie Sydney Aveson earned her 27th career shutout in the latter game, a 2-0 win over the Pioneers. The shutdown of the Pioneers put the senior goaltender at the top of the D-III all-time list for career shutouts.

Norwich remained clean in the ECAC East standings following a pair of wins over conference opponents, Massachusetts-Boston and St. Anselm’s. The Cadets improved to 10-0-0 (14-3-0 overall) and 7-0-0 on the road as a result of a 5-1 win in Boston and a 4-0 victory in Manchester, N.H. Norwich senior Meghan Papagano, who came into the weekend looking for her first goal of the season, found that and a bit more. Papagano scored 4:20 into the first in the win over the Beacons and backed that performance with a two-goal afternoon in the victory over the Hawks. Papagano’s initial tally at 2:22 of the opening period proved to be the game-winner. The Wakefield, Mass., native closed out the scoring in the second. Papagano’s goals provided book ends for top scorer, Tori Charron, who hit on a power play midway through the first before notching her 17th score of the season late in the second.

No. 5 Wisconsin-River Falls stayed on point, if you will, taking a 4-2 win and forging back from a late 1-0 deficit to earn a 1-1 tie over visiting No. 6 Wisconsin-Stevens Point over the weekend. Dani Sibley scored for the Falcons with 2:59 remaining in regulation. Pointers goalie Janna Beilke-Skoug preserved the deadlock in overtime, making seven saves. The Falcons improved their unbeaten run to 14 games.

Goalie Annabelle Jones backstopped No. 2 Middlebury to a 4-0 win over Bowdoin at the Kenyon Arena in the series opener between the two NESCAC entities at Kenyon Arena. Saturday brought an entirely different scenario however, as the Panthers required an early third-period power-play score by Jennifer Krakower to even things up. Krakower’s goal was the lone score for the highly ranked power play unit on the afternoon in five opportunities. Jones and Bowdoin goalie Lan Crofton turned aside three and two shots respectively in the extra stanza. The 1-1 result was the third tie in the Panthers’ last six games.

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  • DR

    Miller.
    Playmaker throughout and crucial goal scorer during the last weeks of the season.
    Regular shifts, PP, PK.
    Drives opposition crazy with skating and stick work.

  • GO BIG RED

    O’Neill. Second on team in points, assists and GWG, as well as first in overall goals and power play goals with 8. If not, Polacek. RPI’s power play revolves around him.

    • guest

      Why is it O’Neill and not Miller? O’Neill is second on the team in points, assists and GWG…guess who is first?

      • Union44

        haha it’s by one point

        • Bulldog07

          The real crime is both of those guys have been destroying lately, but it’s Kearney and Little who are voter’s choice nominees for the Hobey. The very same Kearney and Little who have fallen off the face of the earth the last month!

          • Gatefan

            Those don’t really matter. McIntyre in ’09 was not a voter’s choice nominee either and still was a top 10 candidate.

  • Union Alum ’97

    I am a Union fan and I agree with you on Mello. That guy was a stud. We could not solve him. I hope to not see him and Dartmouth in the playoffs.

  • just saying

    Brian,

    I did a little research on the goalies. I looked at all league games that Kinkaid, Mello and Rondeau have played since the new year, since these games are considered “crunch time” games. Kinkaid was 14-1-1 and gave up 29 goals. Mello was 7-6-1 and gave up 31 goals and Rondeau was 10-3-1 and gave up 29. goals.

    • ECACWriter

      Kinkaid and Union have been darn near unbeatable in 2011, it’s true… but it’s not a 2011 award; it’s a recognition of season-long success. We’ll see if Kinkaid can maintain the hot hand going into the playoffs though, because he was certainly the best goalie in the league over the last couple months.

  • FD8

    Polacek; yes, I’m a bit of a homer. Especially after finding out we lit up 9 on the goaltender of the year… :P

  • Skate

    We had no trouble with Mello at the end of the season, and neither did Cornell. I would go with Rondeau

  • Hockey7

    I’d love to say Miller, or make a case for Rondeau, or call for Martin’s inclusion in the D discussion, but the numbers just aren’t there compared to the competition. No matter. It would be fitting for the #1 team in the nation (pairwise-wise, that is) not to pick up any individual honors in the conference. Yale wins with depth and consistency – and several very, very good players. (allain for Coach of the Year, perhaps?)