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College Hockey:
Women’s D-III picks: Feb. 8-9

A pair of  ECAC West clubs take to the ice to shake out the playoff seedings, while the NESCAC race becomes compelling.

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 7-8

ECAC West

No. 1 Plattsburgh at No. 3 Elmira
The definitive series of the season in regards to the ECAC West regular season title. The Soaring Eagles and Cardinals approach with healthy win streaks intact. Plattsburgh has captured nine consecutive games, while the hosts are hoping to extend their string past their current run of seven games. Both teams are humming along smoothly as the season ramps up to the playoffs. Having played just five home games this season as opposed to a dozen road contests, the Soaring Eagles welcome the home ice this time out. Plattsburgh 4-2, 2-0

NESCAC

No. 10 Amherst at Williams
The Ephs are faced with a prime opportunity to push into the top 10 and make the conference race extremely interesting over the course of the weekend.  Margaret Draper, who played in just two games before the break, has been a major contributor of the second half surge by Williams. The freshman is 5-0-0 with a pair of shutouts and a save percentage of .939 in 2014. With solid contributions up front, led by Cristina Bravi (15-12-27), the Ephs are better equipped, at this juncture of the season, to face a consistently strong Amherst defense. Four of the Jeffs losses have been to nationally ranked teams Amherst 3-1, Williams 3-2

MIAC

No. 8 St. Thomas at Bethel (home and home)
The Tommies, 8-0-2 over their last 10, have taken over the top slot in the conference and remain one of a handful of teams sporting unbeaten records in their respective conferences.  For Bethel, the opportunity to edge past second-place Gustavus Adolphus in the MIAC standings is within reach. The Royals head into play with the 10th-ranked offense, led by senior Cristina Masten. St. Thomas will counter with All-American goaltender Alise Riedel, who is second in the nation in save percentage (.954) and wins (12). Bethel 4-3, St. Thomas 3-1

Saturday, Feb. 8

WIAC

No. 7 Wisconsin-Superior at No. 5 Wisconsin- River Falls
Wis.-River-Falls outplayed the Yellowjackets in the middle period of last week’s matchup between the two rivals, resulting in a 4-1 road victory for the Falcons. Wis.-Superior garnered a 2-2 tie in the previous meeting at W.H. Hunt Arena last December. Falcons’ goalie Ashley Kuechle has fashioned a 1.62 GAA against Wis.-Superior in three meetings this season. Wis.-River Falls’ adeptness at keeping opposing offenses from going on a scoring outburst has been extremely consistent. Home team takes this one. Wisconsin-River Falls 3-1

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  • streaker

    Paula:

    Didn’t Shawn Hunwick win the best goaltender award at the CCHA Awards Banquet also? I know they left him off of the CCHA announcement, but please give him his due.

    • streaker

      Edit: That would be CCHA Goaltender of the Year.

  • If-Then-Else

    You think Miami will beat Michigan, yet Michigan is above Miami on your ballot? That would give Spock a brain hemorrhage!

    • ergo

      Not at all. Ranking ballots reflect a team’s entire oeuvre over the full season; single game picks reflect a gut feeling about who will get the better of a single contest. One could pick the top team in the country to have an off night and lose to a .500 team, but that doesn’t mean the .500 team should be ranked ahead of the top seed. She explains clearly that all four teams in the tourney are solid teams, with Miami and Mich playing exceptional hockey right now, and that she wouldn’t want to pick against either of them. But when it comes down to it, you’ve got to make a gut call, and she feels that Miami has a slightly stronger drive for the title this weekend (for my part, I hope she’s wrong…). That doesn’t erase Michigan’s superior record, earning them the higher ranking.

      • If-Then-Else

        Ergo, you are correct. Michigan has had a better season. I was looking at it from the point of view that with these 2 teams being so evenly matched (currently), by picking one over the other should be reflected in the ballot. I wasn’t looking at the entire season.

        Besides, it doesn’t really matter if she “adjusts” her ballot this week or next week. Either way, the correction will be made after the Wolvies go down either tonight or tomorrow.

  • David

    The Terry Flannagan Award is for “overcoming severe adversity” according to the story on CCHA.com.

    You should write a column bashing the CCHA for using the word adversity

    • brg

      LOL. Well said. I found last week’s rant to be a bit over the top.

    • Paula Weston

      Petovello did overcome adversity; he had to work through severe injury to get back into the game, having to overcome genuine hardship (as opposed to manufactured hardship) to play again.

      I love the Terry Flanagan Award. It honors not only young men who persevere through real adversity, but it memorializes Terry Flanagan, who lost his battle with cancer in 1991.

      • David

        Still nothing compared to what the people in Japan have to face… which is what your original gripe was about.

  • guest

    Paula you picked against us in WMU last weekend also I’m hoping that incorrect pick happens again tonight. GO BRONCOS BEAT MICHIGAN!!!!!

  • RedHawkOne

    I think Blashill was robbed of the CCHA Coach of the year. Not knocking Jackson and the job he does with ND, but turning a program around the way he’s done with Western this season is unbelievable. I want to see them send Michigan to the consolation game tonight!

    • streaker

      Agree. I think WMU had a deeper hole to climb out of this season than ND.Western returned most of the same players from a poor 2009-10, except for Balisy, Berschbach and DeKeyser. I know that if Berenson did the same thing with 10-11 freshmen, including the freshman ROTY, the argument would be.. “well.. you DO get the best players” or something along that line. Can’t say that Notre Dame’s problem was lack of talent last season, either. Blashill deserved it more even if he had a more experienced club to work with.

  • cis

    This year, Cinderella wears Brown and Gold!

  • Bronco12

    Well, the Broncos proved you wrong once again tonight. I’ll be at the Joe tomorrow cheering for a talented, hard-working team that has long-since proved that they’re more than a “Feel-good” pick.

    That being said, I have appreciated your blog MOST of the time throughout the season. So thank you for that.

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