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Women’s D-III wrap: March 2

The NESCAC was the focal point for a pair of major upsets, while other favorites were taken to the brink in similar fashion.

NESCAC
Top-seeded Middlebury’s bid to return to familiar territory, an NCAA tournament slot, came to an unforeseen halt at the hands of unheralded Connecticut College in the NESCAC quarterfinals Saturday at Kenyon Arena. Justina Germano capped the significant victory with her third goal of the season at 10:00 of overtime. The No. 4 Panthers ran up a sizzling 14-0-3 record in conference, but must now rely on an at-large bid for an opportunity to suit up again. Middlebury held a 40-20 shots-on-goal advantage over the eighth-seeded Camels, who received a strong performance from junior keeper Kelsie Fralick.  The Panthers failed to connect on all nine power-play chances afforded them. Fralick stopped six Panthers shots in the OT. Middlebury’s leading scorers, Emily Fluke (14-13-27) and Katie Sullivan (12-11-23), did not dress for the Panthers. The Camels, who trudged through a 4-9-3 conference record this season, posted one victory over a previously ranked club, a 5-4 triumph at home against Amherst. Connecticut College’s most significant road win of the year arrived in its last regular season game against Williams.

Outshot 45-10, seventh-seeded Colby slipped past second-seed Amherst, 3-2. Freshman Jess Barkley’s marker with 1:18 left in regulation, with helpers by Delaney Flynn and Samantha Slotnick, guaranteed the Mules a semifinal date with Bowdoin next week.

Positive results in the quarterfinals did not play out angst-free for Williams, as Hanna Beattie’s goal midway through the final period stood as the deciding marker. Trinity (5-6-5) had knotted the score at 2-2 just 36 seconds earlier on a tally by Lauren Glynn. The Bantams came into the postseason with a 0-2-4 record in their last six outings. The Ephs remain the lone team in the upcoming semifinals with a winning record in NESCAC play.

ECAC East
Torrie Charron scored both goals for No. 3 Norwich, including the game-winner in overtime as the top-seeded Cadets prevailed 2-1 over a tenacious Massachusetts-Boston squad in the semifinals of the ECAC East tournament on Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena. Norwich goalie Taylor Fairchild was nearing what would have been her fifth shutout of the season before Samantha Fallon’s score at 18: 16 of the third altered the complexion of the game. Charron’s winning score at 6:20 of the extra period gave her 25 goals for the season.

Castleton, a 5-1 victor over second-seeded Salve Regina, earned its first trip to the conference championship in program history and will head to Norwich next weekend in hopes of gaining an automatic NCAA bid.

WIAC
Wisconsin-Stevens Point got the best of Wisconsin-Superior in a pair of defensive struggles on home ice. The No. 6 Pointers took 2-1 and 1-0 victories over the Yellowjackets. Megan Menotti made good on a power-play opportunity with 49 seconds remaining in regulation for the game-winner in game two. Janna Beilke-Skoug finished with 54 stops in the two-game set for the Pointers, who will face Wisconsin-River Falls for the O’Brien Cup next Saturday in River Falls.

MIAC
No. 7 St. Thomas fired 51 shots on Concordia goalie Madison Denny, but required a score from the stick of Hannah Bird in overtime to secure a 4-3 win.

Women’s D-III picks: Feb.28-March. 1

Saturday, March 1

ECAC-East (semifinals)

Massachusetts-Boston at Norwich
The Cadets ran off five consecutive scores from the opening faceoff in a convincing victory over the Beacons in Boston earlier in the season. The Beacons are 9-4-2 since the semester break, but haven’t carved out a win against a ranked team this season. Norwich 6-1

Castleton at Salve Regina
Three weeks ago, the Seahawks and Spartans battled to a scoreless deadlock on Salve’s home ice. Castleton ranks ninth in the nation in defense, while the Salve club holds the same rank in offensive output. Castleton goalie Paula Stephens has played nearly 1,300 minutes this season, recording four shutouts in her last seven starts. Salve’s Sarah Markey and Michaela Chiuccariello are a dangerous power play duo, having combined for 11 goals while skating with an advantage.  The Spartans are playing in only their second semifinal game in program history, while the Seahawks are making their first foray this deep in the playoffs. Scoring opportunities will be at a premium in this one. Salve Regina 2-1

MIAC (semifinals)

Bethel at Gustavus Adolphus
The two clubs closed out the regular season last week with a home-and-home set, each team gaining a road victory. There’s is little wiggle room between the two clubs in terms of statistics. The Golden Gusties rank second nationally in power-play efficiency at 92.4 percent, while the visiting Royals check in third at a 91.4 percent rate. Across the board, similarities are constant. This matchup features a trio of outstanding forwards in Bethel’s Cristina Masten and Lindsay Burman and GA’s Allison Eder-Zdechlik. Postseason experience wins this time. Gustavus Adolphus 4-3

Friday, Feb. 28; Saturday, March. 1

WIAC (Semifinals)

Wisconsin-Superior at Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Wis.-Stevens Point jumps into the series following an unbeaten string of seven games to close out the regular season. Wis.-Superior took a narrow 3-2 defeat on friendly ice at the hands of St. Scholastica to conclude the season. Little has been settled in terms of a clear favorite in the series, as the teams have met on four previous occasions, resulting in a pair of low-scoring ties and a narrow victory for each club. Wisconsin-Stevens Point 2-1, 3-2

Women’s D-III wrap: Feb. 24

Except for a few instances, the final week of the regular season played out true to form. Such was the case for the ECAC East, which jump-started conference playoff action.

ECAC West
Elmira’s sweep of Neumann and Plattsburgh’s back-to-back shutout wins over Oswego allowed both clubs to gain a share the ECAC West regular season title. Elmira senior Tanis Lamoureux, who had three assists on the weekend, concluded the regular season with a single-season high of 23 helpers.  Cardinals’ goalie Sydney Aveson shutdown of the Lakers gave her 13 shutouts for the season.

ECAC East (first round)
Second-seed Salve Regina’s 5-0 win over Plymouth (5-19-2, 3-11-2 ECAC East), served as the first playoff win on home ice in program history. Shannon Coleman’s marker, 6:23 into the opening period, proved to be the decisive goal. The result advances the Seahawks to the quarterfinal round of the ECAC East playoffs. Salve freshmen goalie Colleen Marcik’s 18-save performance was the first shutout for the Seahawks since freshman Rebecca Simmons whitewashed Manhattanville, 1-0, on March 7, 2009.

Madyson Moore registered a pair of goals and an assist and defenseman Kayla Parsons finished with four helpers as Norwich overwhelmed New England College, 8-1, in the postseason opener for the No. 4 Cadets.

Massachusetts-Boston got the best of host Manhattanville in a 3-0 result. Defenseman Kelsey MacIsaac’s goal in the opening period held up as the game-winner. Junior goalie Moe Bradley made 17 stops in gaining her fourth shutout of the year.

Nicoline Jensen’s goal 2:48 into the first period propelled Castleton to a 1-0 triumph over Southern Maine. The Spartans advanced to the semifinals for the second time in program history. Jensen paced Castleton in scoring with 32 points in 26 games this season. The Huskies, who lost their last four outings heading into the matchup with Castleton, were held to just two shots on goal in the third period. Junior Paula Stephens copped her fourth shutout of the season in the win.

WIAC
Crysta Lowell’s mid-third-period tally helped Wisconsin-River Falls garner its fifth consecutive win in a 4-1 result over Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Falcons, who earned the top seed in the upcoming O’Brien Cup, improved to 8-2-2 in conference action.

NCHA
St. Thomas put the finishing touches on the regular season crown, but needed a modicum of assistance from Bethel, which topped Gustavus Adolphus 1-, thus denying the Golden Gusties a share of the conference title. The Tommies finished 14-2-2, while Gustavus Adolphus closed out with a 14-4-0 slate.

D-III at Sochi
Molly Schaus, Team USA backup goalie and goaltending coach at Massachusetts-Boston started one game at the Sochi Olympics; posting a shutout in a 9-0 rout of Switzerland in preliminary round action.

St. Scholastica’s Nina Waidacher averaged 6:36 of ice time for Bronze Medalists, Switzerland at the Sochi Games. The Saints junior forward, finished with three shots on goal to go with -4 rating.

Women’s D-III picks: Feb. 21-22

It’s the final weekend of the regular season in some conferences, while conference playoffs get going in others.

 Saturday, Feb. 22

ECAC East Tournament

No. 8 New England College (3-13-0) at No. 1 Norwich (16-0-0)
The Pilgrims failed to score a goal in two regular season meetings with the Cadets.  A 3-1 upset of Southern Maine earlier this month marked the lone victory for NEC in its last seven games of the season. The Cadets are proficient with an extra skater, ranking third in the nation with a 30.1 success percentage, while the Pilgrims, who have dropped 16 consecutive road games dating back to last season, are second in the nation in average penalty minutes per game. Cadets will take full advantage of any NEC miscues in a first-round triumph. Norwich 6-0

No.5 Massachusetts-Boston (7-8-1) at No. 4 Manhattanville (6-7-3)
Junior forwards Sydney Asselstine and Alla Traun have combined for 10 of the Valiants 15 power-play goals during the regular season. Down the stretch, however, specialty teams have had sporadic results at 4-of-23 in the last five games. The Beacons, who enjoyed a seven-game unbeaten run in early November, have since taken the roller coaster path to the postseason. The Valiants have played at a .500 level on home ice. Massachusetts-Boston 3-2

No. 6 Southern Maine (7-9-0) at No. 3 Castleton (9-5-2)
At 1-8 over their last nine outings, the Huskies have free-fallen from the ranks of the conference standings. USM has managed to find the net just four times in as many games. By contrast, the Spartans have registered four or more goals 10 times this season. Castleton’s lone loss to a conference opponent at home came at the hands of top-seeded Norwich last November. Castleton 5-2

No. 7 Plymouth (3-11-2) at No. 2 Salve Regina (10-5-1)
Head coach Michael Cox, now in his eighth season with the Seahawks, has piloted his club to a program-best winning percentage of .680. Salve has not lost a home game on friendly ice since early in the first half of the season. Cox’s club has benefited from a balanced scoring attack, as 14 players have scored goals. On the defensive side, the Seahawks have received quality starts from freshman goalie Colleen Marcik. The Panthers fell 4-3 in the only meeting between the two clubs. Salve Regina 4-1

NCHA

 St. Scholastica at St. Norbert
The Saints swept a weekend series on Green Knights’ ice in the first half of the schedule. St. Norbert has an optimum postseason seeding at stake and could swap slots with second-place Lake Forest, providing the Foresters fall to Concordia (Wis.) and Marian on consecutive nights. St. Norbert gets the green light. St. Norbert 4-3

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 21-22

MIAC

Gustavus Adolphus at Bethel (home-and-home)
The Golden Gusties’ penalty-killing performance ranks just behind Plattsburgh in efficiency, while Bethel checks infourth in the nation at 90.9. Sophomore goalies Lindsey Hibbard of Gustavus Adolphus and Erika Allen of Bethel are among the conference’s leading netminders. A matchup between high-profile scorers Cristina Masten of Bethel and Allison Eder-Zdechlik of Gustavus Adolphus is one to watch. The Royals require a pair of wins and assistance from St. Benedict, who will take on St. Thomas, to have an opportunity to secure the MIAC regular season title. Bethel 4-3, Gustavus Adolphus 3-2

Women’s D-III wrap: Feb. 17

A number of conference races are yet to be resolved, as recent action left questions unanswered.

ECAC West
No significant movement transpired at the top of the conference, as No. 1 Plattsburgh and No.3 Elmira kept pace. The Cardinals overwhelmed Chatham 12-1 and 5-2 in a weekend series, while the Soaring Eagles took a pair of road wins over host Cortland (1-12-1). Oswego, on the strength of a six-game win streak, has advanced to third place with a 10-3-1 conference record. Backed by a solid performance from goalie Bridget Smith, the Lakers topped visiting Utica by identical 2-1 scores over the weekend. Oswego entered the weekend one point ahead of the Pioneers in the ECAC West standings, but currently enjoys a five-point cushion over Utica (8-6-0), which has fallen to fifth place. Potsdam (7-4-3) remains in fourth.

ECAC East
Norwich (No.3) put the finishing touches on a successful weekend, taking down New England College (4-0) and Castleton (4-0) in the process. In Rhode Island, Salve Regina continues to make its presence felt following 3-0, home victories over Manhattanville and Nichols. The Seahawks, 3-1-1 in the month of February, have secured a second seed for the upcoming playoffs, edging out third-place Castleton by one point.

NESCAC
Williams gave unbeaten No.2 Middlebury all it could handle in a crucial weekend home-and-home series. Friday night in Vermont, the Ephs’ Hanna Beattie connected on a power-play goal at 3:54 of the third period, evening the contest at 2-2. The Panthers however, used a holding call by the Ephs at 16:46 as a springboard to collect the game-winner with 2:45 remaining in regulation. Jennifer Krakower beat Williams goalie Chloe Billadeau for the decisive tally. With Billadeau pulled, sophomore forward Michaela Levine’s game-tying bid, with a near open net with 42 ticks left was turned aside by a quickly recovering Panthers goalie Annabelle Jones. Saturday at the Lansing Chapman Rink, Jones and Billadeau were front and center again in a 1-1 tie. Jones (12-0-4) finished with 22 saves and Billadeau had 24 in a tightly played defensive contest. Cristina Bravi’s unassisted score late in the first held up for the home team until the Panthers’ Pam Schulman evened the festivities up at 17:26 in the third with helpers from Katie Mandigo and Madeline Joyce. Williams remains a point behind second-place Amherst in the conference with two games remaining in the regular season.

MIAC
The status quo at the top of the MIAC standings remained as St. Thomas and Gustavus Aldolphus battled to a weekend split in a home-and-home set. Following a 3-1 loss on Saturday, Gustavus fell to 13-3-0 in the MIAC, while the Tommies, who lost by a 3-1 final the previous night, upped their record 12-2-2 in league play.  St. Thomas will engage in their final regular season series with a home-and-home series with St. Benedict, while the Gusties take on Bethel.

Women’s D-III picks: Feb. 14-15

As expected at this juncture in the season, jousting for conference seeding leaps to the forefront. For a number of teams on the periphery, this is not the time to falter.

Friday, Feb. 14

ECAC East

Manhattanville at Salve Regina
Living under the radar in the first half of the season, the surprising Seahawks ran off a string of nine unbeaten games since mid-January before falling to St. Anselm on the road last weekend in a 2-1 final. With two games remaining, Salve Regina (8-5-1) currently ranks third among the D-III schools in conference play with 17 points. Castleton, whuch faces off against Norwich in its final outing of the season, is a point ahead with an 8-4-2 slate. A win over the Valiants and a subsequent victory over Nichols the following night is a must for the Seahawks in order to gain a loftier seed. Salve took a 3-2 road win in the lone meeting between the clubs, last January. Salve Regina 4-2

Saturday, Feb. 15

NCHA

Adrian at Lake Forest
Embroiled in a four-team jam in the conference, the result, barring a tie, would slide the winning team into second place behind current top seed St. Scholastica. This will be the third meeting between the two teams at the Alumni Memorial Rink. The season-opening series for both teams resulted in a split. The Foresters enjoy the largest goal differential in the NCHA, while Adrian forward Kelsey Kusch is the leading scorer in the nation. A friendly rink takes it in tight battle. Lake Forest 4-3

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 14-15

MIAC

No. 8 St. Thomas at No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus (home-and-home)
Deadlocked at the top of the conference standings with 24 points apiece; this series is poised to be the tipping point in deciding the regular season champion. The Tommies watched a 10-game unbeaten string come to a halt last weekend in a 5-3 road loss to Bethel. The Gusties recovered nicely from a pair of upset wins by St. Benedict in sweeping St. Catherine in a home-and-home last weekend. St. Thomas goalie Alise Riedel and counterpart Lindsey Hibbard of Gustavus Adolphus are both ranked among the top eight goaltenders in the nation. Gustavus Adolphus 4-2, St. Thomas 3-2

NESCAC

No. 2, Middlebury at Williams (home-and-home)
Middlebury has a relatively comfortable advantage at the head of the NESCAC standings, while the Ephs hold a skinny, one-point edge over No. 10 Amherst. Williams, 0-2-1 against ranked teams, will need a big weekend from leading scorer Cristina Bravi and her linemates this time out to overcome the Panthers. Middlebury 5-3, 2-1

Women’s D-III wrap: Feb. 10

Then there were two. An undoubtedly tumultuous weekend played out for a number of NCAA tournament hopefuls, resulting in blemishes on the record of three top-10 squads.

ECAC West
Plattsburg and No. 3 Elmira took turns knocking each other from the ranks of ECAC West teams in search of clean slates. The No.1 Cardinals, despite having an advantage in shots on goal by a 37-24 margin in the opener of the weekend series, could not overcome a late first period goal by the Soaring Eagles Cassidy Delaine in a 2-0 loss. Elmira’s triumph marked the first time the Cardinals have allowed a multi-goal game. Elmira goaltender Lisa Marshall withstood a Plattsburgh offensive rush in the third in facing 14 shots by the visitors. On Saturday, an extremely high-powered effort by the Cardinals came to the forefront in a 58-shot, 2-1 overtime victory.

MIAC
Erin Harper’s breaking of an 11-game, personal goalless string did not bode well for visiting St. Thomas in the opening game of a weekend series with Bethel. Harper, a sophomore defenseman, tapped home a rebound early in the final period that ultimately held up as the game-winner in a 5-3 defeat of the previously unbeaten Tommies, who were 10-0-2 MIAC action. Courtney Umland’s notched the deciding goal in the return matchup on Saturday in a tight 3-2 victory by St. Thomas. Bethel remains four points in arrears to Gustavus Adolphus and St. Thomas, who are both tied with 24 points at the head of the conference.

NESCAC
No. 2 Middlebury took a pair from pesky Connecticut College by scores of 3-2 and 3-0. In the opener, the Panthers were taken to the hilt when Courtney Dumont beat Middlebury goalie Annabelle Jones with 5:54 left in the third. Sara Ugalde broke the deadlock with under a minute to go in the OT, providing the Panthers with a fourth consecutive win. Jones turned away all 22 bids by the Camels the following day in upping her season record to 11-0-3.

ECAC East
Both game-winning goals in Norwich’s successful road trip came as a result of the Cadets’ power play unit. At the Terry Connors rink in Stamford, Conn., Friday, Norwich (No. 4) received a two-goal performance from Vanessa Champagne on the way to a 5-1 win over the Valiants. Champagne connected on the decisive tally early in the third period while her club was skating with an advantage. Taylor Cross did the game-winning honors the next afternoon in a 3-0 whitewash of Nichols, scoring on a power play at 14:06. The Bisons were outshot 58-15 in the loss. Overall, Norwich hit on three of seven power play chances for the weekend. The Cadets moved into third nationally with an efficiency rate of 28.7 percent. On the other side of the ledger, Norwich has killed off 13 of its last 15 short-handed disadvantages. The Cadets are one of six teams nationally that sport a PK percentage at 90 percent or over.

WIAC
Junior defenseman Kendal Evenson provided No. 5, Wisconsin-River Falls with the conclusive goal in a 3-2 win over No.7 Wisconsin-Superior. In a matchup between two of the nation’s top goaltenders, the Falcons’ Ashley Kuechle prevailed, finishing with 23 stops. Yellowjackets senior Shanley Peters made 33 saves in taking the loss. The Falcons improved to 3-0-1 in head-to-head contests against Superior this year.

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

Women’s D-III wrap: Feb. 3

As is the norm at this juncture in the schedule, the postseason structure begins to take on a semblance of order. Nevertheless, there are always a few unheralded teams willing to upset the applecart. Such was the case this week in both the NESCAC and MIAC. Consistency overcame unforeseen upsets however, as five teams (Norwich 12-0-0, ECAC East, Elmira 10-0-0 ECAC West, Plattsburgh 10-0-0, ECAC West, St. Thomas 10-0-2, MIAC, and Middlebury 9-0-3, NESCAC) stayed unbeaten in conference play, enhancing their respective chances at securing a No. 1 seed for the upcoming playoffs.

Ephs serve notice to NESCAC
A year ago, Williams stumbled to a seventh place finish in the always competitive NESCAC, compiling a 9-15-1 (5-10-1 NESCAC) record. Entering 2013-14 with only two winning seasons since the 2005-06 campaign (71-114-12 overall), the Ephs rolled out to a rather aggravating 3-5-0 start. Since the semester break however, Williams, led by third-year coach Meghan Gillis, had made an exemplary about face. With a sweep over formerly ranked Bowdoin this week, the Ephs advanced their slate to 8-1-1 in 2014.  Consequently, No. 9 Amherst’s split with Connecticut College (3-6-3 NESCAC) provided Williams with a three-point advantage over the Jeffs in the race for second place in the conference. Leading scorer Cristina Bravi (15-12-27) has collected 12 points in her last six games for Williams. Teammate Hanna Beattie, who leads the conference in scoring among freshman (7-14-21), is currently in the midst of a seven-game point streak. The Ephs last exceeded the .500 mark by going 12-11-2 in 2009-10 under coach Marissa O’Neil. O’Neil, now with Bowdoin, and Gillis, were teammates when they skated for the Polar Bears from 2003 to 2005.  With only six games left in the regular season, all of which are conference matchups, Gillis’ club is within reach of securing home ice for the quarterfinals of NESCAC playoffs, beginning Saturday, March 1.

Blazers monumental weekend
St. Benedict freshman Katie Cristan’s first collegiate goal midway through the third period of Saturday’s game with visiting Gustavus Adolphus stamped an exclamation point on what was unquestionably the utmost meaningful weekend in program history. With the embers still smoldering from the previous afternoon, (an upset 4-2 victory over the No. 7 Gusties), Cristan’s marker at 11:56 in the third unlocked a 2-2 stalemate and served as the jumping off point to a 4-2 triumph. The Blazers improved to 3-9-0 in the MIAC. Cristan had a run of 11 scoreless games before striking for the monumental goal. Coming into the matchup, Gustavus Adolphus had not been swept in conference play since 2003-04. St. Thomas moved past the Gusties in the standings with a pair of wins over Augsburg in a home-and-home set.

Cadets looking to run table in ECAC East
Following consecutive 4-0 wins over Southern Maine and Plymouth State, No. 4, Norwich (17-3-0, 12-0-0 ECAC East) ran its win streak to eight games. With the positive results, the Cadets closed to within one victory of securing the No. 1 seed for the conference playoffs. Leading scorer Tori Charron had two goals in Friday’s win over the Huskies, giving her 19 for the season and 99 for her career. Norwich held a significant advantage in shots on goal in both weekend contests, going 33-5 over Southern Maine and 50-4 against the Panthers.

NCHA playoff seeds in question
In an uncharacteristic low-scoring affair, St. Scholastica pulled out a 1-0 win over host No. 10 Adrian Friday night. Saints freshman goalie Lindsey Hartfiel finished with 39 stops in gaining her ninth win and third shutout of the season. Adrian outshot St. Scholastica 39-13. The Saints were without Nina Waichader for the second game, as the Olympian joined her Swiss teammates in Sochi last week. Weekend action left a logjam at the head of the NCHA standings. Adrian (10-4-0), St. Scholastica (9-3-2) and Lake Forest (9-3-2) are deadlocked with 20 points; St. Norbert is a point behind.

Women’s D-III picks: Jan. 31-Feb. 1

The WIAC provides the feature game as a pair of top 10 teams clash, while the NCHA gets second billing as exiting and combustible offensive units hit the ice.

Friday, Jan. 31

ECAC East

Southern Maine at No. 4 Norwich
Norwich junior goalie Taylor Fairchild is a clean 4-0-0 at Kreitzberg Arena. On the other side of the ledger, the Huskies have had visible difficulty putting the puck in the net, as evidenced by a total of four goals in their last five contests. Two weeks ago in Gorham, the Cadets narrowly outshot their hosts 18-17 in a 2-1 win, in which Norwich leading scorer Tori Charron was held pointless for only the fourth time this season. Norwich 4-1

NCHA

St. Scholastica at No.10 Adrian
Adrian has reeled of 10 consecutive wins since its last loss, a 7-3 thrashing by St. Scholastica on the Saints’ home ice last Nov. 23. For a majority of the first half of the season, the Saints offense, led by the Waidacher trio, topped the nation in scoring. Since the calendar flipped to 2014 however, the Saints have struggled. In a three-game stretch earlier this month with WIAC opponents, the Saints suffered three shutouts. The top three scorers in the nation will be featured, with Adrian’s Kelsey Kusch (18-18-36) and the Saints duo of Nina (22-14-36) and Isabel Waidacher (15-21-36). Adrian’s second half consistency and scoring strength take this one. Adrian 5-2

Saturday, Feb. 1

ECAC West

Potsdam at No.1 Plattsburgh
Potsdam freshman forward Jordan Ott has collected seven points in her last three games, and is among the leading freshman point scorers in the nation. And while the Bears hold a healthy .625 win percentage away from home, taking out the Cardinals, who have allowed two tallies in nine home games, would be monumental. Plattsburgh 6-0

WIAC

No. 5 Wisconsin-River Falls at No. 8 Wisconsin-Superior
St. Thomas short-circuited the Falcons 14-game unbeaten streak Wednesday night, taking a 2-1 victory. WRF nabbed a 5-2 win over the Yellowjackets’ last November, but senior goalie Shanley Peters has pieced together an outstanding second half for Wis.-Superior. Peters, on point for her career best campaign, rolled out four consecutive shutouts in her last four starts. Peters’ counterpart at the opposite end of the rink, senior Ashley Kuechle, is currently on a six-game unbeaten run as well. Wisconsin-Superior 5-4

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