In its first season of existence, the CHA, with the exception of ninth-ranked Mercyhurst, has been struggling against non-conference opposition of late.
The Lakers have put together the nation’s fifth-best record while ranking ninth in both the Pairwise Rankings and this week’s USCHO poll. They are easily the class of the conference at this point.
The fact that they have one of the nation’s top goalies in senior Tiffany Ribble, who leads the country in save percentage (.932) and is second in goals against average (1.35), is one of the main factors in Mercyhurst’s success.
Wayne State, after a 5-5-0 start to the season, has lost seven games in a row, its last six coming to non-conference foes. The Warriors’ three-goal game in Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Minnesota State was just the second game this season in which they have scored at least three times against a Division I opponent.
A trio of players lead Wayne State in goals but have notched just four each. The Warriors most noticeable struggles have come on the power play, where they have converted on just three-of-83 attempts, including an anemic 1-for-72 against Division I opponents.
Findlay has posted a 9-12-1 record but is 0-7-0 against ranked teams and is just 2-4-0 since the start of the new year. Nevertheless, it has already surpassed last year’s total of eight wins. However, with a five-game road trip coming up after this weekend’s home game with Ohio State, adding to their nine-win total will not be easy for the Oilers.
Niagara, coming off a Frozen Four appearance last season, is just 10-10-3 and is winless in five games in 2003, posting an 0-2-3 record. The Purple Eagles may have hit a low point for the season, however, with Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Quinnipiac, a team that is ranked last among the 28 teams that play Division I schedules.
Niagara boasts the CHA’s top two scorers in senior Val Hall and sophomore Teresa Marchese-Del Monte. However, with 23 goals and 52 points, the duo has combined for nearly one-third of the team’s offense. The lack of depth, coupled with the fact that they are allowing nearly 30 shots on goal per game and the loss a large senior class last year has taken it’s toll.
Offensive Player of the Week–K.C. Gallo, Sr., F, Mercyhurst
Defensive Player of the Week–Jessica Moffat, Fr., G, Findlay
Rookie of the Week–Samantha Shirley, Fr., F, Mercyhurst
Wayne State at Vermont
Wayne State won the first two meetings in the series (1-0, 5-1) in Detroit, Oct. 13-14, 2001 … The Warriors are 5-0-0 when leading after two periods, 0-12-0 when tied or trailing after 40 minutes … They are 0-10-0 when allowing the game’s first goal … WSU is 2-4-0 versus ECAC opponents this season … Vermont has been idle since splitting a two-game series at North Dakota, Jan. 6-7 … A pair of newcomers tallied both of UVM’s goals in the Jan. 6, 8-2 loss to North Dakota … Hilary Johnson scored her second goal in as many games and teammate Caitlin Barnes netted her second career goal in the game .. In UVM’s 2-1 win, freshman Kate Hudspeth’s first career goal proved to be the game winner … Vermont’s victory at UND snapped
a nine-game losing streak … The Catamounts have scored five goals in their last three games, the longest consecutive-game goal-scoring streak for the team since they joined the Division I ranks.
Niagara at Maine
The Purple Eagles lead the all-time series between the two teams 9-3-0 … Niagara defeated Maine 3-2 at home, Dec. 7, earlier this season … After a 7-2-0 start to the season, the Purple Eagles are just 3-8-3 … Niagara is 3-5-3 versus Hockey East opponents this season … Black Bear senior Cindy Biron played in her 100th career game in Friday’s 2-2 tie at Connecticut … Prior to Sundayí³ loss to Northeastern, Maine had scored 18 goals in its last five games, matching the number of goals it scored in its first 12 contests of the season … The Black Bears had their five-game unbeaten streak snapped with Sunday’s loss to the Huskies.
No. 9 Mercyhurst at Ohio State (Saturday)
Mercyhurst and Ohio State are meeting for the first time this weekend … The Buckeyes have outshot their opponent in 18 of 22 games this season … Ohio State is 1-9-1 when allowing three or more goals this season and 6-2-1 when scoring three or more goals … The Lakers are 6-2-0 versus WCHA opponents this season … They have the nation’s second-longest unbeaten streak at 10 games … Mercyhurst has allowed just 10 goals in those 10 games and have allowed more than one goal just twice during that time … The Lakers have won nine consecutive games and are 29-for-31 on the penalty kill during that time … Eleven Mercyhurst players have scored at least 10 points this season.
Ohio State at Findlay (Sunday)
The Buckeyes are 6-2-0 against Findlay and have won four straight games, including both Ohio Cup match ups … OSU won both meetings last year by 1-0 scores … The Buckeyes have outshot their opponent in 18 of 22 games this season … Ohio State is 1-9-1 when allowing three or more goals this season and 6-2-1 when scoring three or more goals … Findlay is 8-0-0 when leading after two periods this season and just 1-12-1 when tied or trailing after 40 minutes … Sophomore forward Heidi Tallqvist’s 12 goals represent nearly one-fourth of the team’s 49 goals on the season … Freshman goalie Jessica Moffat and senior goalie Erin Blair have split time nearly exactly evenly, with Moffat having played one second more than Blair.