Four out of the five conferences have wrapped up their regular season schedules and every single one of those leagues had a different regular season champion than they did last year.
Wis. River Falls completed its undefeated regular season with a 22-0-3 mark to claim the NCHA crown. The Falcons are just the second team in NCAA D-III history to make it through the regular season unbeaten. Plattsburgh was the only other team to accomplish the feat when they went 27-0-2 on its way to winning the 2007 National Championship.
RIT (22-1-2) won its first ECAC West regular season title with a 15-1-2 record. Even though the Tigers were tied with Plattsburgh in the standings, RIT held the tie-breaker and thus gained the conference tournament hosting rights.
Norwich (22-3-1) claimed its first ECAC East regular season title with a undefeated mark of 17-0-1. The Cadets were the first time to finish undefeated in the ECAC East regular season since Manhattanville accomplished the feat in 2001-2002.
Middlebury (18-4-1) regained the top spot in the NESCAC after a two-year absence. The Panthers finished with a 14-1-1 mark to beat out Amherst, Trinity and Bowdoin.
The only league that still has to wrap-up its regular season is the MIAC as per usual, the Minnesota schools end their regular season a week later than the rest of the leagues.
After being a jumbled mess for much of the season, Gustavus Adolphus has once again emerged from the pack as the leader of the league with 26 points, which is four points clear of second-place St. Thomas. Bethel and St. Olaf are tied with 20 points each for third place, while St. Mary’s is clinging to the fifth and final playoff spot with 19 points. Concordia-Moorhead sits just one point behind in sixth and St. Catherine lurks three points behind in seventh.
The two matchups this week pit St. Thomas and Concordia-Moorhead, as well as St. Mary’s and St. Olaf against each other in home and home series. The Tommies and Gusties have already clinched playoff spots, but the other three are still plenty up for grabs and those two series will have a major impact on how it all shakes out.
As I have done over the past few years, I will continue to do a list of all the teams that have played their final game of the 2010-2011 season as it happens week-by-week. I got the idea originally from the former Division III men’s national writer, Chris Lerch.
There are nine teams that have played their final game so far this season.1.Plymouth State 2.Chatham 3.Cortland 4.Buffalo State 5.Potsdam 6.Marian 7.Finlandia 8.St. Scholastica 9.Wesleyan
After this weekend’s games, the list will double and come close to tripling.
The NCAA released its second set of regional rankings this afternoon and you can find them at the following link: http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/icehockey-women/d3/regional_rankings_
East:1.RIT 2.Norwich 3.Plattsburgh 4.Middlebury 5.Trinity 6.Amherst 7.Elmira 8.Manhattanville 9.Neumann West 1.River Falls 2.Gustavus Adolphus 3.Adrian 4.Superior 5.Eau Claire 6.Stevens Point 7.Concordia-Wis.
Right now it looks the seven teams that would get in, assuming all the teams that lead their conference, win their conference tournament would be; RIT, Norwich, Plattsburgh, Middlebury, Trinity, River Falls and Gustavus Adolphus. However, rarely does it actually work out that way so we’ve got plenty of hockey left to be played in the next two weeks.
Player of the Week – Julie Fortier, Norwich
Julie, a junior forward from Saint-Malachie, Que. had four goals to help lead the Cadets to a 3-0 week; including two huge wins over Middlebury and Manhattanville. Fortier tallied the game-tying goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 win against Middlebury to stop the Panthers’ momentum after they had scored two straight goals in the second period. She also tallied a goal in a 4-2 win over Manhattanville, which was Norwich’s first win on home ice against the Valiants and only second ever. Fortier capped her impressive week with two goals against Nichols to lead the Cadets to a 7-0 win. Fortier has 20 goals and 14 assists for 34 points this season.
Goalie of the Week – Cindy Fortin, Norwich
Cindy, a senior goalie from Quebec City, Que. backstopped the Cadets to two important wins over Middlebury and Manhattanville. She made 11 saves in a 3-2 win over Middlebury and then 22 more in a 4-2 win over Manhattanville. She has won 14 straight games in goal for the Cadets since dropping the season opener to RIT. Fortin is 14-1-0 on the year with a 1.73 goals against average and a .910 save percentage with two shutouts.
Rookie of the Week – Megan Myers, Utica
Megan, a freshman forward from Las Vegas, Nevada scored five goals and added an assist over the weekend in two games against nationally-ranked Amherst and Plattsburgh. Myers netted a hat trick and also dished out an assist in a 6-5 loss to the Lord Jeffs on Thursday night. She then added both Utica goals in a 3-2 loss to Plattsburgh on Saturday night. Myers has 19 goals and 12 assists on the season for 31 points, which leads the team.