Weekend wrap: Six conference champions

Six women’s Division III conference champions were crowned this past weekend.

Norwich (ECAC East), Plattsburgh (ECAC West), St. Thomas (MIAC), Lake Forest (NCHA), Trinity (NESCAC), and Wisconsin-River Falls (WIAC) all got the job done in their respective championship finals.

Which teams get in to the NCAA tournament will be unveiled Monday morning.

Vanessa Champagne scored the lone goal of the game in the second period and Celeste Robert stopped all 25 shots as Norwich blanked Castleton 1-0 for the ECAC East title Sunday afternoon.

Norwich beat Massachusetts-Boston 6-1 on Saturday and Castleton edged Salve Regina 3-2 on Saturday to set up the Sunday showdown.

Most predicted the championship final on Sunday to be Elmira and Plattsburgh, but a 4-0 shutout for Plattsburgh? Not sure anyone saw that coming.

Giovanna Senese scored twice and Shannon Stewart and Bridget Balisy each had a goal and an assist to lift the Cardinals, last season’s national champions. Camille Leonard finished with 23 saves for the win in goal.

Plattsburgh bounced Oswego 4-2 on Saturday and Elmira defeated Utica 6-3 in the semifinals.

Heidi Winiecki scored her second goal of the game at 13:23 of the third period and that stood as the game-winner as St. Thomas took the MIAC title 3-2, ending Bethel’s Cinderella postseason run.

Rachel Friberg also scored for St. Thomas and goaltender Taylor Neisen made 17 saves between the pipes.

Bethel goalie Michelle Klimstra finished with 25 stops in the loss.

Favorite Adrian was upset in the semifinals Friday, 2-1 by Concordia (Wis.) and in the other semifinal, Lake Forest upended St. Norbert 5-3.

In the championship final Saturday, Michelle Greeneway’s goal with three seconds remaining in regulation snapped a 1-1 tie and Lake Forest took a dramatic 2-1 win over Concordia.

Allie Carter made 20 saves in the win, while Bridget Slater stopped 44 in the loss.

Trinity won both its semifinal and the title game in overtime, downing Amherst 2-1 Saturday and then Middlebury 3-2 on Sunday.

Cheeky Herr was the hero in both games for the Bantams.

Middlebury had beaten Bowdoin 4-2 on Saturday to reach the title game.

The WIAC title game was never in doubt as Wisconsin-River Falls rolled to a 6-1 win over Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Carly Moran potted a pair of goals, Chloe Kinsel added three assists, and Angie Hall needed to make just 13 saves in net for the Falcons.

Katherine Nejedlo scored for UWSP and conference player of the year Janna Beilke-Skoug made 34 saves in the Pointers’ crease.

The women’s Division III selection show is scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. EST.


  1. Also Mike Lee was 0-5-1 against UND not 1-5-0. After tonight’s loss to UND his record against the Sioux is 0-6-1. =)

  2. Gonna be Minnesota VS UMD anyways. These are simply ticket fillers at OUR tourney. Figure it out. UND is simply a source of revenue in our city. University of Minnesota Grand Forks. Now there is good new name for thier team.

    • Swing and a miss…  DU verses UND and you’ll see real hockey played by men, not this mn man/boy-wish-I-could-grow-a-beard crap you call ice hockey…                The X should be renamed Ralph East.  Even when you have a good team and we are supposedly down we still own you…

  3. Minnesota vs North Dakota,best rivalry in college hockey. After the last game look for fireworks. There will be Blood, and I hope somebody takes #24’s head off.

  4. I do recall with much clarity the road trip BC took to Maine last year. What an embarrassing trip that was, and they knew it. No one could have predicted what happened next, and no one should expect a similar outcome this year. BC can’t, like it did last year, meander through the season and expect to ‘flip the switch’ in mid-January. Historically, BC has been rather pedestrian following a banner year. Outside of an exception here and there, NCAA hockey seems to be that way. It will be a heroic piece of coaching if York can steer clear of that ‘jinx.’

    • I’ll disagree. There have been down years following championships that were quite predictable because of a mass exodus of talent turning pro. But I see this year as closer to 2011 when, sandwiched between the 2010 and 2012 titles, BC finished first in Hockey East during the regular season, won the Hockey East tournament, and felt like a prohibitive favorite to win it all until the stunning loss in the NCAAs.
      BC’s talent level should be right there with the rest of the favorites.

  5. “it evidently considers the winning percentage versus each COP separately.”

    (Besides being an *insane* thing to do, as the example given over in the men’s Pairwise explanation shows…)

    Am I safe in assuming that you guys will be fixing your computer by next year? You obviously ‘know how’ to do this, as this is the way the men’s Pairwise shows now. Either you guys didn’t think the new and not-improved method didn’t apply to the women, or you simply forgot to implement it.

    • Oh, and once again, it’s this stuff written down somewhere? I remember seeing here a reference to a ‘NCAA tournament manual’ or some such (though I don’t remember exactly where). Is there such a manual, and if so where can I get a look at it? pdf, web link, etc.

    • Right now, the Wisconsin men are losing their Pairwise comparison with Alaska because Wisconsin’s ‘common opponent’ record of 5-4-1 is losing to Alaska’s 5-5-1. It could easily end up costing them an NCAA bid.

  6. Every year there will be someone not happy with the bracket.
    I do agree the selection rules manual should be easier to find. I’m pretty sure
    RPI showed UND was the last of 8 so I don’t see why travel would be a part of
    the decision. I’ve found RPI on the USCHO to show pretty much what the bracket
    would be like. UND and Mercyhurst luck came out of auto bids being awarded to
    teams that were ranked higher than them already. It just so happens that the 1st
    and the 8th are WCHA teams in the bracket while everyone else is on
    the Eastern side. Harvard couldn’t have asked for a closer opponent (besides
    BU), is almost as if they are playing home. I’m certainly happy the CHA was able to get
    representation on the playoffs.

    Hockey east follows the same pattern once again. BC is strong
    most of the season, right around the Beanpot time the defense goes on vacation
    and doesn’t come back. NU spends most of the season struggling to get by and
    when they hear beans they somehow find the perfect recipe to cook them, sadly
    not enough sauce to last all the way. BU gets a strong 1st half,
    struggles on the 2nd but somehow manages to come together for
    conference playoffs.

    Bracket talk: Cornell seems to have the highest probability
    to make it all the way to the final if BU doesn’t find a way to bring back the
    team that opened the season this year. If they do plus Sperry playing as hot as
    she is right now, the Big Red will see blood in the way and who knows who will
    come out on the winning side of that battle.

    If UM beats UMD, I don’t see anyone else being on their way
    to the final match. Would this be the year the East makes history? Probably
    not, but all is possible.

    • Just to be clear (assuming that was directed at me), I’m not unhappy with the bracket. I’m unhappy with USCHO and their mis-programmed computer.

      By looking at ‘social media’, it is obvious that the ‘sports information’ folks at Wisconsin were aware that USCHO was showing Wisconsin as the #8 in the pairwise. I can only assume that the team members were, as well (not to mention the ND players.

      So USCHO makes a mistake, and the girls on the two teams endure a 48-hour roller-coaster of ‘being out. being in, being out again’.

      • I tend to look at RPI after the last game which is usually Hockey East
        championship. USCHO showed pretty much what came out. Sunday morning I usually
        know what the scenario would be depending on who’s playing. Granted matches
        might change due to travel preferences but the teams that make it are pretty
        dead on. That has been my experience. The bottom 2 teams are usually the ones
        that drift quiet drastically. Last year both teams that won ECAC and HEA were
        ones that needed auto bid which if that would have been the case this year
        Mercyhurst wouldn’t have made it. This year all the winners didn’t need an auto
        bid to enter the playoffs which made even more critical spots 7 & 8th that
        tend to shift quite a bit during conference playoffs. If you looked at RPI
        before entering conference tourney, the points in between the bottom 5 were
        pretty close. This is why you don’t assume if you are at the bottom until all
        games are finish and the RPI reflects it. Again, USCHO RPI has been pretty dead
        on for me.

  7. There is a manual. Do we have access to it? Apparently, not the current version. A search on Google of “ncaa women’s ice hockey championship handbook” finds the 2011 handbook, but nothing later that I’ve seen. On page 10 of the 2011 handbook, the selection criteria are listed. They are bit vague, and nothing as detailed as a programing specification. I’m sure that the committee uses some process that is more detailed than the handbook’s “evaluate”, but it isn’t obvious. This is why the USCHO PairWise Rankings page says that it “attempts to mimic” the process.

    Fans of the sport form theories about how the committee handles these criteria based on previous decisions. USCHO could change the logic it uses for COP for the women to match what is used for the men. Perhaps that is what will be done in the future. However, that does not mean that the USCHO Rankings will then be able to exactly mirror the committee, given the handbook contains wording such as, “the committee reserves the right to weight criteria differently.”

  8. If North Dakota had been 7th in PWR they would have been swapped with #8 and sent to Minnesota. If UND had been 6th in PWR they would have been swapped with either #7 or #8 and sent to Minnesota. And so on and so on. Remember #1 Wisconsin getting #4 or #5 UMD? This committee has proven itself void of integrity in the past and proven their true ultimate goal of doing all they can to maximize the chances of a champion from a conference other than the WCHA. Those handful of close, one goal losses and multiple OT losses in championship games must have convinced someone it can’t be done by traditional methods. Like recruiting and coaching a team that can beat the WCHA’s best. Don’t have the money to fly teams? Sure thing.


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