Mercyhurst returns to the top of College Hockey America
Mercyhurst received a scare from Syracuse, the longest-working team in the country this weekend, but ultimately, the Lakers backed up their CHA season title with the conference’s playoff title.
Jenna Dingeldein scored her second goal of the game at 15:06 of overtime, with assists from Emily Janiga and Rachael Smith, to earn a 4-3 win for Mercyhurst. The Orange had rallied to force overtime with goals by Allie Munroe and Alysha Burriss in the final three minutes, the latter an extra-attacker tally. Stephanie Grossi had struck first for Syracuse in the second period, but Mercyhurst rallied quickly with three goals in two minutes spanning the second intermission. Dingeldein and Sarah Hine scored on power plays before the break, and Smith pushed the score to 3-1 with 46 seconds gone in the third frame. Sarah McDonnell’s 34 saves proved to be one more than Jenn Gilligan’s total for Syracuse. The Orange lost in overtime in the final for the second-straight season.
Syracuse reached the final by winning the longest game in CHA history, surviving Penn State, 3-2, on Grossi’s goal at 16:10 of the third overtime. Burriss and Emily Costales had the assists. Megan Quinn and Munroe put the Orange ahead, 2-0, in the second period, but Bella Sutton and Laura Bowman tied it up for the Nittany Lions early in the third period. From that point, the goalies prevailed until Grossi’s wrist shot hit the twine. Celine Whitlinger made her final game for Penn State memorable with 61 saves, and Gilligan needed 40 stops to get the win.
Mercyhurst advanced with a 4-2 semifinal victory over Robert Morris, scoring three times on the power play and sealing the win into an empty net. Brooke Hartwick broke a 1-1 tie in the second period, and Dingeldein provided an insurance goal. Ashley Vesci pulled the Colonials back within one with a power-play goal of their own before Hannah Bale scored with 10 seconds left. Janiga opened the scoring, and Amanda Panataleo tied the game at 1-1. McDonnell made 18 saves to get the win, and RMU’s Lauren Bailey stopped 39 of the 42 shots she faced.
Boston College earns second Hockey East Championship in program history
The top line of Boston College exploded for 10 points as the Eagles thumped Boston University, 5-0. Haley Skarupa topped the point parade with a goal and three assists, and her linemates each had three points, with Alex Carpenter tallying twice and Kenzie Kent once. Kristyn Capizzano completed the scoring. Katie Burt stopped all 25 shots, as BC got revenge for last year’s final defeat at the hands of the Terriers.
BC had a closer contest in its 4-2 semifinal win over Connecticut. Carpenter and Capizzano scored on third-period power plays after Theresa Knutson and Justine Fredette had dug Connecticut out of an 0-2 hole. Haley Skarupa and Meghan Grieves also scored for the Eagles.
BU survived Northeastern, 4-3, in the other semifinal. Kayla Tutino put the Terriers ahead to stay with five minutes left in the second period, and a short-handed goal by Alexis Crossley midway through the final stanza proved to be the game-winner. Shelby Herrington made it interesting with an extra-attacker, power-play goal with 65 ticks left, her second tally of the game. Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach had the other BU goals, and Ainsley MacMillan opened the scoring for Northeastern.
Quinnipiac backs up first ECAC Hockey season title with first playoff trophy
Senior Nicole Brown’s goal 18:20 into the title game stood up and gave the Bobcats a 1-0 triumph over Clarkson. Classmates Nicole Connery and Cydney Roesler assisted, and 16 saves by Sydney Rossman assured that it would be enough in the defensive tilt.
Randi Marcon’s fourth goal of the year with five minutes left pushed Quinnipiac above St. Lawrence, 2-1, in the semifinal. Emma Greco had opened the scoring, and Hannah Miller answered for the Saints. Rossman made 20 saves to earn the win.
Clarkson scored the game’s final four goals to rally for a 5-2 win over Colgate. Shannon MacAulay scored twice, Erin Ambrose had a goal and two assists, and Cayley Mercer added three helpers.
Wisconsin repeats as WCHA Champion
Ann-Renée Desbiens didn’t allow a goal in the entire tournament, culminating with Wisconsin’s 1-0 defeat of Minnesota in the final. She stopped 35 shots in the title game, and Sydney McKibbon buried the rebound of a Rachel Jones shot in the second period. Amanda Leveille made 23 saves for the Gophers.
Wisconsin dominated Minnesota-Duluth territorially in a 5-0 semifinal win, outshooting the Bulldogs 43-17. Mikaela Gardner’s goal 7:34 into the contest was all the offense Desbiens would need, but the Badgers piled on four more goals in the next stanza.
Amanda Kessel had a goal and an assist on Sydney Baldwin’s goal as the Gophers slipped past North Dakota, 2-0. Leveille turned in the 21-save shutout.
Because the top seeds won all four tournaments, Princeton lives to play another day despite being eliminated from the ECAC playoffs in the quarterfinals. Minnesota, Clarkson, and Northeastern also received at-large bids. They will join the four conference tourney winners who receive automatic bids.
The bracket created by the NCAA Selection Committee pairs the teams as follows:
Northeastern at No. 1 Boston College
Clarkson at No. 4 Quinnipiac
Mercyhurst at No. 2 Wisconsin
Princeton at No. 3 Minnesota