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RIT duplicates CHA run
Last season, RIT knocked off the top two seeds as it earned its first CHA title. This time, the Tigers took out the league’s top three seeds, and its reward paired a CHA trophy with an NCAA invitation.

Once again, the second overtime proved kind to the Tigers in the championship game versus Syracuse. Carly Payerl scored a pretty goal on a wrist shot 3:15 into the second extra session. Morgan Scoyne hit her at center ice, and Payerl worked a give-and-go with Kolbee McCrea at the blue line to gain the zone. Lindsay Grigg’s goal 30 seconds into the third frame had tied the game at 1-1, equaling the tally a period earlier from Emily Costales for the Orange. Ali Binnington was again named tourney MVP after making 44 saves in the final.

The Tigers gained entry into the title game by dropping host Mercyhurst, 4-1. Mackenzie Stone deposited the winning goal with just over a minute left in the second period. RIT also got goals from Marissa Maugeri, Cassie Clayton, and Caitlin Wallace. Binnington earned an assist on Wallace’s empty-netter and finished with 26 saves.

Syracuse advanced with a 2-0 shutout of Penn State. Jenn Gilligan stopped 11 shots. Allie LaCombe scored the opening goal short-handed and assisted on Kaillie Goodnough’s power-play tally.

Poulin propels Boston University to Hockey East glory
Boston University and Marie-Philip Poulin demonstrated that they were done playing second fiddle to Boston College and Alex Carpenter in Hockey East. Poulin scored the Terriers’ first two goals in the league’s title game and then assisted on Sarah Lefort’s goal into an empty net that clinched the 4-1 win over the Eagles, gaining Poulin tournament MVP recognition. BU has now won the championship four years running. Victoria Hanson made 32 saves, including denying Emily Field on a breakaway that would have tied the game. Maddie Elia netted the other BU goal on a power-play rush. Carpenter scored the lone goal for BC on a redirection.

Poulin’s hat trick was more than enough offense for Boston University to end Northeastern’s season with a 6-1 verdict in the semifinal. Her hat trick was in the books and the lead was five goals by the time the Huskies got on the scoreboard in the third period. Poulin added an assist, and senior defenseman Shannon Doyle had a goal and two helpers.

Elaine Chulie made 51 saves to allow Connecticut to hang around against BC, but UConn wasn’t able to generate enough offense to pull the upset, as the Eagles advanced with a 3-1 win. Kaliya Johnson and Haley Skarupa got pucks by Chulie, and Carpenter found an empty net. Katie Burt made 19 saves, yielding a lone tally to Kayla Campero.

Harvard explodes late to secure ECAC crown
Trailing Cornell, 2-1, early in the third period, Harvard rattled off five straight goals and cruised to a 7-3 win, earning the ECAC Championship and denying the Big Red a spot in the NCAA field. Tournament most outstanding player Sarah Edney scored two goals with an assist; Mary Parker matched that and added an extra helper. Jillian Saulnier scored twice for Cornell, and Emily Fulton assisted three times.

Harvard rallied to defeat Quinnipiac, 2-1 in overtime, in its semifinal. Miye D’Oench went to the net to score the winning goal at the 2:39 mark. Edney was credited with the tying goal in the third period when a Bobcats skater knocked her seemingly harmless shot out of the air and into the net. Emma Woods had given Quinnipiac a lead six minutes into the game. Emmerance Maschmeyer made 30 saves to garner the victory for the Crimson.

Cornell also staged a comeback to advance over Clarkson, 3-1. Saulnier and Hanna Bunton struck 23 seconds apart seven minutes into the third period to give the Big Red a 2-1 lead, and Brianne Jenner provided an insurance goal six minutes later. Paula Voorheis saved 19 shots, yielding only a first-period tally to Cayley Mercer, as Cornell dropped the Golden Knights in the league playoffs for the second straight year.

Nurse delivers WCHA title for the Badgers
Sarah Nurse demonstrated the scoring punch Wisconsin possesses on its third line. The sophomore scored twice in the opening period of the final against Bemidji State, first on a laser to the top corner and then on a creative shot from behind the goal line. By the time she added a third-period assist, she’d wrapped up the tournament’s most outstanding player award. Ann-Renée Desbiens dealt with the 15 shots the Beavers mustered. Karley Sylvester and Katarina Zgraja had the other Wisconsin tallies in the 4-0 triumph.

Nurse scored twice and added an assist as Wisconsin ended North Dakota’s second-half run with a 4-1 win. Mellissa Channell gave the Badgers a first-period lead and Sydney McKibbon doubled it in the next stanza. Desbiens made 26 saves, with only Tori Williams able to score for UND.

Bemidji State reached the first championship game in program history with its second 1-0 shutout of Minnesota of the season. Junior Stephanie Anderson scored the game’s lone goal on a third-period rush. Brittani Mowat saved all 37 shots that came her way.

NCAA field
Cornell, North Dakota, and Syracuse all came up a win short of the NCAA tourney, leaving us the following tournament bracket:

RIT at No. 1 Minnesota
BU at No. 4 Wisconsin
Quinnipiac at No. 3 Harvard
Clarkson at No. 2 BC