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Rochester Institute of Technology emerged as the big winner out of this past weekend’s East/West Hockey Classic hosted by Norwich at Kreitzberg Arena.

The Tigers were the only team to emerge unscathed at the tournament, downing Norwich 3-1 on Friday night, before trouncing New England College 8-0 on Saturday afternoon.

RIT’s biggest issues the past few years that have held them back have been goaltending. Head coach Scott McDonald has addressed that issue this season as Laura Chamberlain had a stellar debut weekend.

The freshman from Norco, Calif., limited the defending NCAA Division III runner-up Cadets to just one goal on Friday to help backstop the Tigers to the win with 30 saves.

Chamberlain followed up the next day by turning aside all nine shots she faced to shutout N.E.C. to pick up her first career shutout and solidify her selection as the East/West Hockey Classic Most Valuable Player.

With Chamberlain manning the pipes and arguably the nation’s best 1-2 scoring punch with senior forwards Katie Stack and Sarah Dagg, maybe 2010-2011 will finally be the season the Tigers get over the hump and win their first ECAC West title.

Stack led the nation with 31 goals a year ago and had a tremendous debut Friday night with two goals to lead RIT’s offense. She followed up with two assists the next night on her way to making the all-tournament team.

Yes it’s early, but don’t underestimate the importance of how big this weekend was for RIT Beating Norwich on the Cadets home ice while Elmira lost to Norwich gives the Tigers a leg up already on the Soaring Eagles. It also gives RIT a nice win to put in its back pocket if they are in the NCAA Tournament playoff picture and possible Frozen Four host list.

Yes it’s the first week of the season. Just saying, don’t forget this weekend. It could be the difference between the Frozen Four in Northfield, Vt., or Rochester, N.Y.

My picks never made it up on the site but they were as follows:

Friday, Oct. 29th

RIT @ Norwich

Elmira vs NEC

Oswego vs Adrian

Saturday, Oct. 30th

RIT vs NEC

Elmira @ Norwich

St. Norbert vs Bethel

Oswego vs Adrian

I nailed the Oswego/Adrian split. Just missed which date each team would win. Overall, a 4-3 week. Could have been 6-1 if I just would have picked the split right.

New kids on the block

Congrats to St. Norbert for picking up its first varsity Division III win with a 2-0 shutout over Bethel on Saturday. De Pere, Wis., the town that St. Norbert College located in, loves its Green Knights’ hockey. The locals average over 1,000 people a game at their traditionally top-ranked men’s team games. They showed their support for the women’s club on Saturday as well with 517 in attendance for the program’s first game at the Resch Olympic Pavilion.

Fellow D-III and NCHA newcomer, St Scholastica will play the inaugural game in the program’s history on Friday when the Saints host Augsburg.