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One month after Adrian and Cortland opened the D-III women’s hockey season on Oct. 22, all 49 teams have finally played a game as the NESCAC kicked off action this past weekend.

Amherst, the two-time defending national champions finally took to the ice and the Lady Jeffs picked up right where they left off last  after hoisting the national championship trophy yet again after a 7-2 win over Norwich in the finals.

The Lady Jeffs have built up a reputation under head coach Jim Plumer as a defensive-oriented squad, opened the 2010-2011 season in typical fashion by shutting out Wesleyan twice by scores of 7-0 and 5-0.

Amherst will get its first stern test of the season when the top-ranked team in the land travels to western NY and the Frank Ritter Arena to take on RIT in a pair of crucial non-conference games for both squads.

The Tigers have been turning heads all season after their impressive showing at Norwich’s East/West Hockey Classic where they downed the host Cadets 3-1 and then shutout New England College 8-0. Scott McDonald’s club has continued to roll since then, carrying a perfect 8-0-0 record into this weekend’s showdown.

We got our first look at where the things stand in the NCHA this past weekend with six of the top teams in action all against each other. The clear early favorites that emerged from the weekend were Wis. River Falls and Wis. Stevens Point, who both remained undefeated.

River Falls continues to look like a revitalized juggernaut after the Falcons swept Lake Forest by scores of 6-1 and 2-1. Joe Cranston’s squad is a 5-0-0 so far with 24 goals scored and only five against.

Stevens Point made its most impressive statement to date that the Pointers are intent on rebounding from last year’s disappointment. The Pointers knocked off St. Norbert 4-2 and 3-2 to remain undefeated overall and pick up their first four points in league play.

Stevens Point freshman sensation Allie Tanzer continues to put her name to the forefront of the top rookie in the country discussion after scoring three goals to lead the Point offense on the weekend. She leads the team with seven goals and four assists for 11 points, which ranks third in the nation among rookies.

In the other NCHA showdown, Adrian took three points from Wis. Superior to improve to 5-1-1 on the year.

Player of the Week – Jillayne DeBus, Norwich

DeBus scored the game-winning goal 24 seconds into overtime to lift Norwich to a 3-2 win over St. Anselm on Sunday at Kreitzverg Arena. The sophomore from Howell, Mich. tallied two goals and an assist in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Southern Maine as well. She is third on the team with seven goals and four assists for 11 points and helped Norwich extends its winning streak to seven straight games.

Goalie of the Week – Katharyn Dembowski, Castleton

Katharyn, a freshman from Elkridge, Md., made 41 saves to backstop the Spartans to a 2-1 win over Southern Maine for her first career collegiate victory. Dembowski also made 26 stops to help Castleton to a 2-2 tie against Plymouth State.

Rookie of the Week – Allie Tanzer, Stevens Point

Allie, a freshman from Chippewa Falls, Wisc., scored twice in Friday’s 4-2 win over St. Norbert and then added the game winner the following night in a 3-2 win over the Green Knights. Tanzer scored a total of three goals to lead the Point offense on the weekend. She leads the team with seven goals and four assists for 11 points, which ranks third in the nation among rookies.