And Then There Were Four.
With Gustavus Adolphus, Trinity, and Wis.- Stevens Point all falling from the ranks of the unbeaten this week, only four now remain.
RIT didn’t show any signs of complacency in its first week as the nation’s No. 1 team. The Tigers took care of Neumann 7-1 and 6-1 to improve to 12-0-0 on the year.
Wis.- River Falls moved up to third in the latest USCHO.com Poll after downing Wis.- Eau Claire 7-4 and 3-2 in overtime to move to 8-0-0.
Middlebury continued to go about its business quietly with a 3-0 shutout win over Williams to finish the first semester at 6-0-0. The Panthers have scored exactly three goals in five of their games so far.
In the biggest matchup over the weekend, No. 2 Plattsburgh prevailed with a 4-2 win at No. 5 Norwich, despite being outshot 43-12. The Cardinals’ 12 shots on goal are believed to be the lowest total in a game in the 10-year history of the program.
Plattsburgh senior All-American goaltender Mandy Mackrell was simply brilliant between the pipes for the Cardinals, making Vezina type save after Vezina type save with sound positioning and clear sightlines at the puck.
After struggling through the first weekend of the season at the East/West Hockey Classic, New England College has made a nice little turnaround going 5-1 over their last six games, including a 5-3 win over Manhattanville on Saturday. The Pilgrims have been a thorn in Manhattanville’s side lately as they were the ones that upset the Valiants on home ice last year, denying Manhattanville a berth in the conference finals against Norwich.
Once again the MIAC looks like it will be a wide-open race this season for the playoff spots. St. Thomas split with Gustavus Adolphus to drop the Gusties from the ranks of the unbeaten, while St. Mary’s took three points from St. Catherine.
Gustavus is currently out front with 10 points and if history means anything, the Gusties are a tough team to bet against to be the one triumphant in the end. However, the increased level of competition from St. Catherine and St. Mary’s has helped increase the overall strength of the league over the last two years. St. Catherine, St. Mary’s, and St. Thomas are in a three-way tie for second right now with nine points.
In the NCHA, it appears that five teams have started to distance themselves from the rest of the conference. Currently, Superior leads the league with 13 points, while River Falls is second with 12. However, the Yellowjackets have played two more games than River Falls. Adrian follows closely behind in third with 11 points in six games played as well.
Stevens Point fell to Lake Forest for its first loss of the season, which was an important win for Lake Forest to close out the semester. They’ll hopefully have the services of NCAA D-III scoring champion Kim Herring back in the second semester making the Foresters a threat again.
Five Minutes of Fame
Elmira freshman forward Tori Charron has been filling up the score sheet all season as she not only leads all rookies, but she also leads the country in goals with 12. She may have saved her best performance to date though this past weekend when she scored the game-tying goal against Utica with five seconds left in the third period on Saturday and then added the game-winner with five seconds remaining in overtime as well to lift the Soaring Eagles to a 4-3 win. She followed up with a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 3-0 win as well.
Player of the Week – Tori Charron, Elmira
Tori, a freshman from Goodwood, Ont. netted three goals and an assist to help lead Elmira to an important ECAC West sweep over Utica. She scored the game-tying goal with five seconds left in the game and then scored the game-winner with five seconds left in overtime on Saturday. She has 12 goals and three assists for 15 points on the year.
Rookie of the Week – Brook Story, Wis.- River Falls
Brook, a freshman from Warroad, Minn., scored three goals and an assist to help lead the Falcons to a sweep of Wis.- Eau Claire over the weekend. She scored two goals in Friday night’s 7-4 win and then added a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win. Story has seven goals and two assists for nine points on the season.
Goalie of the Week – Mandy Mackrell, Plattsburgh
Mackrell, a senior from Cleveland, Ohio made 41 saves to help backstop Plattsburgh to a 4-2 win at No. 5 Norwich on Friday night. Mackrell is 5-0-0 on the season with a 0.60 goals against average, .966 save percentage, and three shutouts.