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RIT Keeps Roaring Along

RIT is now just three games away from undefeated regular season as the Tigers picked up their first ever win at the Murray Athletic Center on Friday with a 3-1 win over Elmira College.

Kolbee McCrea wasted little time in giving RIT the lead as the freshman forward put the Tigers up 1-0 just 27 seconds into the game. Ariane Yokoyama made it 2-0 with a little over five minutes left in the first. Elmira’s Lindsay Mitchell cut the deficit to 2-1 just 24 seconds later, but that’s as close as Elmira would get before RIT added an empty-net goal from Sarah Dagg late.

RIT earned its keep as the Tigers held Elmira 0-for-9 on the power play after taking 12 penalties for 32 minutes.

The Tigers will now host Oswego on Friday and Saturday before closing the season with another trip down to Elmira on Feb. 19 to close the regular season. RIT needs five points to clinch the regular season title and home-ice advantage in the ECAC West playoffs for the first time.

Wis. River Falls stayed unbeaten as well as the Falcons took three points from Wis. Superior on the road with a 2-1 win and a 3-3 tie against the Yellowjackets over the weekend. River Falls is now 17-0-3 and has passed all of its toughest challenges in conference. They end the season with Marian and Finlandia after a showdown tonight at St. Thomas in the Falcons’ final non-league game.

Oswego’s quest for a breakout season

With three games remaining in the 2010-2011 season, Oswego has already set a new program record for wins in a season with 11. The Lakers are 11-8-3 with two games against RIT remaining as well as a home game against Castleton to end the regular season. Oswego needs only a tie to clinch its first winning season ever in the five-year history of the program. The Lakers own an impressive 9-3-1 record at home this season, yet are just 2-5-2 on the road.

Oswego is five points ahead of Utica right now for fifth place in the conference. Utica has two games against Chatham remaining and two games at Plattsburgh. Unless Utica pulls an upset of Plattsburgh, Oswego will travel to face Neumann in the ECAC West play-in round.

NCAA Tournament Field Projection (courtesy of Matt Rennell, former D-III Women’s Editor)

As we hit the home stretch of the regular season, it’s time to start talking about who sits where and how everyone stacks up for the NCAA Tournament rankings.

As of Sunday’s games, this is the way the teams would be ranked according to Rennell’s projections. (Note this is not necessarily the way it will turn out, just Matt’s educated opinion after compiling the numbers.)

East
1- RIT
2- Plattsburgh
3- Norwich
4- Amherst
5- Elmira
6- Middlebury
7- Trinity
8- Manhattanville
9- Neumann

West
1- Wis. River Falls
2- Gustavus Adolphus
3- Wis. Superior
4- Wis. Eau Claire
5- Adrian
6- Lake Forest

Now lets take the Pool A teams.
ECAC East- Norwich
ECAC West- RIT
NESCAC- Middlebury
NCHA- UWRF
MIAC- GAC

Next we look at the Pool C field.

East- Plattsburgh and Amherst
West- UWS and UWEC

This turns out to be Plattsburgh and Amherst as they both beat out UWS in the criteria.

So, the field is set with a 5/2 split

East
1- RIT
2- Plattsburgh
3- Norwich
4- Amherst
5- Middlebury

West
1- UWRF
2- GAC

Which sets up the following

RIT- BYE
Amherst @ Norwich
GAC @ UWRF
Middlebury @ Plattsburgh

Player of the Week – Kelly Salis, Adrian

Kelly, a junior defenseman from St. Claire Shore, Mich., netted five goals to help lead Adrian to a sweep of Lake Forest over the weekend. Salis notched two goals in the first period to put Adrian well on its way to winning 6-3 the first night. She then followed up by scoring all three goals in a 3-2 win over the Forresters the next day to net the first ever hat trick by a Bulldog defenseman. Salis has nine goals and six assists on the season for 15 points.

Goalie of the Week – Tara Connolly, Bowdoin

Tara, a sophomore from Simsbury, Conn. made 68 saves over the weekend to help the Polar Bears to a split with fifth-ranked Amherst. Connolly made 38 saves the first day in a 3-2 loss, while Bowdoin was outshot 41-15. Connolly turned aside 30 shots the next day to backstop the Polar Bears to a 2-1 upset of the Lord Jeffs. Connolly is 5-1-2 on the season with a 1.76 goals against average and .936 save percentage.

Rookie of the Week – Cristina Masten, Bethel

Cristina, a freshman forward from Fergus Falls, Minn., was a part of all four goals Bethel scored over the weekend as the Royals swept St. Catherine by scores of 2-1 each night. Masten scored both goals in Friday’s game and then assisted on both goals, including the game-winner in overtime on Saturday. She has 10 goals and six assists on the season for 16 points. Masten has four power play goals and four game-winning goals, which both lead the team.