A number of conference races are yet to be resolved, as recent action left questions unanswered.

No significant movement transpired at the top of the conference, as No. 1 Plattsburgh and No.3 Elmira kept pace. The Cardinals overwhelmed Chatham 12-1 and 5-2 in a weekend series, while the Soaring Eagles took a pair of road wins over host Cortland (1-12-1). Oswego, on the strength of a six-game win streak, has advanced to third place with a 10-3-1 conference record. Backed by a solid performance from goalie Bridget Smith, the Lakers topped visiting Utica by identical 2-1 scores over the weekend. Oswego entered the weekend one point ahead of the Pioneers in the ECAC West standings, but currently enjoys a five-point cushion over Utica (8-6-0), which has fallen to fifth place. Potsdam (7-4-3) remains in fourth.

Norwich (No.3) put the finishing touches on a successful weekend, taking down New England College (4-0) and Castleton (4-0) in the process. In Rhode Island, Salve Regina continues to make its presence felt following 3-0, home victories over Manhattanville and Nichols. The Seahawks, 3-1-1 in the month of February, have secured a second seed for the upcoming playoffs, edging out third-place Castleton by one point.

Williams gave unbeaten No.2 Middlebury all it could handle in a crucial weekend home-and-home series. Friday night in Vermont, the Ephs’ Hanna Beattie connected on a power-play goal at 3:54 of the third period, evening the contest at 2-2. The Panthers however, used a holding call by the Ephs at 16:46 as a springboard to collect the game-winner with 2:45 remaining in regulation. Jennifer Krakower beat Williams goalie Chloe Billadeau for the decisive tally. With Billadeau pulled, sophomore forward Michaela Levine’s game-tying bid, with a near open net with 42 ticks left was turned aside by a quickly recovering Panthers goalie Annabelle Jones. Saturday at the Lansing Chapman Rink, Jones and Billadeau were front and center again in a 1-1 tie. Jones (12-0-4) finished with 22 saves and Billadeau had 24 in a tightly played defensive contest. Cristina Bravi’s unassisted score late in the first held up for the home team until the Panthers’ Pam Schulman evened the festivities up at 17:26 in the third with helpers from Katie Mandigo and Madeline Joyce. Williams remains a point behind second-place Amherst in the conference with two games remaining in the regular season.

The status quo at the top of the MIAC standings remained as St. Thomas and Gustavus Aldolphus battled to a weekend split in a home-and-home set. Following a 3-1 loss on Saturday, Gustavus fell to 13-3-0 in the MIAC, while the Tommies, who lost by a 3-1 final the previous night, upped their record 12-2-2 in league play.  St. Thomas will engage in their final regular season series with a home-and-home series with St. Benedict, while the Gusties take on Bethel.

  • dear brian since i find your picks shaky at best, and have no respect for them, i decided that i should challenge you to compare our brackets for the upcoming ncaa tourney. We’ll tell our picks for the regionals and frozen four by this friday, and we will see who is better. my bracket vs your bracket pal

  • Bradbsstt

    The EAST selection comittee managed to put it to the WCHA once again by making sure one of the top two WCHA teams gets eliminated in the 1st round. Bring on”Geo. Bush U”, UND or Denver will rip them a new arse hole.

  • The Unsilent Majority

    I’m sorry.  But did you just UML an A- and then say Merrimack with their B+ “came closer than any team to earning an A+”????????

  • Anonymous

    Connelly are you joking?  NO ONE up in orono had high expectations for this team. We all expected to be near the bottom of the conference this year and it’s proving right. Where do you get high expectations?

    • The Unsilent Majority

      Revisionist history.  A lot of Maine yahoos thought the Blackbears were going to be great this year.

      • Anonymous

        Uh, no we didn’t. The only Yahoo who thought so was Whitehead.  Because he’s completely lost touch with reality.

        And it’s Black Bears, not “Blackbears”. You should know this, Mrs. Whitehead.

  • Anonymous

    No one expected Maine to being at best a .500 Team…and they will be hard pressed to do that…with 6 wins they’ll be lucky to match that total after the Florida Classic…change is needed up at Orono…Whitehead needs to be Fired or Bought out and the rebuilding will begin come 2012-13 season….hopefully.

  • 18secondsbeforesunrise

    No slight to Brian Flynn, but Spencer Abbott is having a better year numbers-wise for Maine. He is POTY-worthy. He, Flynn, and Diamond need a lot more help putting up some points or the second half of the season will mimic the first half of the season.

  • Anonymous

    Frankly. I’m surprised that Maine has even 6 wins at this point.  And, with 6 straight games against BC BU UNH coming up in mid-January, we’ve probably seen the best of this team.  Again.

    • After Further Review

      Should be a real thriller at Fenway… yawn… cold, dark and UNH/Maine.  At first, I was kicking myself for not going, now I am so happy I didn’t buy tickets.  I’ll be up north enjoying the weekend and with any luck, maybe the cable/satellite will go out so none of the bars will be able to show the game!  Good Luck, BBear94 and I do enjoy the posts from Maine fans, just shows how passionate you are for your team, would like to see more from UNH fans, but since we are 6-9-2, I guess people have just given up!
      On another note, Grayson Downing has had a great first half… not even a mention for rookie of the year?

  • Anonymous

    Check out the cover story at collegehockeynews dotcom. Finally a write who at least attempts to address the real issues….