Vicki Bendus (Contributed/Mercyhurst College)
The Mercyhurst College women’s hockey team will play 32 games during the 2010-11 season, including a home-and-home series against 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Frozen Four opponent Cornell and a regular-season contest against perennial power Wisconsin.
“As always, we have a very tough road ahead of us,” said head coach Michael Sisti, who released the details of the schedule Monday evening. “Playing a schedule like this helps us compete against the teams in our league and prepares us for a deep run in the playoffs.”
Twelve opponents representing all four women’s hockey conferences will face the Lakers this season. Four teams hail from ECAC Hockey, three from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and one from the Hockey East Association (HEA), in addition to the four teams that are scheduled from the Lakers’ conference, College Hockey America (CHA). Altogether, the Lakers own a combined 164-33-12 record against opponents on their schedule.
The schedule will be one of the toughest the team has ever faced, with 18-0f-32 games taking place on the road, including six against teams that were ranked in the top 10 last season. Fourteen games and one exhibition are set for the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Mercyhurst opens the year with its first three games at home, beginning with an exhibition contest against Canadian university Wilfred Laurier on Sept. 25. The season officially opens with a two-game series against St. Cloud State on Oct. 1-2.
The Lakers then play eight of their next nine games on the road, starting with back-to-back weekend series at Maine (Oct. 8-9) and Bemidji State (Oct. 15-16). After a home game against Robert Morris (Oct. 29), the Lakers travel to Cornell (Nov. 2) and Niagara (Nov. 6) before opening CHA play at Wayne State (Nov. 20-21).
Returning from Detroit, Mercyhurst welcomes Colgate (Nov. 27) and Niagara (Dec. 3-4) to Erie for its first home games in almost a month. A pair of road contests at St. Lawrence await to close out the first half of the season on Dec. 10-11.
After the winter break, Mercyhurst stays on the road for its first two games of the new year, taking part in the 2011 Easton Holiday Showcase in St. Cloud, Minn. The Lakers face host St. Cloud State on Jan. 1 and Wisconsin on Jan. 2, their first meeting with the Badgers since the 2009 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four title game.
Home series against Syracuse (Jan. 7-8) and Brown (Jan. 14-15) and a game against Cornell (Jan. 18) welcome the Lakers back home and prepare them for their fourth four-game road trip of the season to close out the month of January.
Mercyhurst wraps up the final month of the regular season with a visit from Wayne State (Feb. 4-5) and a trip to Syracuse (Feb. 11-12) before hosting Robert Morris on Feb. 25.
The 2011 CHA Championship Tournament will be hosted by Syracuse on Mar. 3-5 at the Tennity Ice Pavilion in Syracuse, N.Y. Mercyhurst will host the 2011 Women’s Frozen Four on March 18-20 at Tullio Arena.
- From Mercyhurst College news release, staff reports