By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘christie cicero’
Posted: March 15th, 2014

* Frozen Four recap: The Mercyhurst women’s hockey team beat Cornell 3-2 today in the NCAA Division I quarterfinals to secure a spot in the NCAA Women’s Division I Frozen Four for the second straight season and the fourth time in program history. All four appearances have come since 2009. Here’s a look back…
2009 (Boston) – beat Minnesota 5-4 in semifinals, lost to Wisconsin 5-0 in final
2010 (Minneapolis) – lost to Cornell 3-2 in OT in semifinals
2013 (Minneapolis) – lost to Boston University 4-1 in semifinals

Christie Cicero

* 100-point club: Senior F Christine Bestland wasn’t the only Laker to reach a milestone in today’s game. Senior F Christie Cicero had an assist on Bestland’s second of two goals to reach the 100-point mark in her career.
* Bucking one trend, but not another: Mercyhurst won for only the second time in seven games when trailing after the first period (2-3-2). But the Lakers are a perfect 20-0-0 when leading after two periods.
* Around the rink: The Lakers have a 5-8 all-time record in NCAA playoff games, including 4-6 in the quarterfinals. … The Lakers are 14-6-2 all-time against Cornell. … They are 5-2-1 all-time at Lynah Rink. … Cornell had a four-game winning streak snapped with today’s loss. … The Big Red lost for the second straight year as the No. 2 seed. … Cornell senior G Lauren Slebodnick lost for only the second time this season (17-2-3) and 10th time in her 4-year career (68-10-5). … Cornell rising senior F Brianne Jenner and alum Lauriane Rougeau were on hand to sign autographs for and pose for photos with fans. They won gold medals with their native Canada at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, last month.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 14th, 2014

Mercyhurst (23-8-4) at No. 2 Cornell (24-5-4)
When: Today, 3 p.m.
Where: James Lynah Rink – Ithaca, N.Y.
On the air: & (live stream and live statistics), (live audio)

Players to watch:

Christine Bestland

Mercyhurst – Sr. F Christine Bestland (20 goals, 31 assists, 51 points), Jr. G Amanda Makela (21-7-4 record, 1.79 goals-against average, .927 save percentage, 6 shutouts), Jr. D Molly Byrne (3-23-26), So. F Emily Janiga (15-25-40), Sr. F Christie Cicero (16-18-34), So. F Jenna Dingeldein (15-19-34), Jr. F Shelby Bram (8-26-34)

Jillian Saulnier

Cornell – Jr. F Jillian Saulnier (28-27-55), Sr. G Lauren Slebodnick (17-1-3, 2.27, .908, 1 SHO), Jr. F Emily Fulton (19-22-41), Sr. F Jessica Campbell (14-22-36), Sr. D Alyssa Gagliardi (9-19-28), So. D Cassandra Poudrier (8-19-27)
What to expect: The start time was moved up a half hour to avoid a conflict with Game 2 of the Cornell men’s team’s ECAC Hockey Tournament quarterfinal series, which is set for 7 p.m. at Lynah Rink. … Mercyhurst has extended its NCAA record to 10 consecutive seasons in the national Division I playoffs. … The Lakers have a 4-8 all-time record in NCAA playoff games, including 3-6 in the quarterfinals. … They snapped a two-game losing streak in this round with a 4-3 overtime win at Cornell a season ago. … The Lakers are 13-6-2 all-time against Cornell, but are winless in seven of their past nine meetings, including a 4-4 tie and 6-4 loss in January at Mercyhurst Ice Center. Special teams headlined those two meetings, with the Lakers going 2-for-11 on the power play and allowing five goals on the Big Red’s 12 chances. … They are 4-2-1 at Lynah Rink. … Mercyhurst had a 10-game unbeaten streak snapped in 2-1 double-overtime loss to Rochester Institute of Technology in the College Hockey America title game last weekend. … Cicero needs one point to reach the 100-point mark for her career. … Cornell enters the matchup on a four-game winning streak, including wins over fellow NCAA tournament teams Harvard and Clarkson last weekend to capture its fourth ECAC Hockey Tournament championship in the past five years. … The Big Red have won 10 of their last 12 games …. The Big Red earned the No. 2 seed for the third time in the last four years. … Saulnier leads the nation with 0.85 goals and 1.67 points per game, and ranks sixth with 0.82 assists per game. … Campbell ranks 10th nationally with 0.78 assists and 1.25 points per game. … Fulton (1.24 points per game) also ranks among the top 15. … Bestland (tied for fifth with 1.46 points, 13th with 0.57 goals, fourth with 0.89 assists per game) is the lone Laker in the top 20 of all three categories. … Bram (0.74 assists per game) and Janiga (0.71 assists) are among the top 20. … The Big Red are second nationally with 3.61 goals scored per game, followed by the Lakers in fifth at 3.40. … Mercyhurst ranks ninth with 1.80 goals against per game, while the Big Red are 12th at 2.12. … Slebodnick ranks second with an .881 save percentage. … The Big Red have returned to the NCAA playoffs without last season’s leading scorer Brianne Jenner (35-35-70), who rejoins the program as a senior next year after winning a gold medal with her native Canada at the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 8th, 2014

Lindsay Grigg scored 13 minutes, 43 seconds into the second overtime, and Ali Binnington made a career-high 62 saves, to lead Rochester Institute of Technology to a 2-1 win over eighth-ranked Mercyhurst today in the College Hockey America championship game at Mercyhurst Ice Center. The Tigers (20-15-3) captured their first CHA title in only their second season as a NCAA Division I program.
Grigg fired a slap shot from the blue line and slipped through a crowd and beat goaltender Amanda Makela for the title-winning goal. Christie Cicero scored the Lakers’ lone goal early in the third period to force overtime.
Now the Lakers (23-8-4), which outshot the Tigers (20-15-3) by a 63-25 count, await their fate in the NCAA Division I Tournament. The eight-team field will be unveiled Sunday at 6 p.m. on

Check out post-game interviews with Lakers head coach Michael Sisti and captain Christine Bestland

College Hockey America Tournament recap
at Mercyhurst Ice Center
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Mercyhurst 2, No. 4 Syracuse 1
No. 3 Rochester Institute of Technology 4, No. 2 Robert Morris 1
Championship game – Saturday
RIT 2, Mercyhurst 1 (2OT)

CHA All-Tournament Team
Goaltender – Ali Binnington, RIT*
Defense – Lindsay Grigg, RIT
Defense – J’nai Mahadeo, Mercyhurst
Forward – Shelby Bram, Mercyhurst
Forward – Kaleigh Chippy, Mercyhurst
Forward – Kourtney Kunichika, RIT
* Most Valuable Player

Posted: March 6th, 2014

College Hockey America Tournament schedule
at Mercyhurst Ice Center
Semifinals – Today

No. 1 Mercyhurst (22-7-4) vs. No. 4 Syracuse (20-12-3), 4 p.m.
No. 2 Robert Morris (24-7-3) vs. No. 3 Rochester Institute of Technology (17-15-3), 7:30 p.m.
Championship game – Saturday
Mercyhurst-Syracuse winner vs. RMU-RIT winner, 3 p.m.

*** On the air: (live stream), (real-time statistics)

Teams at a glance
* Mercyhurst - The Lakers have won 11-of-12 CHA tournament championships under head coach Michael Sisti. … They are 26-0-2 all time against Syracuse, including 1-0-1 this season. Mercyhurst beat the Orange 1-0 in the 2013 CHA title game. … They are unbeaten in nine straight games, which is the third longest in NCAA Division I this season. … The Lakers play better with a lead, as they are 2-6-1 when trailing in the third period and 2-1-3 when tied after two periods. … Senior F Christine Bestland ranks fifth nationally with 1.52 points per game. … Senior F Christie Cicero needs two points to reach the 100 mark for her career.
* Syracuse - The Orange swept Lindenwood in an opening-round series last weekend behind scoring from eight different players. … They have three wins against nationally ranked teams (Boston College, Northeastern and Robert Morris). … Sophomore F Melissa Piancentini leads the team with 17 goals and 29 points. … Senior G Jenesica Drinkwater (16-6-1 record, 1.82 goals-against average, .929 save percentage, 4 shutouts).
* Robert Morris - The Colonials won the 2012 conference title by beating Mercyhurst under head coach Paul Colontino, a former associate coach under Lakers head coach Michael Sisti. … RMU won three of four regular-season meetings with semifinal opponent Rochester Institute of Technology. … The Colonials swept Penn State in the first round. … Freshman F Brittany Howard leads the team with 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists), followed by junior F Rebecca Vint with 23 goals and 40 points.
* RIT - The Tigers have won five straight games, their longest streak as a D-I program. … Junior G Ali Binnington leads the conference (and ranks sixth nationally) with a .940 save percentage and is tied for second in CHA (11th in the nation) with a 1.82 GAA. She has stopped 147-of-151 shots during the Tigers’ current win streak. … Junior F Marissa Maugeri leads the way with 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists).

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 21st, 2014

Lindenwood (5-23-2, 5-12-1 CHA) at No. 8 Mercyhurst (21-7-3, 14-3-1)
When: Today, 3 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.
Where: Mercyhurst Ice Center
On the air: (live stream), (real-time statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst concludes the regular season having already clinched their 13th straight regular-season championship in College Hockey America and home-ice advantage for the conference semifinals and title game March 7-8. … The Lakers have tied a season high with seven straight wins. They have allowed three goals or fewer in all seven games (10 goals in all). … They are 14-2-1 in their last 17 games. … They swept a two-game series at Lindenwood on Dec. 14-15 by a combined 11-2 score to improve their record in the all-time series to 10-0-0. … Senior Fs Christine Bestland (17 goals, 29 assists, 56 points), Kaleigh Chippy (14-8-22) and Christie Cicero (15-17-32) will play their final regular-season games at MIC. One of them will win the school’s Bill Smith Award, which honors the senior women’s hockey player that displays exemplary qualities in the classroom, community and on the ice. … Bestland leads NCAA Division I with four short-handed goals, and ranks third with 0.97 assists per game and sixth with 1.52 points per game. … Lindenwood stands fifth in the six-team conference. … The Lions had a three-game winning streak – their longest since joining Division I in 2011 – snapped in a two-game series sweep at Syracuse last weekend. … They will play at Rochester Institute of Technology or Syracuse next weekend in one of the CHA’s best-of-three, first-round series. … Sophomore G Nicole Hensley has 1,077 saves this season – 10th most in NCAA history – to go with a 3.21 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. She broke former Mercyhurst standout Desi Clark‘s single-game record (78 saves in a triple-overtime loss to Harvard in the 2005 national quarterfinals) with 90 saves in a triple-overtime loss to Robert Morris in a CHA first-round game last March.

- Victor Fernandes

Check out head coach Michael Sisti‘s thoughts on the weekend series here

Posted: February 14th, 2014

No. 8 Mercyhurst (19-7-3, 12-3-1 CHA) at Penn State (4-23-3, 1-14-1)
When: Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Pegula Ice Arena – University Park
On the air: (live stream), (real-time statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst takes a three-point lead over Robert Morris in the College Hockey America standings into their first series at Penn State’s new 5,782-seat arena that cost a reported $102 million to build. The Lakers have four regular-season games left. … The Lakers have won five straight games. They have allowed two goals or fewer in four of those wins. … They have won all six career meetings with PSU, including 7-0 and 8-0 wins Dec. 6-7 at Mercyhurst Ice Center. … Senior F Christine Bestland ranks among the NCAA Division I leaders with 43 points (15 goals, 28 assists). … Senior F Christie Cicero (14-16-30) needs five points to reach the 100 mark for her career. … Junior D Molly Byrne (2-20-22) has points in seven straight games. … Penn State has two straight and are in the past seven games (0-6-1). The Nittany Lions are 2-11-2 at home this season. … They have scored two goals or fewer in 25-of-30 games this season, including eight shutout losses, on the way to being outscored 107-44 this season. … Freshman F Laura Bowman (9-5-14) and senior F Taylor Gross (7-7-14) lead the team in scoring.

Check out weekend previews from head coach Michael Sisti and sophomore D Lauren Kilroy

Posted: February 8th, 2014

The Mercyhurst women’s hockey team continued their recent surge Saturday afternoon. Special teams and defense had much to do with that.
The 10th-ranked Lakers scored three power-play goals on five chances on the way to a 5-2 College Hockey America win against Rochester Institute of Technology in front of 335 fans at Mercyhurst Ice Center. The Lakers have won five straight games to improve to 19-7-3 overall and 12-3-1 in CHA play.
Christie Cicero, Kaleigh Chippy and Jenna Dingeldein had a goal and assist apiece, with Cicero moving within five points of the 100-point mark for her career. Amanda Makela made 14 saves to earn the win.
Mercyhurst held RIT (13-14-3, 8-6-2) to 16 shots on goal. Meanwhile, the Lakers capitalized on the power play – with Chippy and Cicero scoring in the first period to open a 2-0 lead, and Dingeldein scoring early in the third to break open a 3-2 game. Brooke Stoddart made 37 saves on 42 shots for the Tigers.

Posted: January 30th, 2014

No. 10 Mercyhurst (15-7-3, 8-3-1 CHA) at Syracuse (14-9-2, 6-4-2)
When: Today, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.
Where: Tennity Ice Pavilion – Syracuse, N.Y.
On the air: (live stream), (real-time statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst (17 points) looks to keep pace with front-running Robert Morris (19 points) in the College Hockey America standings. Syracuse stands fourth with 14 points. … Mercyhurst has a 24-0-2 all-time record against the Orange. The Lakers went 1-0-1 in a two-game series at Mercyhurst Ice Center in November. … The Lakers are ranked in the top 10 of the and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national Division I polls for the first time since mid-November. … Senior F Christine Bestland (14 goals, 24 assists, 38 points) became the third player in program history with 125 assists with two assists in last Saturday’s win against RMU. … Sophomore F Emily Janiga (13-17-30) ranks second on the team in scoring, followed by junior F Shelby Bram (7-20-27), senior F Christie Cicero (11-14-25) and sophomore F Jenna Dingeldein (9-15-24). … Syracuse has won four straight and seven of their past eight games. … The Orange lead the conference with a 18.7 power-play percentage. … Sophomore Fs Melissa Piacentini (12-9-21) and Nicole Renault (4-16-20) lead the team in scoring. … Senior G Jenesica Drinkwater has a 1.99 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and two shutouts in a personal four-game winning streak.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: November 12th, 2013

Mercyhurst’s Kaleigh Chippy will join fellow senior F Christie Cicero in serving a one-game suspension Friday.
College Hockey America commissioner Robert DeGregorio has suspended Chippy and Robert Morris senior D Kylie St. Louis for one game for throwing punches at opposing players at the end of a penalty-filled game between these two CHA rivals this past Saturday in Moon Township. Both players initially received major penalties for checking to the head and face-masking, respectively, and game misconducts. But a video review determined that punches also were thrown.
Chippy will miss Friday’s CHA game against Syracuse at Mercyhurst Ice Center. St. Louis will miss Friday’s CHA home game against Lindenwood. Cicero and RMU freshman F Brittany Howard also won’t play that night because they were disqualified from last Saturday’s game for leaving the bench and contact to the head penalties, respectively. Disqualifications carry automatic one-game suspensions. League officials chose not to lengthen their suspensions.

Posted: November 7th, 2013

Record: 0-9-1, 0-0-0 CHA
Top players: So. G Nicole Hensley (0-9-1 record, 4.46 goals-against average, .903 save percentage), Jr. F Kendra Broad (2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points), So. D Brooke Peden (1-2-3), Sr. F Jocelyn Slattery (2-0-2), Jr. F Alyssa West (2-0-2)
What to watch: The Lions’ third season in NCAA Division I has been as difficult as the first two. They are a combined 15-56-3 at this level as they head into CHA play. But at least they have a strong building block in Hensley, who set the NCAA record with 90 saves in a 2-1 triple-OT loss to Robert Morris in the CHA playoffs last March. She broke former Mercyhurst star Desi Clark‘s mark of 78.

Record: 5-3-1, 0-0-0 CHA
Top players: Sr. F Christine Bestland (5-9-14), Jr. G Amanda Makela (5-3-1, 1.66, .935, 3 shutouts), Jr. F Shelby Bram (2-6-8), Sr. F Christie Cicero (3-4-7), Jr. D Molly Byrne (0-4-4)
What to watch: The Lakers are young, with 15 freshmen and sophomores. But it’s hard to count out this team at playoff time, given their track record (NCAA-record nine straight trips to the national playoffs) and leaders like Bestland, Cicero and Byrne.

Penn State
Record: 2-7-1, 0-2-0 CHA
Top players: So. F Shannon Yoxheimer (3-5-8), Sr. F Taylor Gross (3-4-7), So. F Hannah Hoenshell (1-4-5), Fr. F Sarah Nielsen (1-4-5), Fr. F Laura Bowman (4-0-4)
What to watch: The Nittany Lions are off to a sluggish start in their second CHA season. They need to keep the puck out of their net to turn it around. PSU has allowed four goals or more five times in their seven losses.

Robert Morris
Record: 8-2-0, 2-0-0 CHA
Top players: Fr. F Brittany Howard (4-13-17), Fr. G Jessica Dodds (6-0-0, 1.49, .932, 3 shutouts), Sr. F Kristen Richards(3-7-10), Sr. F Thea Imbrogno (5-4-9), Jr. F Rebecca Vint (5-3-8)
What to watch: The Colonials have a strong blend of experience and youth, starting up front with Howard, Richards and Imbrogno and in net with Dodds and junior Courtney Vinet (2-2-0, 2.25, .905). They are contenders to win a conference title for the second time in three seasons.

Rochester Institute of Technology
Record: 4-5-0, 0-0-0 CHA
Top players: Sr. F Kourtney Kunichika (5-2-7), Jr. G Ali Binnington (4-3-0, 2.63, .914, 2 SO), Jr. F Kolbee McCrea(3-3-6), So. F Jess Paton (3-3-6), Jr. D Morgan Scoyne (0-5-5)
What to watch: The Tigers head into their second season in CHA with a chance to make a name for themselves. They have wins over two Hockey East Association teams – New Hampshire and Vermont – and a one-goal loss to a strong Northeastern club. They also have a strong roster, led by Binnington in goal.

Record: 4-4-0, 0-0-0 CHA
Top players: So. D Nicole Renault (1-8-9), Sr. G Kallie Billadeau (2-4-0, 2.03, .943), So. F Melissa Piacentini(1-5-6), Sr. F Margot Scharfe (4-1-5), Sr. D Caitlin Roach (2-3-5)
What to watch: The Orange join Mercyhurst and RMU in the national poll. With a goaltending tandem like Billadeau and Jenesica Drinkwater (2-0-0, 1.50, .940), they should be in the running in the CHA this season.

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