Shootout
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 ‘frozen four’
Posted: March 20th, 2014

Mercyhurst Lakers (24-8-4)
Head coach: Michael Sisti, 15th season (387-106-34)
Players to watch: Sr. F Christine Bestland (22

Christine Bestland

goals, 32 assists, 54 points), Jr. G Amanda Makela (22-7-4 record, 1.80 goals-against average, .927 save percentage, 6 shutouts), Jr. D Molly Byrne (3-24-27), So. F Emily Janiga (15-26-41), Sr. F Christie Cicero (16-19-35), So. F Jenna Dingeldein (15-20-35), Jr. F Shelby Bram (8-26-34)
Road to the Frozen Four: def. Syracuse 2-1 (CHA semifinal), lost to Rochester Institute of Technology 2-1 in 2OTs (CHA final), def. Cornell 3-2 (NCAA quarterfinal)
Frozen Four facts: Has reached the Frozen Four for the fourth time (2009-10, 2013-14) during a NCAA-record 10 straight appearances in the national playoffs, but has never won a national championship. … Has a 1-2 Frozen Four record, with the lone win coming against Minnesota in the 2009 semifinals. … Lost to Wisconsin in the 2009 title game. … Lost to Cornell in the 2010 semifinals and Boston University a season ago, both in Minneapolis. … Has a 5-8 record in the NCAA playoffs. … Has a 4-8-4 all-time record against Clarkson, tonight’s semifinal opponent, but went 1-0-1 against the Golden Knights in Potsdam, N.Y., in October (2-0 win and 1-1 tie).
Outlook: The Lakers are decided underdogs as the only unseeded team in the field for the second straight year. They struggled against BU a season ago. Can they claim their first national title in a season where they weren’t even expected to make the NCAA tournament?

Clarkson Golden Knights (29-5-5)
Co-head coach: Matt Desrosiers & Shannon Desrosiers, 6th season (132-68-27)
Players to watch: Sr. F Jamie Lee

Jamie Lee Rattray (Contributed/Clarkson University)

Rattray (28-34-62), So. D Erin Ambrose (14-36-50), Sr. G Erica Howe (29-5-5, 1.03, .944, 14 SO), Sr. F Brittany Styner (13-33-46), Sr. F Carly Mercer (14-31-45), Sr. F Vanessa Gagnon (17-13-30)
Road to the Frozen Four: def. Quinnipiac 6-0 (ECAC semifinal), lost to Cornell 1-0 (ECAC final), def. Boston College 3-1 (NCAA quarterfinal)
Frozen Four facts: Clarkson makes its Frozen Four debut tonight. …The Golden Knights have set a new school record for wins in a season. … Rattray is one of three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which honors the national player of the year, stands second in Division I in points. … The Desrosiers are the first husband-wife coaching tandem in college hockey. … Howe, who leads all goaltenders nationally in goals-against average and shutouts, spearheads a Golden Knights’ defense that has allowed one goal or fewer in 31-of-39 games.
Outlook: The Golden Knights enjoyed the best season in program history. But Mercyhurst, their semifinal opponent, proved to be a tough opponent earlier in the season. Can they overcome the Lakers and the nerves that may surface in their first Frozen Four?

Minnesota Golden Gophers (37-1-1)
Head coach: Brad Frost, 7th season (223-37-17)
Players to watch: So. F Hannah Brandt (22-41-63), Jr. F Rachael Bona

Rachael Bona (Contributed/University of Minnesota)

(21-37-58), Sr. F Terry Kelly (21-29-50), Sr. F Sarah Davis (19-28-47), So. G Amanda Leveille (37-1-1, 1.07, .951, 13 SO), Jr. D Rachel Ramsey (12-31-43)
Road to the Frozen Four: def. Minnesota Duluth 4-1 (WCHA semifinal), def. North Dakota 3-1 (WCHA final), def. Boston University 5-1 (NCAA quarterfinal)
Frozen Four facts: Looking for a third straight national championship and fifth overall (2004-05, 2012-13). … Has an 86-1-1 record in the last 88 games. … Had a 62-game winning streak snapped in a 3-2 loss to North Dakota on Nov. 17. … Brandt, the nation’s leading scorer, joins Clarkson’s Rattray and Cornell junior F Jillian Saulnier as finalists for the Kazmaier Award, which will be awarded Saturday. … Only other blemish was a 2-2 tie with Ohio State on Jan. 11. … Has won 17 straight games since then by a combined 80-11 score. … Has 10 players with 28 points or more.
Outlook: This is the powerhouse Golden Gophers’ title to lose. But first they have to get back rival Wisconsin in an all-WCHA semifinal.

Wisconsin Badgers (28-7-2)
Head coach: Mark Johnson, 11th season (335-65-30)
Players to watch: Sr. F Brittany Ammerman (22-21-43), Sr. G Alex Rigsby (17-6-2, 1.17, .950, 7 SO) Jr. F Blayre Turnbull (18-22-40), So. D Courtney Burke (5-21-26), Sr. F Madison Packer (11-11-22)
Road to the Frozen Four: lost to North Dakota 1-0 (WCHA semifinal), def. Harvard 2-1 (NCAA quarterfinal)
Frozen Four facts: Has won four national championships (2006-07, 2009, 2011). … Won their last title by beating Boston University at Tullio Arena in March 2010. … Had four losses in their last nine games. … Johnson was a member of the gold medal-winning Unites States Olympic team that won at Lake Placid, N.Y. … He also coached the U.S. Olympic Women’s Team to a silver medal in 2010 in Vancouver. … Lost all four meetings with Minnesota in the regular season. … Have a NCAA-best 17-3 all-time record in the national playoffs. …
Outlook: The WCHA has won all 14 national championships in tournament history. The conference is guaranteed to have a team in the title game. But will it be the Badgers?

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 16th, 2014

The Mercyhurst women’s hockey team will play in the nightcap in Friday’s semifinals at the NCAA Division I Frozen Four.
The unseeded Lakers (24-8-4) will face third-seeded Clarkson (29-5-5) in the 8 p.m. game at TD Sports Bank Center in Hamden, Conn. Top-seeded and two-time defending champion Minnesota (37-1-1) and No. 4 Wisconsin (28-7-2) meet in the opening semifinal at 5 p.m. The winners move on to the championship game Sunday at 3 p.m.
All three games will be streamed live on NCAA.com.

NCAA Women’s Division I Final Four schedule
at TD Sports Bank Center – Hamden, Conn.
Semifinals – Friday*

No. 1 Minnesota (37-1-1) vs. No. 4 Wisconsin (28-7-2), 5 p.m.
Mercyhurst (24-8-4) vs. No. 3 Clarkson (29-5-5), 8 p.m.
Championship game – Sunday*
Minnesota-Wisconsin winner vs. Mercyhurst-Clarkson winner, 3 p.m.
* Streamed live on NCAA.com

Posted: March 15th, 2014

NCAA Women’s Division I Tournament schedule
Quarterfinals – March 15

Mercyhurst 3, No. 2 Cornell 2
No. 3 Clarkson 3, Boston College 1
No. 1 Minnesota 5, Boston University 1
No. 4 Wisconsin 2, Harvard 1
Semifinals – Friday*
at TD Sports Bank Center – Hamden, Conn.

Minnesota (37-1-1) vs. Wisconsin (28-7-2), 5 or 8 p.m.
Mercyhurst (24-8-4) vs. Clarkson (29-5-5), 5 or 8 p.m.
Championship game – March 23*
at TD Sports Bank Center – Hamden, Conn.

Minnnesota-Wisconsin winner vs. Mercyhurst-Clarkson winner, 3 p.m.
* Streamed live on NCAA.com

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: www.cornellbigred.com & www.hurstathletics.com (live stream and live statistics), www.wmce.mercyhurst.edu (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 9th, 2014

Check out the Mercyhurst women’s hockey team’s reaction to earning a spot in the NCAA Division I Tournament field today….as well as interviews with head coach Michael Sisti and seniors Christine Bestland and Christie Cicero

NCAA selection breakdown
Boston College - at large (Hockey East)
Boston University - automatic bid (Hockey East champion)
Clarkson - at large (ECAC)
Cornell - automatic bid (ECAC champion)
Harvard - at large (ECAC)
Mercyhurst - at large (CHA)
Minnesota - automatic bid (WCHA champion)
Wisconsin - at large (WCHA)

NCAA Women’s Division I Tournament schedule
Quarterfinals – Saturday

Boston University (23-12-1) at No. 1 Minnesota (36-1-1), 5 p.m.
Mercyhurst (23-8-4) at No. 2 Cornell (24-5-2), 3:30 p.m.
Boston College (27-6-3) at No. 3 Clarkson (28-5-5), 4 p.m.
Harvard (23-6-4) at No. 4 Wisconsin (27-7-2), 8 p.m.
Semifinals – March 21*
at TD Sports Bank Center – Hamden, Conn.

BU-Minnesota winner vs. Harvard-Wisconsin winner, TBD
Mercyhurst-Cornell winner vs. BC-Clarkson winner, TBD
Championship game – March 23*
at TD Sports Bank Center – Hamden, Conn.

Semifinal winners, TBD
* Streamed live on NCAA.com

Posted: December 14th, 2013

Mercyhurst (12-5-2, 5-2-1 CHA) at Lindenwood (2-14-2, 2-5-1)
When: Today, 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Lindenwood Ice Arena – Wentzville, Mo.
On the air: www.americaonesports.com (live stream), www.hurstathletics.com (real-time statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst completes the first half of the season with a second straight two-game series against a struggling College Hockey America team. The Lakers swept Penn State by a combined 15-0 score at Mercyhurst Ice Center last weekend, as 18 skaters that dressed for those games recorded at least a point. … The Lakers have a nearly month-long Christmas break before facing No. 3 Cornell at MIC on Jan. 10-11. … The Lakers have won a season-high five straight games by a combined 24-6 score. … With two wins, they would move within a game of idle Robert Morris (16-3-1, 8-1-1) in the CHA standings. … The Lakers have won all eight career meetings with Lindenwood by a combined 64-5 score, including four shutouts. … Senior F Christine Bestland can climb into third on the Lakers’ career scoring list with two points this weekend. She is tied for fourth with Valerie Chouinard (200 from 2005-09), one point behind Bailey Bram (201 from 2008-12). … The Lakers have allowed three goals or fewer 17 times. … Junior G Amanda Makela has a 10-5-2 record, 1.83 goals-against average, .933 save percentage this season, including 3-2-1, 2.04 and .930 in conference play. … The Lakers have improved to seventh in NCAA Division I with 3.26 goals scored per game and eighth at 1.68 goals against per game. … Lindenwood split a two-game CHA series with Syracuse last weekend, their second straight series split. … Junior F Kendra Broad leads the Lions with four goals and nine points. … Sophomore G Nicole Hensley, CHA’s reigning rookie of the year who set the NCAA single-game record with 90 saves a season ago, has a 3.47 goals-against average and .915 save percentage overall. Her statistics improve to 2.37 and .934 in CHA play. On Wednesday, Lindenwood learned the school will serve as host for the 2017 Women’s Frozen Four at Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 17th, 2013

The Mercyhurst University women’s hockey team stands eighth nationally in the USA Hockey/USA Hockey Magazine preseason poll, which was released today. The Lakers return 16 players, including reigning College Hockey America player of the year Christine Bestland, from a team that finished 29-7-1, won an 11th straight CHA championship, secured a NCAA-record ninth consecutive national playoff appearance and reached the Division I Frozen Four a season ago.
Minnesota, which finished a 41-0-0 season with a national title, received 18-of-19 first-place votes and 179 points to finish ahead of runner-up Boston College, which had one first-place vote and 160 points. Clarkson (106 points), Boston University (102) and North Dakota (100) rounded out the top five teams. Cornell (96), Wisconsin (94), Mercyhurst (70), Harvard (41) and Northeastern (20) completed the top 10.
The Lakers open the season this weekend with an exhibition games at Mercyhurst Ice Center. They face the University of Western Ontario Saturday at 7 p.m., followed by a game against the Whitby Wolves on Sunday at 1 p.m. The players will be awarded their CHA championship rings before Saturday’s game.
In other news, Bestland was named captain while fellow senior Christie Cicero and juniors Shelby Bram, Molly Byrne and Caroline Luczak will serve as assistant captains.

Posted: July 11th, 2013

The Mercyhurst-Cornell women’s hockey rivalry will continue in the 2013-14 season. The Lakers and Big Red meet for a two-game, non-conference series Jan. 10-11 at Mercyhurst Ice Center. Those matchups headline the Lakers’ schedule, which begins early – Sept. 21 and 28 – with exhibition games at MIC against Western Ontario and the Whitby Wildcats of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. The regular season opens at home Oct. 5 against Ohio State.
They also have non-conference games at Providence (Oct. 12-13), Clarkson (Oct. 18-19) and Minnesota State-Mankato (Jan. 17-18) and at home against Maine (Oct. 25-26). In between, the Lakers face Cornell for the first time since a 4-3 overtime win this past March in the NCAA Division I quarterfinals, which sent Mercyhurst to the Frozen Four for the third time in program history. The Lakers lost to Boston University in the semifinals to finish the season at 29-7-1.
They begin the College Hockey America schedule Nov. 8 at Robert Morris. The Lakers play their first conference home game Nov. 15 against Syracuse. They conclude the regular season at home Feb. 21-22 against CHA foe Lindenwood. The conference playoffs run from Feb. 28 to March 8.

Posted: March 28th, 2013

Vic’s picks
Victor Fernandes unveils his predictions for the NCAA Division I tournament:

East Regional
at Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, R.I.
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 4 Canisius def. No. 1 Quinnipiac
No. 2 Boston College def. No. 3 Union
Championship game – Sunday
No. 2 Boston College def. No. 4 Canisius

Northeast Regional
at Verizon Wireless Arena – Manchester, N.H.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 4 Wisconsin def. No. 1 UMass-Lowell
No. 3 Denver def. No. 2 New Hampshire
Championship game – Saturday
No. 4 Wisconsin def. No. 3 Denver

Midwest Regional
at Huntington Center – Toledo, Ohio
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 4 St. Cloud State def. No. 1 Notre Dame
No. 2 Miami, Ohio def. No. 3 Minnesota State-Mankato
Championship game – Sunday
No. 4 St. Cloud State def. No. 2 Miami, Ohio

West Regional
at Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Minnesota def. No. 4 Yale
No. 2 North Dakota def. No. 3 Niagara
Championship game – Saturday
No. 1 Minnesota def. No. 2 North Dakota

Men’s Frozen Four
at CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh
Semifinals – April 11

No. 2 Boston College def. No. 4 St. Cloud State
No. 1 Minnesota def. No. 4 Wisconsin
Championship game – April 13
No. 2 Boston College def. No. 1 Minnesota

NCAA Division I Tournament schedule
East Regional
at Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, R.I.
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 1 Quinnipiac (27-7-5) vs. No. 4 Canisius (19-18-5), 5:30 p.m. ESPN3
No. 2 Boston College (22-11-4) vs. No. 3 Union (21-12-5), 9 p.m. ESPNU
Championship game – Sunday
Semifinal winners, 6:30 p.m. ESPNU

Northeast Regional
at Verizon Wireless Arena – Manchester, N.H.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 UMass-Lowell (26-10-2) vs. No. 4 Wisconsin (22-12-7), 4:30 p.m. ESPN3
No. 2 New Hampshire (19-11-7) vs. No. 3 Denver (20-13-5), 8 p.m. ESPNU
Championship game – Saturday
Semifinal winners, 6:30 p.m. ESPNU

Midwest Regional
at Huntington Center – Toledo, Ohio
Semifinals – Saturday

No. 1 Notre Dame (25-12-3) vs. No. 4 St. Cloud State (23-15-1), 1:30 p.m. ESPN3
No. 2 Miami, Ohio (24-11-5) vs. Minnesota State-Mankato (24-13-3), 5 p.m. ESPN3
Championship game – Sunday
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m. ESPNU

West Regional
at Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Minnesota (26-8-5) vs. No. 4 Yale (18-12-3), 2 p.m. ESPNU
No. 2 North Dakota (21-12-7) vs. No. 3 Niagara (23-9-5), 5:30 p.m. ESPNU
Championship game – Saturday
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m. ESPNU

Men’s Frozen Four
at CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh
Semifinals – April 11

East Regional champion vs. Midwest Regional champion, 4:30 p.m. ESPN2
Northeast Regional champion vs. West Regional champion, 8 p.m. ESPN2
Championship game – April 13
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. ESPN

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