No. 9 Mercyhurst University (22-6-1, 13-3-0 CHA) at Syracuse (18-11-1, 12-3-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.
Where: Tennity Ice Pavilion – Syracuse, N.Y.
On the air: www.americaonesports.com (live stream), www.hurstathletics.com (live statistics)
What to expect:Mercyhurst can clinch their 11th straight College Hockey America regular-season championship – and 10th outright title – with a sweep of this two-game series. The Lakers lead the Orange by one point with four games left in the regular season. … Mercyhurst split a series with Robert Morris last weekend, while the Orange swept a series from Rochester Institute of Technology by 2-1 scores to extend their winning streak to eight games. … The Orange won six of those games by one goal, including the past four outings. They haven’t lost since Jan. 15 (8-1 at Cornell). … The Lakers swept a two-game series from Syracuse, 1-0 and 4-1, Jan. 11-12 at Mercyhurst Ice Center. … Mercyhurst is unbeaten against Syracuse (20-0-1), with the only blemish being a 1-1 tie Jan. 7, 2012. … The Lakers slipped to ninth from seventh in USCHO.com’s Division I poll this week. They remain seventh in the Ratings Percentage Index and PairWise Ranking, which are used to determine the eight-team field in the upcoming NCAA Division I playoffs. … Junior F Christine Bestland ranks fifth nationally with 61 points and fourth with 2.10 points per game. She also ranks among the national leaders in goals (23), goals per game (0.82), assists (38), assists per game (1.31), power-play goals (nine) and game-winning goals (six). … Sophomore D Molly Byrne is tied for fourth among all defensemen with 28 points and 0.97 points per game. … Freshman F Emily Janiga is third among all rookies with 37 points and 1.28 points per game, one spot ahead of F Jenna Dingeldein (35 points, 1.21 per game). … Mercyhurst senior Stephanie Ciampa (13-1-0 record, 1.24 goals-against average, .941 save percentage, four shutouts) and Syracuse junior Kallie Billadeau (14-6-0, 1.35, .947, six shutouts) are two of the nation’s top goaltenders. … The Orange have relied on the nation’s eighth-best scoring defense (1.93 goals per game). They are only 16th in scoring offense (2.80 goals per game).
- Victor Fernandes