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 ‘molly byrne’
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: 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 7th, 2014

Christine Bestland and Jenna Dingeldein had a goal and two a assists apiece to lead the Mercyhurst women’s hockey team to a 5-1 College Hockey America win against Rochester Institute of Technology tonight at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Molly Byrne added two assists for the Lakers (18-7-3, 11-3-1 CHA), who moved into sole possession of first place in the conference – one point ahead of ninth-ranked Robert Morris, which tied Syracuse 3-3 tonight. The Lakers and Tigers (13-13-3, 8-5-2) complete the two-game series Saturday at 2 p.m. at MIC.

Check out head coach Michael Sisti‘s post-game interview here…

Posted: January 25th, 2014

Kaleigh Chippy scored two goals and Shelby Bram added a goal and two assists to lead the Mercyhurst women’s hockey team to a 5-3 College Hockey America win over No. 8 Robert Morris today in front of 675 fans at Mercyhurst Ice Center. The Lakers (15-7-3, 8-3-1 CHA) salvaged a split of the two-game series, while RMU (20-4-2, 9-2-1) had its 14-game overall and eight-game conference unbeaten streaks snapped with its first loss in two months. Molly Byrne added three assists for the Lakers, which held RMU without a shot on goal for the opening 23 minutes, 1 seconds of the game.

Check out post-game interviews with Chippy and head coach Michael Sisti by clicking on the links…

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.

Posted: September 22nd, 2013

Christine Bestland, Kaleigh Chippy and Emily Janiga had two goals and an assist apiece to lead the Mercyhurst women’s hockey team’s balanced attack to a 9-1 exhibition win against the Whitby Wildcats at Mercyhurst Ice Center on Sunday afternoon. Ten different Lakers recorded points in the victory.
Shelby Bram and Molly Byrne had a goal and two assists apiece while freshman Jillian Skinner added three assists to the goal she scored in a 6-2 exhibition win against University of Western Ontario on Saturday. Mercyhurst outshot the Wildcats 50-14. Julia DiTondo stopped 13-of-14 shots for the Lakers, which open the regular season Friday at Minnesota State-Mankato. Game time is 7:07 p.m., followed by the series finale next Saturday at 2:07 p.m.

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: March 21st, 2013

NCAA Women’s Frozen Four schedule
at Ridder Arena – Minneapolis, Minn.
Semifinals – Friday

No. 1 Minnesota (39-0-0) vs. No. 4 Boston College (27-6-3), 6 p.m.
Mercyhurst (29-6-1) vs. No. 3 Boston University (27-5-3), 9 p.m.
Championship game – Sunday
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.
Note: All three games will be streamed live on WMCE-FM/88.5 will broadcast Mercyhurst’s game tonight and Sunday’s championship game (if the Lakers advance).

Frozen Four teams at a glance
Mercyhurst Lakers (29-6-1)
Michael Sisti, 14th season (363-98-30)
Players to watch: Jr. F Christine Bestland (28 goals, 41 assists, 69 points), Sr. G Stephanie Ciampa (19-1-0 record, 1.37 goals-against average, .937 save percentage, 4 shutouts), Fr. F Jenna Dingeldein (14-27-41), Fr. F Emily Janiga (19-21-40), So. D Molly Byrne (8-24-32)
Frozen Four facts: Has reached the Frozen Four for the third time (2009-10, 2013) during a NCAA-record nine 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 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, site of this weekend’s Frozen Four. … Has a 4-7 record in the NCAA playoffs. … Has a 4-2 all-time record against Boston University, tonight’s semifinal opponent, including a 4-2 national quarterfinal loss in Boston in their last meeting (March 12, 2011).
Outlook: The Lakers are decided underdogs as the only unseeded team in the field. But is this the year they claim their first national title?

No. 3 Boston University Terriers (27-5-3)
Brian Durocher, 8th season (158-92-37)
Players to watch: Jr. F Marie-Philip Poulin (17 goals, 34 assists, 51 points), Jr. G Kerrin Sperry (23-4-3 record, 2.19 goals-against average, .914 save percentage, 4 shutouts), Sr. F Isabel Menard (15-29-44), Sr. F Jenelle Kohanchuk (23-20-43), Fr. F Sarah Lefort (23-19-42)
Frozen Four facts: Has reached the Frozen Four for the second time and the NCAA playoffs for the fourth straight time in the program’s eight-year history. … Reached the Frozen Four in 2011 at Erie Insurance Arena (beat Cornell 4-1 in the semifinal, but lost 4-1 to Wisconsin in the title game. … Lost to Cornell 8-7 in overtime in the 2012 quarterfinals. … Tied a school record for wins in a season. … Poulin was named to the Canadian Women’s National Team that will play in the IIHF Women’s World Championship next month in Ottawa, Ontario. … Menard transferred from Syracuse, Mercyhurst’s College Hockey America rival, after her sophomore season.
Outlook: The Terriers have another shot at the national title that slipped away in Erie two years ago. Mercyhurst stands in their way.

No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers (39-0-0)
Brad Frost, 5th season (145-36-16)
Players to watch: Jr. F Amanda Kessel (44 goals, 53 assists, 97 points), Sr. G Noora Raty (36-0-0 record, 0.88 goals-against average, .959 save percentage, 17 shutouts), Fr. F Hannah Brandt (31-49-80), Sr. D Megan Bozek (20-35-55), Fr. F Maryanne Menefee (16-19-35)
Frozen Four facts: Have won three national championships (2004, 2005, 2012) in nine trips to the Frozen Four (2002-06, 2009-10, 2012). … Was led in 2012 by Jen Schoullis, a Girard native who now plays for the Boston Blades (CWHL) and the United States National Team. … Has a 47-game winning streak. … Needed three overtimes to beat WCHA rival North Dakota in the quarterfinals. … Has all three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which honors the national player of the year (Bozek, Kessel and Raty). … Has won 21 games by shutout. .. Has outscored opponents 207-31. … Lost in the semifinals in the Frozen Four’s last trip to Ridder Arena in Minneapolis in 2010.
Outlook: The Golden Gophers are the clear favorite to win the natioal title on their home ice. They also have all the pressure on their shoulders.

No. 4 Boston College Eagles (27-6-3)
Katie King Crowley, 6th season (119-61-34)
Players to watch: So. F Alex Carpenter (32 goals, 37 assists, 69 points), Sr. D Blake Bolden (6-23-29), Fr. F Haley Skarupa (24-27-51), Sr. G Corinne Boyles (22-4-1 record, 1.79 goals-against average, .927 save percentage, 3 shutouts), So. F Emily Field (15-29-44)
Frozen Four facts: Has reached the Frozen Four for the third straight season. … Lost to Wisconsin in the semifinals the past two seasons – 3-2 in 2011 at Erie Insurance Arena and 6-2 a season ago in Duluth, Minn. … Enjoying the best season in program history, headlined by an offense that set a school record with 4.36 goals per game. … Lost to Northeastern in the Hockey East Association semifinals, but rebounded with a 3-1 NCAA quarterfinal win against Harvard last weekend. … Has a 1-4-1 all-time record against Minnesota, their Final Four opponent.
Outlook: The Eagles never have won a Frozen Four game. But a win over the defending champs could vault them to their first national title.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 7th, 2013

No. 9 Mercyhurst University (26-6-1) vs. Robert Morris (15-14-13)
Syracuse (19-14-1) vs. Rochester Institute of Technology (16-15-5)

When: Today, 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m.
Where: Mercyhurst Ice Center
On the air: (live stream), (live statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst begins its quest for a 10th College Hockey America tournament championship in the last 11 years with a healthy lineup. Junior F Christie Cicero (severe concussion, sprained neck) rejoined the lineup Feb. 23 against RIT. … The Lakers can capture their 12th conference title in the last 13 years, dating back to the 2000-01 season in the Great Lakes Women’s Hockey Association. … Win or lose, the Lakers learn if they will make a NCAA-record ninth straight NCAA Division I tournament appearance when the eight-team field is unveiled Sunday at 6 p.m. on … Mercyhurst lost the first three regular-season meetings with defending CHA champion Robert Morris before posting a 9-1 home win Feb. 9. … The Lakers swept all four respective meetings with Syracuse and RIT. … Junior F Christine Bestland finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally with 40 assists, fifth with 66 points and ninth with 26 goals. She also tied for second with 10 power-play goals and tied for eighth with six game-winning goals. … Sophomore Ds Molly Byrne and and Vaila Higson were tied for fifth among all defensemen with 31 points apiece. … F Emily Janiga is third among all freshmen with 40 points, one spot ahead of F Jenna Dingeldein (39 points). … Senior G Stephanie Ciampa ranks second with a .944 winning percentage (17-1-0), fourth with a 1.40 goals-against average, tied for seventh with a .935 save percentage and tied for eighth with four shutouts. … RMU needed two wins last weekend over Lindenwood, including a three-overtime victory in the opener, to reach the semifinals. … RIT, which beat Penn State twice by one goal last weekend, looks for a CHA championship in its first season in the league and at the D-I level. … Syracuse reached the title game two of the last three years.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 21st, 2013

Rochester Institute of Technology (14-13-5, 7-6-5 CHA) at No. 9 Mercyhurst University (24-6-1, 15-3-0)
When: Friday, 3 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.
Where: Mercyhurst Ice Center
On the air: (live stream), (live statistics)
What to expect: Mercyhurst enters the final weekend of the regular season already having clinched a 12th straight College Hockey America regular-season championship and top seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Lakers and second-seeded Syracuse will have byes in next weekend’s first round, which features the other four teams in best-of-three series for the first time in CHA history. The Lakers will host the semifinals and title game March 8-9. … Mercyhurst swept a season-opening, two-game series from CHA newcomer RIT, 6-2 and 7-0, in Rochester, N.Y., Sept. 28-29 behind junior F Christine Bestland‘s three goals and seven points. … RIT needs one win to secure a winning record in its first NCAA Division I season. The Tigers, which will have home-ice advantage in a first-round playoff series, need one point to earn the third seed. They lead Robert Morris and Lindenwood by four points with two games left. Penn State has clinched the sixth seed. … Bestland ranks third nationally with 39 assists and fifth with 63 points. She’s also tied for second with nine power-play goals and tied for sixth with six game-winning goals. … Sophomore D Molly Byrne is tied for fourth among all defensemen with 30 points. Sophomore D Vaila Higson has moved into the top 10 with 27 points. … F Emily Janiga is third among all freshmen with 39 points, one spot ahead of F Jenna Dingeldein (35 points). … Senior G Stephanie Ciampa ranks second with a .938 winning percentage, fifth with a 1.39 goals-against average, seventh with a .935 save percentage and tied for sixth with four shutouts.

- Victor Fernandes