Weekend Preview: Five non-conference games for CHA teams this week
Maine at No. 10/10 Robert Morris (84 Lumber Arena)
The red-hot Robert Morris Colonials welcome Maine to 84 Lumber Arena on Friday afternoon. The Colonials (13-3-1, 6-1-1 CHA) are coming off of a 1-0-1 weekend against Syracuse that helped them earn a spot in the national rankings for the first time in program history. They then topped in-state foe Ohio State on Tuesday, 2-1, to extend their unbeaten streak to six games.
Freshman forward Brittany Howard continues to excel for Robert Morris, and now has 21 points (6G, 15A) in 16 games. Rebecca Vint leads the team in scoring with nine goals, and is second on the team in scoring with 14 points. Kristen Richards has 13 (4G, 9A) and Thea Imbrogno has 11 (6G, 5A).
Rookie netminder Jessica Dodds earned the win over Ohio State to improve to 10-0-1, giving her the best winning percentage in the nation. She also ranks in the top-10 in GAA (1.44), save percentage (.935) and shutouts (3).
Maine (0-11-3, 0-7-3) is the only winless team in Division-I women's hockey. Senior defenseman Kelly McDonald and junior forward Jennifer More lead Maine in points with five each (2 goals, 3 assists), while junior goaltender Meghann Treacy has spent the majority of the time between the pipes. Treacy has compiled a record of 0-10-3 with a save percentage of .897 and goals-against-average of 3.88.
Robert Morris holds the edge in the all-time series, 6-3-1, but the teams haven't met since the 2010-11 season.
RIT vs. Quinnipiac -Nutmeg Classic (Highpoint Solutions Arena)
The Tigers head East to Connecticut this weekend to compete in the 10th annual Nutmeg Classic at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. On Friday, RIT will take on No. 8 Quinnipiac, and Saturday they will face either Yale or Connecticut, depending on the outcomes Friday.
RIT split a weekend series with Mercyhurst last weekend, taking a 2-1 win on Friday before falling 3-2 Saturday, snapping a program-record five-game unbeaten streak.
Kolbee McCrea netted three goals in that series, including both in the win Friday, to earn CHA Player of the Week honors. She leads the team with seven goals, and has 10 points this season. Kourtney Kunichika leads the team in points with 12 (5G, 7A), and had three assists last weekend.
Ali Binnington earned her third-straight CHA Goalie of the Week award after stopping 76-of-80 shots against the Mercyhurst offense. Binnington is now 8-3-1 on the year with a 1.97 GAA and .933 save percentage. She is 6-1-1 with a 1.13 GAA and .958 save percentage over her last eight starts.
Quinnipiac enters at 10-2-5 (3-2-4 ECAC), though they are winless in their last three outings. They drew with Princeton 1-1 on Tuesday after a tie to St. Lawrence (1-1) and loss to No. 6 Clarkson, 3-0 on Saturday. Kelly Babstock leads the team in scoring with 22 points on 10 goals and 12 assists. The Bobcats have four players with double-digit point totals. In net, junior Chelsea Laden is 10-2-4 with a 1.07 goals against average and .947 save percentage.
RIT vs. Yale/Uconn - Nutmeg Classic (Highpoint Solutions Arena)
Connecticut (4-8-2, 1-4-1 Hockey East) dropped two games to Boston College last weekend, 6-2, and 3-2. Junior Sarah MacDonnell leads the Huskies in scoring with 13 points (5G, 8A) on the season. Michela Cava is the only other Huskie to have over 10 points this season. Sarah Moses and Elaine Chuli have split time in net, as both hold a 2-4-1 mark. Moses has a 3.37 goals against average, and .911 save percentage, while Chuli has a 3.79 GAA and .903 save percentage.
Yale enters the weekend with a 2-7-1 (2-3-1 ECAC) record. Last weekend the Bulldogs faced Minnesota, the top-ranked team in Division I, and fell by scores of 5-1 and 4-1. Sophomore Jamie Haddad leads the team in scoring with eight points on three goals and five assists. Jamie Leonoff has appeared in every game this season with a 2-7-1 record to go along with a 3.52 goals against average and .914 save percentage this season.
RIT has never played Quinnipiac or Connecticut. The Tigers are 4-0-0 all time against Yale, 1-0-0 in the Division I era. RIT and Yale met last season, with the Tigers pulling out a 3-0 win at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. Binnington made 21 saves in the win, while Erin Zach and Celeste Brown each had a goal and an assist.
Maine at Penn State (Pegula Ice Arena)
Penn State (3-12-1, 1-7-0 CHA) will welcome Maine to Hockey Valley on Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions will look to build on a 4-1 win last Sunday over Lindenwood.
Five different goal scorers contributed in the series split at Lindenwood. Shannon Yoxheimer, Hannah Hoenshell & Emily Laurenzi each tallied two points, and Celine Whitliner picked up her third win of the season Sunday afternoon. Penn State continues to get production from their young players, with 56 of the team's 71 points coming from freshmen and sophomores.
Maine (0-11-3, 0-7-3) has struggled early in the season, still searching for its first game heading into a road weekend at Robert Morris and Penn State. The Black Bears and Colonials face off Friday evening at RMU. Maine is currently on a six-game losing streak, giving up an average of five goals per game during the skid. Kelly McDonald and Jennifer Moore lead the team with five points apiece, while Audra Richards leads the team with four goals. Kayla Kaluzny and Brianne Kilgour each have four points for the Bears. In net, Meghann Treacy has been in the net for all but one game as she has a .897 save percentage and a 3.88 goals-against average.
This is the first ever meeting between the two programs. The teams have three common opponents so far this season, not including Robert morris, who the Black Bears will play Friday night. The Nittany Lions are a combined 1-3-1 against the trio of Vermont, New Hampshire and Quinnipiac, while Maine is 0-4-1 against those three.
No. 3/3 Cornell at Syracuse (War Memorial Arena, Syracuse N.Y.)
On Tuesday, the 7-6-2 (2-2-2 CHA) Syracuse Orange will host No. 3 Cornell for a televised contest at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse. The Orange took a 2-1 victory over Colgate, also televised from the War Memorial Arena, in their last outing.
Syracuse is off this weekend, while Cornell will be in action against No. 6 Boston College on Friday and Saturday. Cornell enters the weekend at 8-0-2 (6-0-2 ECAC), with a 4-2 win over Dartmouth in their most recent outing.
Allie LaCombe provided the heroics for the Orange last week against Colgate, scoring in the final seconds of regulation to break a 1-1 tie. Jenesica Drinkwater made 18 saves to improve to 4-0-0 on the year.
Nicole Renault continues to lead Syracuse with 12 points (2G, 10A) on the year, while Nicole Ferrara (6G, 4A), Jessica Sibley (6G, 4A) and Melissa Piacentini (3G, 7A) each have ten points. Kallie Billadeau has seen a majority of the workload in goal, starting 11 of 15 games and posting a 2.08 GAA and .934 save percentage.
The Cornell offense, which leads the nation in goals per game at 4.50, is led by Emily Fulton with 22 points (8G, 14A). while Jillian Saulnier and Jessica Campbell each have 18. Fulton is first in the nation, with Saulnier and Campbell tied for second, in points per game. Fulton and Campbell are also one and two in assists per game. Lauren Slebodnick has started 10 of 11 games in goal, posting a 8-0-2 record with a 2.11 GAA and .916 save percentage.
Cornell also has the top-ranked power play in the country at 33.3%, while the Syracuse penalty kill is tied for sixth in the nation with Robert Morris at 89.3%.
Cornell defeated Syracuse 8-1 last season, and also took two games, 9-2 and 6-3 in 2011-12.