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CHA Player of the Week
Celeste Brown – RIT
Junior; Forward; Great Falls, MT
Brown scored the game-winning goal 10:15 into overtime on Friday, lifting the Tigers to a 3-2 win over Penn State in game one of their first round playoff series. She also had an assist in Saturday’s 3-0 win in game two to help her team advance to the CHA semi-finals this weekend. Brown now has 17 points this season on 11 goals and six assists.
CHA Goaltenders of the Week
Ali Binnington – RIT
Junior; Oakville, Ontario
Binnington was excellent in the Tiger’s first round playoff series against Penn State. She stopped 65-of-67 shots in the weekend sweep. On Friday, Binnington made 34 saves in a 3-2 overtime win in game one, including two huge stops on consecutive breakaways in overtime. On Saturday, Binnington stopped all 31 shots she faced for her sixth shutout of the season and 14th of her collegiate career. Binnington has won five straight, and is now 14-9-1 with a 1.82 goals against average, .940 save percentage, and six shutouts this season. This is Binnington’s third-straight, and sixth overall, CHA weekly award this season.
Jenesica Drinkwater – Syracuse
Senior; Brantford, Ontario
Drinkwater allowed just one goal over the weekend in the Orange's first-round playoff sweep of Lindenwood. She stopped 42-of-43 total shots, including all 22 on Saturday afternoon for her fourth shutout of the season. For the season, her GAA is 1.82, tied for second in the conference, and her .929 save percentage is fourth-best in the league. This is her third CHA Goaltender of the Week honor this season, all coming in the second half of the year.
CHA Rookie of the Week
Heather Schwarz – Syracuse
Forward; Naugatuck, Conn.
Schwarz scored two goals and added an assist against Lindenwood over the weekend, coming through with a big performance in the postseason after recording just one goal during the regular season. She provided a spark for the offense, recording the first of four consecutive goals for the Orange on Friday night. She also contributed the third goal on Saturday afternoon and an assist on the final goal of the weekend. This is her third CHA Rookie of the Week award this season.
Lindenwood – Lindenwood ended its season last week with a loss to Syracuse in the first round of the CHA Tournament ... game one was scoreless for 37 minutes before the Orange scored four times in the final 23 minutes for a 4-1 win ... Syracuse won game two by a 6-0 score after standout goalie Nicole Hensley was knocked out of the contest in the second minute of the first period ... the Lady Lions earned at least one point over every CHA team during the 2013-14 season, the first time it has achieved that ... among the top highlights of the team was recording one win (Robert Morris) and one tie (Mercyhurst) over nationally-ranked teams, both firsts in program history ... Nicole Hensley finished the year with 1,197 saves, the third-most in NCAA Division I history for a single season ... the Lady Lions lowered their goals allowed per game by 0.7 goals a game ... Kendra Broad finished the season as the team leader with nine goals, 11 assists, and 20 points ... Katie Erickson had a team-high five power-play goals .... Lindenwood loses just two seniors in Jocelyn Slattery and Chelsea Witwicke ... Jocelyn Slattery finished the season with six goals and nine assists, and had the top plus/minus on the team ... Chelsea Witwicke was Lindenwood's top defenseman and was fourth on the team with eight assists.
Mercyhurst – The Mercyhurst University women's hockey team hosts the College Hockey America Championship for the second straight year after collecting their 13th consecutive CHA Regular season title. The Lakers finished the regular season with a 22-7-4 overall record and were 15-3-2 in the CHA. Mercyhurst will meet Syracuse University in the semifinals on Friday, March 7 at 4:00 p.m. This season, the Lakers are 3-0-1 against the Orange to improve their lifetime 24-0-2. The Lakers eight-game unbeaten streak extended to nine after a scoreless five minute overtime against Lindenwood last weekend which is third longest standing in the nation this season. Nationally the Lakers are fifth on their power-play with a 20% success rate and jumped to eighth on their penalty-kill with an 87.3% rate. Senior Christine Bestland was recently named as a top-10 finalist for the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award where the winner is announced during the national championship. Bestland leads the nation in shorthanded goals (5) and is currently fifth in the country in scoring averaging 1.52 points per game on 50 points scored this season. She is ninth in goals per game (0.61) and is fourth in assists per game (0.91). As a team, the Lakers four players in the top 30 in the country in scoring, and has six different players in the top ten in their respective categories.
Penn State – Penn State took part in its second CHA Tournament and fell in a first-round series to third-seeded RIT, 2-0...RIT won a wild first game, 3-2, in overtime that saw the Nittany Lions control the majority of the game. Shannon Yoxheimer scored both Nittany Lion goals as PSU fired a record total of 36 shots against the RIT, the most in the all-time series...RIT would end Penn State's longest game in school history with a Celeste Brown bomb from the point 10:15 into the extra frame. PSU's longest game now stands at 70 minutes, 15 seconds...Last year's deciding game two loss at RIT came in a 3-2 overtime decision...RIT would shut out the Nittany Lions, 3-0, in 2014's game two, ending a streak of seven games in which Penn State led and the decision was by less than two goals...The most familiar opponent, RIT improved to 10-0-2 all-time against Penn State...Hannah Hoenshell ended the campaign as the leading point-scorer with 17 on five goals and 12 assists. Freshman Laura Bowman was tied for second with Shannon Yoxheimer with 16 points each as Bowman led the Nittany Lion with a team-high 10 goals...The Nittany Lions graduate the services of five student-athletes, four of which played the majority of the season: captain Taylor Gross, assistant captains Jenna Welch and Lindsay Reihl; starting goaltender Nicole Paniccia and graduating junior Tess Weaver...Penn State brings in six newcomers for the 2014-15 season, which will be Penn State's third as a varsity program.
Robert Morris – Robert Morris enters the CHA Semifinals this weekend as the second seed after enjoying a bye in the CHA Quarterfinals. The Colonials were the second seed once before in 2011-12, when RMU won its first CHA Championship. In that contest, Thea Imbrogno tallied a goal and an assist in the first period en route to a 3-2 victory over Mercyhurst ... The Colonials made their 13th straight appearance in the USCHO.com Poll today, slotting in at 10th. RMU trails North Dakota by 10 points ... The Colonial senior class has advanced at least one round in every CHA Tournament they've played in. Stretching back to the 2010-11 season, RMU is 5-2 in the CHA Tournament, which includes a two-game quarterfinal sweep of Lindenwood last year ... The Colonials celebrated their senior class on February 21st and 22nd when Penn State came to 84 Lumber Arena. Both contests featured record-breaking performances, as Imbrogno surpassed Brianna Delaney's mark of 121 career points on the 21st, and Rebecca Vint toppled her own record of 22 goals in a season on the 22nd ... Jessica Dodds earned her fifth shutout of the season in RMU's 4-0 victory over Penn State on Feb. 22. The five blankings rank Dodds in a tie for seventh among all goaltenders, while her winning percentage (.804), goals-against-average (1.58), and save percentage (.935) rank fourth, fifth, and eighth, respectively ... Robert Morris will play RIT in the CHA Semifinals on Friday, March 7 at 7:30. The Colonials have gone 3-1 against the Tigers this season, which includes a sweep (2-1, 4-2) on Dec. 6-7, 2013.
RIT – The Tigers (18-15-3, 11-7-2 CHA) extended their winning streak to five games after sweeping Penn State by scores of 3-2 and 3-0 in the CHA First Round series from Ritter Arena. On Friday, Celeste Brown scored 10:15 into overtime to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 victory. Jess Paton and Caitlin Wallace scored goals 1:26 apart in the second period, while goaltender Ali Binnington made 34 saves, including consecutive breakaways in overtime. Wallace's goal was the first of her collegiate career. On Saturday, Binnington made 31 saves to record her sixth shutout of the season and 14th of her career, while Melissa Bromley, Erin Zach, and Emilee Bulleid also scored. The Tigers won the season series between the two schools this season, 5-0-1 and is 10-0-2 all-time against the Nittany Lions. RIT will wrap up their season this weekend by heading to Mercyhurst for the CHA Semifinals and potentially, championship. RIT, the third seed, plays second seed Robert Morris on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and if they win, play either Syracuse or Mercyhurst for the championship on Saturday. The Tigers enter the weekend riding a Division I team record five-game winning streak, having allowed just four goals over that span. Goaltender Ali Binnington has stopped 147-of-151 shots during that span (.974 save percentage). Overall, she is 14-9-2 with a 1.82 goals against average and .940 save percentage to go along with six shutouts this season and 14 for her RIT career, second most in school history. Binnington is sixth nationally in save percentage, tied for fifth in shutouts, and has the 11th best goals against average in Division I. Kourtney Kunichika is fifth all-time in scoring at RIT with 134 career points on 53 goals and 81 assists. She is two points shy of fourth and four away from third. Freshman Mackenzie Stone has five goals this season, all of which are game-winning tallies. RIT is 1-3-0 this season against Robert Morris, 1-3-0 against Mercyhurst, and 3-1-0 against Syracuse. The wins over Mercyhurst and Robert Morris were the first two for the Tigers against ranked opponents in the DI era. RIT is guaranteed to finish with a winning record for the first time at the Division I level.
Syracuse – The Orange dominated
Lindenwood last weekend despite close games with the Lions
throughout the regular season. Syracuse took victories of 4-1 and
6-0 against Lindenwood on Friday and Saturday. Saturday was the
first six-goal game the Orange have been involved with this season.
The win also matched the program's record of 20 wins in a season.
Over the course of the weekend, eight different Orange scored goals
and two scored twice. Melissa Piacentini, Margot Scharfe and
Caitlin Roach each had a three-point game on Saturday with
Piacentini recording two goals and an assist, Scharfe scoring one
goal and two assists and Roach helping on three scores. Jenesica
Drinkwater recorded her fourth shutout of the season against the
Lions on Saturday afternoon, making 22 saves along the way. In
total, she made 42 saves on the day. SU has been to the semifinal
round every season since the program began in 2008-09 and has
advanced to the title game three times including last year, losing
each time to Mercyhurst. The Orange has never defeated Mercyhurst
in the program's six seasons and will try and use its momentum from
last weekend to get past the Lakers on Friday. Regardless of the
outcome against MU, the Orange will end with the best record in
school history and with a win, the Orange would have the most-ever
victories in a season in program history with at least 21 and
potentially 22 with a win in the championship game.