Feb. 24, 2010

 

By Amy Farnum
NCAA.com

BIG RED, BIG TITLE:
  Cornell University captured its’ first-ever ECAC Hockey regular season title with a 6-1 win over Union on Feb. 20, earning home ice advantage for the duration of the upcoming league tournament.  The Big Red was picked to finish seventh in the ECAC Hockey preseason poll in October.  

Three Cornell players garnered All-ECAC Hockey First Team honors following the accomplishment --sophomore forward Catherine White and freshmen defensemen Laura Fortino and Lauriane Rougeau.  White tallied seven goals and league-leading 24 assists for 31 points on the season, which ranks third in the conference, and also finished atop the league list with 11 power-play points.

Fortino netted nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points, ranking seventh in the league in scoring, and Rougeau contributed 18 points on the year.  Along with White, Fortino posted 11 power-play points.  Fortino and Rougeau concluded the regular season first and second in scoring among defensemen.  

No. 9 Cornell will host eighth-seeded Colgate in a best-of-three quarterfinal match-up beginning Feb. 26.  It is the first time the Big Red is hosting a quarterfinal series.  Cornell has never placed higher than fifth in the regular season.

TWO AT TOP:  For the first time in the 11-year history women’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association, two teams shared the regular season title – Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota – and it came down to the last day of regular season play.

The Bulldogs swept Bemidji State, while the Golden Gophers topped Wisconsin on Feb. 20, and the two squads finished with 43 points each in the league standings.  UMD, however, earned the No. 1 seed in the WCHA playoffs by virtue of more conference victories.

UMD will host North Dakota in a best-of-three quarterfinal series beginning Feb. 26, while Minnesota welcomes Minnesota State this weekend.

HATS OFF: Harvard senior forward Randi Griffin notched four goals for the Crimson last weekend, including the first hat trick of her career, as she sparked her team to a 1-0-1 record.

The native of Apex, N.C., netted the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win with 25 seconds remaining in regulation at St. Lawrence on Feb. 20, and followed it up with a natural hat trick, scoring three straight goals in the second period, as the Crimson settled for a 3-3 tie with Clarkson the next night.

The No. 4 Crimson earned the third seed in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, and will host No. 6 seed Princeton in a best-of-three quarterfinal series beginning Feb. 26.

TITLE TALK:  Providence College recorded a two-game sweep of Vermont to secure the Hockey East regular season title as junior forward Jean O’Neill starred for the Friars with three goals and two assists.

The native of Strafford, Pa., contributed two goals, including the game-winner, to open the series with a 4-2 win, and followed it with a goal and two assists in the league title clinching 5-2 victory the next day.  O’Neill was named Hockey East Player of the Week for her efforts.

The Friars earned a bye into the semifinals and will host the Hockey East Tournament on March 6-7.

GOING FOR GOLD:  Mercyhurst College’s Meghan Agosta may be taking a break from the top-ranked Lakers right now, but she is making the program proud with her stellar play for the Canadian National Team at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Agosta tallied a goal and assist in a 5-0 defeat of Finland on Feb. 22, sending the Canadians to the goal medal game against Team USA on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m.  Fans can view the game live on MSNBC.

The native of Ruthven, Ontario, has netted a record-setting nine goals in the tournament.  Agosta was also a member of the gold medal winning Canadian National Team at the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy.