MINNEAPOLIS -- Mercyhurst jumps back into the national rankings at 10th place in the USCHO.com Division I poll announced Monday afternoon. Mercyhurst improved to 15-7-3 after a weekend split with eighth-ranked Robert Morris.
The Lakers continued to receive votes for the past three weeks before jumping back into the rankings and received seven more votes from last week. The 10th-place announcement also marks the Lakers' first time in the rankings since Nov. 18.Mercyhurst captured a split against Robert Morris, who is also a member of the College Hockey America Conference. The Lakers trailed 3-1 in the first of the two-game series but battled back to a 5-3 win including three power-play goals on Saturday. In the victory, the Lakers outshot the Colonials 17-0 in the first period to mark the first time since 2007 that the team did not allow a shot in a period.
Junior Molly Byrne led the team with four points on the weekend, including a season-high three assists on Saturday. Bryne was the only Laker to tally a goal in Game 1 after scoring a power-play goal late in the third. Senior Christine Bestland and junior Shelby Bram had a strong showing on Saturday after posting a goal and two assists a piece. Sophomore J'nai Mahadeo also posted back-to-back games of adding a point for the first time this season.
The Lakers are now 2-2-2 against nationally ranked opponents including capturing a win from then-No. 3 Clarkson and the Colonials. The Lakers have also tied with Clarkson and at-the-time No. 3 Cornell. Overall Mercyhurst is outscoring its opponents 87-50 for a scoring margin of 3.48 which ranks seventh in the nation. The Lakers are also tied for fourth in scoring offense after averaging 3.48 goals per game after the weekend and are seventh in their combined special teams (55.3 percent).
In the CHA league, the Lakers remain second behind Robert Morris by two points with the rest of their season consisting of league opponents. Mercyhurst is currently 8-3-1 in the CHA and looks to regain a streak throughout the remainder of the season.