Cold as ice: Women’s Hockey advances to CHA Final


Jon Chapman, Sports editor

The Mercyhurst Women’s Hockey team continues to play great hockey as their season continues after an outstanding weekend of games.
In a two-game weekend hosted at the Ice Center, the Lakers came out victorious both times, defeating Syracuse by scores of 5-3 and 6-0.
The CHA Playoffs were originally a best-of-three series where the third game would only be played if necessary, however, after their staggering wins in the first two games the third of the weekend was then canceled.
In the first game, forwards Vanessa Upson and Liliane Perreault both put two goals in the net.
With a well-assisted power play goal, the Lakers had a strong showing in game one.
The team held an impressive 58.6 percent on faceoffs, and the defense kept the Orange at bay.
Goalie Ena Nystrøm closed out the game with a total of 28 saves, only letting in three goals. Nystrøm also shut out Syracuse in the final period, fortifying the Lakers efficient gameplay.
In the second game of the weekend, the Lakers were ready to send Syracuse packing.
They played a stellar game in every way, winning with a decisive 6-0 score.
The team was able to score two goals within the first 18 minutes of the first period after Alexandria Weiss accepted the puck from Marielle Parks and Kylee Mahoney which soared right past the goal tender.
This was quickly followed up by Thea Johansson hitting the bar and flying directly to the back of the net.
Another two goals were scored in the second period by Sara Boucher after she accepted a puck from Megan McKay and Liliane Perreault during a power play, just three minutes later Liliane Perreault scored another goal with an assist from Sydney Wegner and Jordan Mortlock.
The final two goals of the game were scored in the third quarter by Johansson after the puck was passed by Vanessa Upson and with just minutes left in the game Grace Nelles scored the last goal of the game.
The team came up big to eliminate Syracuse from CHA Finals contention, proving they meant business this weekend.
In the second game their faceoff percentage was even higher, finishing with 65.6 percent.
On defense, Makayla Javier had a career-high ten blocks, helping the Lakers play great two-way hockey.
Goalie Nystrøm posted another incredible performance, proving she was more than deserving of CHA Goaltender of the Month she was awarded with in February.
She finished the weekend with 20 saves and a shutout on Saturday, pushing the Lakers to the CHA Finals next weekend against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
At the CHA Finals this upcoming weekend, the matchup will be a single game where the winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which would be Mercyhurst Women’s Hockey’s 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and the first since 2020.
The team will be facing the Penn State Nittany Lions this upcoming weekend after they knocked Syracuse out of the competition.