Women’s hockey fights for spots in national ranking poll

The Mercyhurst women’s hockey team is continuing to battle for a spot on the USCHO.com Division I women’s hockey poll.

The Lakers are currently 14-6-3 and are now 1-1-2 and are heading into this weekend against nationally ranked opponents.

The Lakers host eight-ranked Robert Morris University this weekend for not only a spot in the national rankings but also a spot to finish first in the College Hockey America conference.

When asked about how her team is performing this year, Captain and senior Christine Bestland said, “I think we are doing well this year, we have had some adversity but we have worked together to get through it. Those times have brought us closer, and it has showed on the ice.”

The Lakers dropped their eight game win streak against Cornell this past weekend. The Lakers were able to reach a 3-3 tie on Friday, and then fell 6-4 on Saturday.

“One of the challenges that we faced was that they were our first games back after Christmas break. Unfortunately it took us a few periods to get our game legs under us and play our game, by that time it was too late and we couldn’t recover. We used those games as learning experiences, and have gotten better throughout this practice week,” Bestland said.

Leading the team with points so far is Bestland with 35 on 13 goals and 22 assists. After averaging 1.52 points per game, Bestland has jumped to fourth in the nation in scoring which is her highest ranking this season. Not far behind is Sophomore Emily Janiga is one goal behind Bestland and has collected 16 assists for 28 points while Cicero is third on the team with 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists.

When asked about who is stepping up on the ice this year to make an impact on the team, Bestland replied, “Everyone is stepping up and doing their part to help us win games and be the best team we can be in order to achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year.”

The Lakers host the eight-ranked Colonials on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center at 7 p.m.. The regular-season series will conclude on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. Heading into the weekend Robert Morris is one point ahead of the Lakers in the conference standings.