Women's hockey reaches No. 8 in recent poll

Moving forward through the season is the Mercyhurst women’s hockey team which has reached a No. 8 ranking in the most recent USCHO.com Division I women’s hockey poll, for the first time since October 2013.

With a recent successful weekend against the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Lakers now have a strong record of 19-7-3 and 12-3-1 in the College Hockey America conference. With just four in-conference games remaining, the Lakers sit first in the CHA with 25 points.

“I thought the games against RIT were great. Every game is a must win for us and we played both games like we wanted and needed to win. It was important for us to play together and we did just that. RIT will win some important games the rest of the season, they are not an easy opponent, so getting these wins under our belt was crucial,” said senior assistant captain Christie Cicero.

Most recently the Lakers swept RIT at the Mercyhurst Ice Center last weekend, outscoring the Tigers 10-2 to win their fifth straight contest.

A big reason for the Lakers’ success was their special team’s strategy with wiping the competitor’s power-plays, allowing the Lakers to score on majority of their power-plays.

“It always feels great seeing our school name back in the rankings and first place. We have been fighting hard all season to be in the position we are in. We control our own destiny, which makes every night that much more fun. Hopefully, this week we can jump a bit higher in the rankings, and continue to win out and seal first place,” Cicero said.

Nationally, the Lakers have three players in the top 25 in points per game, two in goals per game, and four different in the top 25 in assists per game.

“The team is doing great. Hockey is a long season, so we will always have ups and downs throughout the year. But one the, we have figured out road blocks and have overcome adversity extremely well. I’m proud of how far our team has come this year and will be an exciting last push the next two months,” Cicero said.

The Lakers are now fourth in scoring offense, averaging 3.52 goals per game, and jumped to ninth in and scoring defense (1.93).

Most players are making strong impacts for the team on and off the ice.

“It’s difficult to name specific people because everyone contributes in different ways. Our senior and junior class has shown amazing leadership which is what we needed with such a young team,” Cicero said.

“But other than our upperclassmen that are expected to step up, I am extremely proud of our sophomore class and how well they have handled situations this year. This class has stepped up tremendously and has transformed our group to a mature bunch of girls which is exactly what we need to win a championship,” Cicero said.

The Lakers will visit Penn State University this weekend, to compete in their last away series in the regular season.