Lakers jump to 6th in D1 national rankings

Women’s hockey battled Boston College on Friday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 19, and came out two places ahead, ranking 6th in the nation in the latest Division I Women’s Hockey poll.

Although they lost their first game to Boston College on Friday, 5-1, the Lakers came back to win on Saturday, 3-2.

After the weekend, the Lakers now hold a great record of 17-4-1 overall, and 8-2-0 in the College Hockey America conference.

Over the weekend’s games, freshman Jenna Dingeldein recorded two goals and helped with an assist. Dingeldein scored a goal in the beginning of the third period in the Lakers game Saturday, which subsequently became the game-winning goal.

“Being able to score the game wining goal in a big fame was an amazing feeling. I was happy to be able to contribute to the team in such an important game,” Dingeldein said.

Dingeldein credits the Lakers’ success this season to the team’s strong determination.

“We have stuck together even though we’ve had a lot thrown our way,” said Dingeldein. “Having people doubt us is something our team has to deal with and I think we’ve done a great job proving that we deserve to be where we are.”

During Saturday’s 3-2 victory, senior and goalie Stephanie Ciampa stopped 40 of 42 shots taken by Boston College, a career-high. Her efforts earned her College Hockey America Goaltender of the Week recognition on Monday, Jan. 21.

“That was a huge game for us, and it always feels good to be part of a win like that,” said Ciampa. “We have had ups and downs, but we play our best when we work hard and stick to the game plan.”

Freshman Emily Janiga recorded her fifteenth goal of the season in Saturday’s game.

“Scoring my fifteenth goal is such an accomplishment. I am beyond excited with everything this year and my progress. I just want to keep improving, which will take hard and dedicated work every day and every practice,” said Janiga. “The support from family and friends is amazing, and having them there at every game has a strong affect on my game.”

The Lakers will close out their home series on Friday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. against Lindenwood University. Additionally, this weekend the Mercyhurst Ice Center (MIC) will be hosting the Lakers annual “Skate for a Cure.”

Dingeldein, Ciampa, and Janiga all recognize the challenge Lindenwood University will be.

“Going into next weekend, we need to remember that we can’t underestimate any team. Lindenwood is constantly battling, and have won some big games against other league opponents this season,” said Dingeldein. “We need to continue to work together so that we are able to achieve our goals this season.”

“Lindenwood is playing well right now, and these games are huge for league play, so we need to shift our focus onto these games and keep taking steps forward,” said Ciampa.

“We have a lot of leadership and hard workers on this team who know what it takes to get things done.”

“This weekend is a big weekend for us, as is every weekend from here on out,” said Janiga. “We can’t let up on anyone, we just have to keep our foot on the gas and keep pushing.”