The CHA tournament begins with a best of three series hosted by the school with the better ranking. The remainder will be single elimination played at the home of the regular season champion. The highest advancing seed plays the lowest in the second round so the bracket above isn’t absolute.
RIT at Penn State
RIT once again finds itself heading into the tournament as the lowest seed. Last season they won their way all the way to the NCAAs. That RIT team was closer to the pack though. This year’s Tigers had 6th place wrapped up weeks ago.
Keys to the Series:
The Nittany Lions just need to play the way they did during the regular season against the Tigers, dominating shots and getting solid goaltending no matter who was in net.
Get the same play out of Jetta Rackleff in net that they got last year out of Ali Binnington. Binnington brought them all the way to the NCAA tournament, and turned in a solid performance against Minnesota.
Jetta Rackleff. RIT won the tournament last year on stellar goaltending and with a .936 save percentage Rackleff can deliver.
Penn State in three. RIT steals a game.
Lindenwood at Robert Morris
I thought Lindenwood would challenge more for the third or fourth spot in the CHA, but they’ve been a pretty convincing fifth seed for most of the season. The play of Shara Jasper and strong goaltending just weren’t enough for them to compete consistently.
Keys to the Series:
Contain Shara Jasper. The Lindenwood senior had a whopping 20 goals and 31 points this season. Sarah Bobrowski and Shannon Morris-Reade weren’t far behind, but Jasper is what makes the Lions run.
Stop Robert Morris’s high powered attack. The Colonials scored goals almost at will against Lindenwood, and while Brittany Howard led the pack, they had several players with significant contributions.
Nicole Hensley. The Lindenwood netminder turned in some gems this season. If she can put together two, Lindenwood could score the upset.
Robert Morris sweeps.