Penn State handled RIT with relative ease and Robert Morris withstood an early challenge from Lindenwood to give us a standard 1, 2, 3, 4 CHA semifinals.
Mercyhurst vs. Robert Morris
Mercyhurst didn’t have much trouble with the Colonials during the regular season with three blowout wins and a curious tie. Robert Morris at times looked like they were on the cusp of breaking into the top two in the conference, but just couldn’t quite get it done.
Keys to the Series:
Don’t let goaltending cost them. The Lakers’ goaltending wasn’t great this season, but against their remaining potential CHA foes, it was. Their .940 save percentage leads among the final four.
Score goals early and often. The Colonials have a potent offense. They need it to show up.
Jenna Dingeldein. The 6-1 forward is the tallest player in NCAA women’s hockey and a force to be reckoned with.
Syracuse vs. Penn State
Like the Lakers, the Orange went 3-0-1 versus their foe, though the games were a lot closer. Penn State was plucky against the Orange, regardless of who started in net. Both Whitlinger and Ehresmann started a game versus RIT so who will get the nod is anyone’s guess.
Keys to the Series:
Play like the best team in the conference, which they are. The Orange’s biggest downfall this season was their so-so goaltending. Only seven teams had worse than their .903 mark.
Find a way to score. Five goals in four games isn’t going to cut it against anyone.
Stephanie Grossi. The Orange forward is a legitimate superstar with 33 points in 34 games this season.
Why Mercyhurst will win:
The Lakers always seem to find postseason success. They’ve won 11 CHA/GLWHA championships and played in all but one.
Why Mercyhurst won’t win:
That one missed championship was last season. The Lakers are no longer head and shoulders above the rest of the conference. In fact, this season they aren’t even the best team.
Why Syracuse will win:
They are the best team.
Why Syracuse won’t win:
Their goaltending is a liability that cost them games this season. If they get down early despite dominating shots, they’re in trouble.
Why Penn State will win:
With a class that has seen little to no turnover, the Nittany Lions can boast the most connected team.
Why Penn State won’t win:
The Nittany lions struggle in too many areas, namely shots and scoring.
Why Robert Morris will win:
They’ve got a young roster that doesn’t care that they’re not supposed to make it out of the semifinals.
Why Robert Morris won’t win:
They wilted against good teams with a 1-8-3 record versus the likes of Mercyhurst, Syracuse, and Penn State.