Syracuse took easy care of Lindenwood, scoring midway through the first and never looking back, while Penn State spent much of the first down on RIT before potting two goals in the second and getting some insurance in the third. Their rewards for winning will be to play the two top seeds tomorrow.
This got kind of weird as Penn State got a win on the final day of the season that put Mercyhurst in danger of falling to the second seed, with nothing to play for themselves. Then Syracuse did exactly the same thing to Robert Morris later in the day. I am not sure what it means for those two to win games that meant nothing to them and quite a bit to their opponents.
#1 Mercyhurst vs. #4 Penn State
Friday, March 6th, 12:30 PM ET
Playing it close and barely scoring. Penn State is known for compiling an impressive number of ties, more percentage-wise than any other NCAA team over their history, and they didn’t disappoint in this series, notching two against Mercyurst, in Erie no less. Mercyhurst will be the home seed but Penn State can at least keep up with them. Can they hold on long enough to outscore the Lakers?
Mercyhurst – Michelle Robillard never got talked up much among the Mercyhurst forwards even though she tied for second on the team in goals with 15.
Penn State – Chantal Burke. The junior netminder had an under the radar fantastic season with a .939 save percentage, and that is one area where Penn State far surpasses their opponent.
Prediction: Feeling a Penn State 2-1 upset.
#2 Robert Morris vs. #3 Syracuse
Friday, March 6th, 4:00 PM ET
Syracuse is nothing if not inconsistent, putting forth some solid performances alongside a few puzzling ones. Their inability to score on Robert Morris with the Colonials holding last change is somewhat troubling, but you could have said the same thing last season and Syracuse rolled through everyone. With three games in three days, Syracuse split time between their goaltenders last year, and it was Ady Cohen getting the better of Robert Morris. This season Allison Small has played much better than Coehn (.924 vs. .891), but she got the start versus Lindenwood. Will Syracuse play the same netminder three days in a row?
Robert Morris – Michaela Boyle. Jaycee Gebhard might have set all the records for Robert Morris but it was Boyle leading the team in goals and combining with defender Emily Curlett for a whopping 24 power-play goals between the two of them. Boyle, a strong player in front of the net, never quite fit into Clarkson’s style of play, but she’s found a home harassing netminders in red and blue.
Syracuse – Victoria Klimek. The junior forward only notched 6 goals in the regular season, but added a hat trick against Lindenwood in the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Robert Morris 4-3. I want to take the Orange, but the Colonials are going to be fired up for Gebhard’s final game(s).