Lookin good at Liberty
There's more than just DVCHC bragging rights at stake this weekend in Lynchburg, VA. These 2 ACHA rivals square off in the national picture, each trying to kick start their season with wins.
Led by Christy Pastucha, Lacey McCuean & Laura Anderson, SRU started DVCHC strong with 23 goals against Liberty's neighbor, UVA. This rock can certainly roll. Defense on the other hand could be at issue. The team was downed by ACHA rival Cal U 16-2 this week & has a team save % of .791 in the DVCHC. No matter! This weekend's a time to stone up as the rock eyes a great, big 4-0 start in the division.
Liberty University had the opposite stats last season, outscored 70-7 but with top rated Leanne Niemi in net. Niemi had 600 saves in 13 games & finished the year a DVCHC All-Star, despite being winless. The talented senior is back and this time, she's got 17 skaters. Bolstered by speed, new youth and a refocus on offense, the Flames new look extends beyond their sharp new unis. Don't miss their DVCHC opener this weekend.
Division 2 kicks off the new season in Sewell, New Jersey with the historic, first women's ice hockey game for Rowan University. (Listen to live play-by-play, HERE!)
The RU Profs are a brand new team, so 1st goals, 1st saves, etc. will electrify any game they're a part of. Anything is possible from this new roster. While they're made up of a large number of beginning players, a core group hail from talented travel teams, including the NJ Rockets & the Junior Flyers. No matter what the outcome, this will be a great night for Rowan and the league.
While Rowan may be the official new team, their visitors from New York are just as fresh. Columbia University, a team that has struggled with only 8 or 9 skaters each year, has worked hard this off-season and it's paid off. Their roster is resurgent with 17 skaters, a renaissance for a small team that was 1-6-0-0 last year. New players and a few seasoned vets will be playing with the same "1st time" electricity. This year, the blue lion will finally be able to catch its breath. Watch out for the claws when it does.
Rowan celebrates their 1st win in a scrimmage vs. Hollydell, last week
Amelia Stephens was .840 against the Blue Hens last weekend, her 1st game with UMD
Another historic 1st in New Jersey tonight as the Terps visit Rutgers. RU, a two-time champion in the league's 2nd division, takes their inaugural steps into D1 tonight with this classic, state school showdown.
The Terps were last year's runner-up at the DVCHC Women's Championship & the champs of the old South. They've lost some leaders to graduation but the squad seems to have filled in the gaps with new talent. Strong skating, well coached and determined, Maryland could prove something in this start. Last week the team was narrowly defeated in a scrimmage with Delaware (4-3). This week they're after the DVCHC leader board.
The past two seasons Rutgers has raised a cup over D2. Now they're ready to show that they can skate with the top level of DVCHC teams. Led by D2's top goal-getter Alyssa Agati and buoyed on defense by players like Emily Trethewey, all of whom are no longer bound by the 3 goals rule, the Knights have a sharpened sword. With the traditional 3 powerhouses now out of the division, D1 is ready for a new champ. Rutgers has experience with that sort of thing.