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No. 2 Falcons enter season’s final three weeks undefeated

February 3, 2011

The Falcon women’s hockey team is currently undefeated and holds the No. 2 ranking nationwide, according to the United States College Hockey Online poll.

With a record of 16-0-2 in the 2011 season, leading the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) conference and rank just under the Rochester Institute of Technology in the nationwide standings. The Falcon women, who are used to winning, tied for second in the conference last year and have been consistently ranked near the top in previous years.

Last year, their season ended with a devastating loss of their first round NCAA playoff game to Gustavus Adolphus College, who is currently ranked eighth in the nation.

“It’s not really a surprise that they’re doing this well,” said Sarah Hellier, women’s hockey announcer for WRFW. “In the past three years I’ve been here they’ve always been good.”

Coach Joe Cranston said he isn’t worried about moving up in the ranks just yet. “I’m not really interested in who’s first or second right now…We still have a lot of hockey to play before playoffs,” Cranston said.

With seven games left in the regular season, there is still time for things to change.

“The next four games will not be easy for the Falcons, Adrian and Superior will come ready to play,” Cranston said. The Falcons took on Adrian College last weekend at home.

Holding on to their No. 1 ranking in the NCHA conference, the Falcons tied Adrian last Saturday 2-2 in overtime and won 3-1 on Sunday. Their next challenge comes with two away games against UW-Superior this weekend.

Team captain Jessica Thompson said a big reason they have been playing so well is due to the quality of the freshmen on the team.

“I believe that the ability to roll four consistent forward lines and three consistent defensive pairs throughout an entire game is a strength over other teams,” said Thompson. “Our team can rely on any forward or defensive player regardless of their age to score a goal as well.”

After being appointed by her teammates to the captain position last season, Thompson said she has taken her role very seriously.
“It is a privilege to be apart of this team and I am motivated every game to play to my potential. I do my best to lead by example, and encourage the team to work their hardest every shift of every game,” Thompson said.

With an undefeated record to uphold in order to maintain their ranking, the Falcons have their work cut out for the rest of the season. After this weekends series against UW-Superior, who is ranked second in the NCHA conference, the Falcons will play the University of St. Thomas, Finlandia University, and Marian University to finish out the regular season. If the Falcons are ranked in the top eight teams of the conference, they will proceed to the NCHA conference playoffs. The winner of the NCHA conference championship game, will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.