Western New York will once again be represented in the NCAA Women’s Hockey Frozen Four, as East Aurora’s Emily Janiga picked up an assist during Mercyhurst’s 3-2 win over host Cornell on Saturday in Ithaca.
Janiga, a Nichols product, set up the first of two Christine Bestland goals at 14:42 of the second period, which gave the Lakers a 2-1 lead.
Former Niagara player Kayleigh Chippy also scored for Mercyhurst (23-8-4), which lost in last year’s national semifinals to Boston University.
Besides Janiga, Nichols and Buffalo Bisons product Julia DiTondo of Kenmore is a backup goalie for Mercyhurst, which is coached by Buffalo native Michael Sisti.
The Lakers will face Clarkson in the national semifinals on Friday in Hamden, Conn., at High Point Solutions Arena.
Getzville’s Emily Pfalzer and Nichols graduate Madeline Elia of Lewiston also helped their respective teams make the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Pfalzer, the Hockey East Defenseman of the Year, had six goals and 25 points as a junior for Boston College, which dropped a 3-1 decision to Clarkson.
Elia, a freshman at Boston University who finished fourth on the team in points with 28 and third in goals (13), didn’t record a point in the Terriers’ 5-1 loss to defending national champion Minnesota. Elia was an All-Rookie Team pick in Hockey East.
Minnesota received a goal and two assists from Rachel Ramsey – the daughter of former Sabres defenseman and Miracle on Ice team member Mike Ramsey.
The Golden Gophers will face Wisconsin in the other semifinal. The championship game is next Sunday.