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sbkbghockey
09-28-2012, 02:07 PM
Season Preview:
Women's team is starting its second season at the NCAA National Collegiate level (DI and DII women's hockey programs) The Lady Lions will play their first NCAA conference schedule this season as one of three new members of College Hockey America (CHA). Lindenwood finished its first NCAA season with an 8-21-0. record but LU finished the season on a seven-game win streak. Lindenwood will play four games against each CHA opponent, two on the road and host all CHA opponents at home for two games. LU's non-conference schedule is heavy on WCHA teams, with 14 games against members of the WCHA.

Lindenwood Women's Hockey opens the season at Ohio State this weekend in the first meeting of each teams.

Roster Changes:
The Lady Lions returns 16 players and adds five freshmen and two transfers to the 2012-13 roster. Senior Brett Lobreau will serve as captain for the second season and Allysson Arcibal was named as an assistant captain. LU returns its leading scorer from last season, Alison Wickenheiser led the team with 19 goals, 17 assists. Alyssa West was second on the team with 24 pts, including 16 assists and Allysson Arcibal had 12 goals and 12 assists. The three will play together on the same line as last season, known as the AAA line. The Lady Lions return goaltender Taylor Fairchild as the starting goalie. She saw a lot of rubber last season was one of the save leaders in the NCAA last season with 984 saves. In addition she had a 6.62 GAA and a .865 save percentage in 25 games.

Junior Forward Jocelyn Slattery joins the team from the University of Connecticut. Slattery appeared in 34 games for UConn and finished third on the team with six goals and eight assists. Chelsea Witwicke comes to Lindenwood from Niagara University. She had four assists in 28 games on the blue line for the Purple Eagles. Witwicke adds experience in CHA as LU looks to pick up its first conference win, Witwicke saw action in all 12 conference games for NU.

Key Games:
Lindenwood will host #2 Wisconsin for a two game series next weekend (Oct. 6 and 7). Wisconsin hosted Lindenwood last season as the first NCAA DI games for the Lady Lions and absolutely destroyed LU. This season Lindenwood will look to improve against an elite program and stay competitive against the Badgers. Nov. 16 and 17 Lindenwood will host Penn State, it is Penn State's first season at the NCAA level after moving it's men's and women's teams to the NCAA from ACHA, much like Lindenwood last season, this is a big transition year for Penn State. The two teams were both ACHA powerhouses and will continue their rivalry in the CHA. In another battle against a top NCAA program, North Dakota will visit Lindenwood on Jan. 4 and 5, 2013. The Fighting Sioux shutout Lindenwood in one game at Ralph Engelstad Arena last season.

Welcome to the CHA:
Lindenwood is one of three new members of the College Hockey America (CHA) for the 2012-13 season. LU joins Penn State and RIT as new members, both other members are elevating their programs to the NCAA DI-DII level. RIT was a top DIII program and Penn State a top ACHA rival of Lindenwood. The new-look CHA also lost a member when Niagara announced it would drop NCAA women's hockey last year. Lindenwood was winless against members of the CHA last season when they played Mercyhurst, Robert Morris (PA), and Syracuse.

Note: LU is ineligible for NCAA post season play during the university's NAIA-NCAA transition period.

CrazyDave
10-01-2012, 05:22 PM
What's the story with Kara Wendell? She's not on the hockey roster. The 2013 roster for the women's lacrosse team (a spring sport) has not been published yet.

backcheck
10-01-2012, 07:07 PM
Lindenwood had a good debut series against Ohio State University Buckeyes, with more positives in their start than the scores might indicate.

Nicole Hensley had a stunning debut as she stood on her head in game one. It was a 2-0 game until late in the third. Alison Wickenheiser ripped a shot off the shaft of the goaltenders stick that could have made it 2-1.

LU wingers were very low in the D zone which made for a ton of free point shots when the puck cycled back to the blue line. OSU consistently had traffic in front so the upgraded LU D will need to up their physicality to clear the front without taking penalties, which was the kiss of death in game 2. The D is greatly improved and moved the puck much better than last year.

LU had a great fore-check and carried the play early in game two before penalties stole their momentum. Passing is much improved, as is team speed. Conditioning is better, but the aerobic level needs a step up to compete at the OSU level.

For the first weekend, LU showed the pieces are there. Looking forward to seeing them come together this season.

Mission
10-02-2012, 08:15 AM
Is the new goalie Hensley and upgrade vs. Fairchild, or will they most likely be rotating starts? I am not familiar with Hensley, and thought that it was Fairchild's gig to lose. Or is there an injury in play right now?

backcheck
10-02-2012, 12:07 PM
Is the new goalie Hensley and upgrade vs. Fairchild, or will they most likely be rotating starts? I am not familiar with Hensley, and thought that it was Fairchild's gig to lose. Or is there an injury in play right now?

Hard to tell what the coach's original intentions were regarding bringing in Hensley, but given her stellar play in the opening series, I would say that a rotation makes a lot of sense. Personally, I like having the option to mix it up as it keeps each goaltender on their toes and spreads out the ice time.

Fairchild was indicated as being injured, hence sat the two games. If she is healthy she could see both starts vs. Wisconsin or just one. If the later, you'll have your answer.

Mission
10-02-2012, 01:28 PM
Hard to tell what the coach's original intentions were regarding bringing in Hensley, but given her stellar play in the opening series, I would say that a rotation makes a lot of sense. Personally, I like having the option to mix it up as it keeps each goaltender on their toes and spreads out the ice time.

Fairchild was indicated as being injured, hence sat the two games. If she is healthy she could see both starts vs. Wisconsin or just one. If the later, you'll have your answer.


Awesome, thanks for the info.

sbkbghockey
10-03-2012, 01:08 PM
Fairchild was one of the NCAA leaders last season in shot's faced. Much like the past weekend with Hensley, Fairchild faced 40-60 shots per game. Having Hensley is a huge help, LU's D is improved on last season but that's still their top weakness. When both goalies are healthy, they'll likely split starting duties unless one get's on a super hot streak. It's nice to have two solid goalies, esp with the amount of rubber they see.

IceMomofFour
10-03-2012, 03:59 PM
What's the story with Kara Wendell? She's not on the hockey roster. The 2013 roster for the women's lacrosse team (a spring sport) has not been published yet.

She quit before they even hit the ice...seems lacrosse is her true interest.

ARM
10-03-2012, 04:36 PM
She quit before they even hit the ice...seems lacrosse is her true interest.That's probably wise. With the length of the D-I season, it is a lot to undertake to play hockey plus another varsity sport. I know that some are able to successfully manage it, but inevitably sacrifices have to be made in one sport or the other as conflicts occur. Plus, it must be hard to play the same sport as a famous relative, because of the comparisons and expectations.

Thanks for the info.

backcheck
10-03-2012, 04:38 PM
Fairchild was one of the NCAA leaders last season in shot's faced. Much like the past weekend with Hensley, Fairchild faced 40-60 shots per game. Having Hensley is a huge help, LU's D is improved on last season but that's still their top weakness. When both goalies are healthy, they'll likely split starting duties unless one get's on a super hot streak. It's nice to have two solid goalies, esp with the amount of rubber they see.

sbkbg; you mention that the D is much improved but is still a top weakness. Can you offer any comments on what LU's D can do to improve?

ARM
10-03-2012, 04:51 PM
Can you offer any comments on what LU's D can do to improve?Haven't seen them this year, but based on last, I'd say: hit the weight room. They had a lot of trouble controlling the area around their net. I'd guess that play in the slot is nowhere near as physical in club hockey.

backcheck
10-04-2012, 11:45 AM
Haven't seen them this year, but based on last, I'd say: hit the weight room. They had a lot of trouble controlling the area around their net. I'd guess that play in the slot is nowhere near as physical in club hockey.

I did see LU last weekend versus the Buckeyes and would agree you are on target. They must raise their level of physicality in controlling the slot and crease area without drawing penalties. Easier said than done.

sbkbghockey
10-05-2012, 03:53 PM
ARM nailed it. When Lindenwood played in the ACHA, they were the top most physical teams, only a handful of others even came close. Lindenwood recruited top talent for that level (roughly equaling low to middle NCAA DIII talent). Once the program moved to NCAA DI last season, the NCAA opponents were much better conditioned. It didn't help LU that they had so many freshman and also a short recruiting time before the move to the NCAA. This season they've had a full recruiting time and signed some higher talent recruits. LU added a cpl NCAA transfers that help with experience and knowledge of competing at that level.

This season should be an improvement on the last and LU will hopefully be able to be competitive for a whole 60 mins. Between recruiting improvements and more experience DI level LU will hopefully become a more competitive team. No over night, it takes awhile to build a top NCAA program. Right now Lindenwood is putting the first few bricks for the foundation.

123kidd
10-05-2012, 04:40 PM
What's the over/under for tonights game at home? Ms. Decker could have a big night.

backcheck
10-05-2012, 06:18 PM
What's the over/under for tonights game at home? Ms. Decker could have a big night.

Last season 11-0 and 14-0 Wisconsin. Wisconsin had their hands full with Minnesota State. Improved LU but quite a gap to close. I'll weigh in at 8-1 Wisconsin.

sbkbghockey
10-06-2012, 12:12 AM
Very impressed with Lindenwood tonight and MUCH improved on last season. Lindenwood did a much better job getting the puck up the ice, through the neutral zone and getting some offensive chances. D was more physical around the slot and didn't let Badgers camp in front of the goalie. Speaking of goalies, Fairchild was solid last season, but Hensley is the real deal and looked very poised. With Fairchild a So. and Hensley a Fr., Lindenwood has a solid 1-2 punch in goal for the next few seasons. LU came out very strong, and they got two goals in the first 4 mins of the game. The first half of the first period was the best I've seen the team play since the NCAA move.

Wisconsin turned it on in the second half of the first, and Lindenwood slowed up a bit, but they seemed to pick things back up later in the game, which was something different than last season when they couldn't keep up with the NCAA DI teams. Lindenwood still takes too many penalties. Wisconsin scored 4 powerplay goals and Decker also had a penalty shot goal. One other very positive not, Lindenwood held Wisconsin to 10 shots in the first and 12 in the second, that's 1/2 to 1/3 of what they've been giving up.

Also it was nice to see a healthy crowd tonight of St. Louis hockey fans, Lindenwood fans, and Wisconsin fans. Box score says around 200 but there was probably at least twice that. Lindenwood's attendance record-keeping is closer to the number of paid attendance; they don't count all of the students, children, etc.. that get in free or discounted. It'd been talked about on the DII message boards for football and annoys me a lot coming from a DI school where attendance is meticulously tracked.

Hopefully tonight was not a rare event, If Lindenwood plays like they did tonight, and can sure up the special teams, they could get some more wins than I originally projected. Tomorrow will be a big test to see if they can hang with a top team twice in less than 24 hrs with a 2:00pm puck drop.

backcheck
10-06-2012, 12:39 PM
LU came out surprisingly strong and caught Wisconsin a bit by surprise. Once things settled down Wisconsin slowly but surely took over. With 5 goals on powerplay (1 of those a penalty shot) the teams were actually even while at equal strength. IF LU could improve its penalty killing and/or maintain discipline to stay out of the box; that would be huge. While Wisconsin often carried the play LU has improved immensely from last season as they spend some quality time in the offensive zone.

Thrilled with the attendance and actual hockey cheerleaders. Hopefully a strong competitive game this aft.

LionIceMom
10-08-2012, 02:15 PM
A great improvement compared to last year's series - a 0-25 lashing - to a 3-16 series this season. Special teams seemed much improved over the Ohio State game and penalties cut by 4 in number. Expect the mountain climbing to continue!

123kidd
10-08-2012, 06:35 PM
I'm all for LU having a good season, but you keep saying MUCH improved from last year. Shouldn't they be MUCH improved? The coach has known for a year they were going to be placed in the CHA so he has recruited appropriately. Therefore, the team is better! They are MUCH improved. Still not that good, but better. I doubt the DIII teams they played and lost to last year, would beat them today.

Rebel
10-12-2012, 10:01 AM
Last year was last year. It is time to move on. Why are you happy with losing big? Your goalie has kept the games from getting out of hand. If your special teams continue on this path it is going to be a long season. You take to many penalties when your PK can't get the puck out of the zone. Stay out of the box or work on your PK.