After this weekend's games, all the teams in the CHA are now done with conference games until after the holidays. At the break, Mercyhurst and Robert Morris are tied for first with 10 points each. Syracuse has 9 points, Penn State has 5, RIT has 2, and Lindenwood has 0.
The fight for third place in the conference would probably be closer at the holiday break, but Syracuse caught a lucky one getting a series with a goalie-less Lindenwood to end the first half of the season, including the second game that had a freshman forward in net for Lindenwood - no wonder Syracuse scored 13 goals, but come on. Lindenwood is in serious trouble if none of their goalies can return from whatever injuries they each have. You have to feel for their seniors, and for Shelley Looney in her first year as head coach...ugh.
As always, Mercyhurst and Robert Morris own the CHA this season, and so far nobody else in the conference really looks poised to upset that tandem. A win against either team would probably mean that they had an off night, more than an upset winner was really better. Mercyhurst and Robert Morris are as solid as ever, and everyone else in the CHA is still working their way to that level. The current standings are probably a pretty accurate measure of how close everyone else is.
Tournament time is a different beast, with the CHA's goofy setup of playing the entire tournament in just three days, consisting of single-elimination games, none of them on anyone's home ice (all are in Buffalo/Pegulaville, for a nominal fee, of course). No thanks...give me the WCHA format of best-of-three quarterfinal series hosted at the home rinks of the highest seeds, and then the tournament championship games the following weekend. Crazy things can happen in such a weird CHA tournament format, and I don't like it because the best representative of the CHA won't always be the one going to the national tournament (like last year with Syracuse). I'd rather see the CHA hit the national tournament and make some noise.
Anyway, conference hockey is done until the new year, and that's where Penn State & Company stand in the CHA.