While all the focus has been on basketball, the women's ice hockey team is on an eight game winning streak. They are currently 18-11-1 overall and 12-3-1 (second place) in the College Hockey America (CHA) conference. With wins this weekend (2-1 and 2-1) over RIT, the Orange have clinched at least a 2nd seed in the CHA Tournament in a few weeks. With a guaranteed 2nd seed spot in the CHA Tournament, the Orange will receive a bye for the first round.
They'll play a two-game series against conference nemesis Mercyhurst (currently 7th in the country and 1st in CHA) on Friday and Saturday (at the Tennity Ice Pavilion) which will decide the 1st and 2nd place seeding. SU has never beaten Mercyhurst since moving up to varsity status in 2008-09. They are 0-20-1 and the tie came last year at Tennity. The Orange will finish up the regular season with a two game series against Lindenwood in two weeks.
At this point, the CHA is not an automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament. However, NCAA rules state that if a conference has at least six teams (which CHA gained this year) and plays together for two years, they will then be eligible for automatic qualifier status. That means the CHA will gain automatic qualifier status starting in 2014-15. CHA's current membership includes: Mercyhurst, SU, RIT, Robert Morris, Lindenwood and Penn St.