CHA Monthly Awards: March 2014
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Player of the Month
Christine Bestland – Mercyhurst
Senior; Forward; Brunkild, Manitoba
Senior Christine Bestland scored four points in four games during the month of March for the Mercyhurst Lakers. During the College Hockey America Tournament Bestland tallied one assist in the 2-1 double overtime loss against RIT. She then collected three points against No. 2 Cornell in the NCAA Quarterfinals to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four. Of her two goals, one was scored on the power-play and one deemed the game-winner to allow her team to advance to the NCAA semifinals. The senior also propelled herself to second all-time in career scoring at Mercyhurst with 226 career points.
Also nominated: Lindsay Grigg, RIT
Goaltender of the Month
Ali Binnington – RIT
Junior; Oakville, Ontario
Binnington was named MVP and earned All-Tournament Team honors at the CHA Tournament, leading the Tigers to its first CHA Championship in just its second season as a Division I program. Binnington was remarkable in net, stopping 118-of-120 shots (.983 save percentage) in 213:35 of game action in March. Binnington opened the month by stopping all 31 shots she faced in a 3-0 win over Penn State in game two of the CHA First Round series on March 1. She began the CHA Championship weekend by stopping 25 shots in a 2-1 win over No. 10 Robert Morris in the CHA Semifinal. On March 8, Binnington made a career-high 62 saves on 63 shots in a 2-1 double overtime victory over top-seed and No. 8 nationally-ranked Mercyhurst in the CHA Championship. Binnington ended the season by winning seven straight contests, allowing just six goals on her last 240 shots faced (.975 save percentage and 0.77 goals against average). Binnington finished the season 16-9-2 with a 1.72 goals against average, .944 save percentage, and six shutouts this season. Her .944 save percentage is third nationally. It is her seventh weekly honor of the year and 11th of her career. Binnington was also won the CHA Goaltending Trophy for the regular season.
Also nominated: Amanda Makela, Mercyhurst
Rookie of the Month
Cassie Clayton – RIT
Forward; Pickering, Ontario
Clayton scored a goal in March 7's 4-1 win over No. 10 Robert Morris in the CHA Semifinal on and was on the ice for Lindsay Grigg's game-winning goal in double overtime on March 8 in a 2-1 win over No. 8 Mercyhurst in the CHA Championship. Clayton blocked four shots over the championship weekend and was the defensive center who did a tremendous job in holding two of the best offensives in Division I to just a pair of goals. She finished her rookie season with seven points on four goals and three assists.