- North Dakota
- Boston College
- Boston University
Game of the Week
#2 North Dakota at #1 Minnesota, Sat. 11/16 @ 3:07 p.m. EST & Sun. 11/17 @ 3:07 p.m. EST
The Gophers will host North Dakota in what should be one of the most exciting match-ups of the year. After a last-minute comeback win against St. Cloud State, Minnesota should come out with plenty of energy this weekend. They’re playing well in all three zones and are getting a lot of contributions across the board. If there are any nagging injury issues, however, it could really hurt them. The Gophers are going to have to be strong on defense and in goal, as UND’s offense is probably only second to theirs. They’ll need a complete, 60-minute effort in both games, and they’ll want to stop UND from establishing their possession game by limiting what they can do from the blue line.
Likewise, North Dakota will also need to play very well on every shift and in all situations this weekend if they want to knock off Minnesota. They might be the only team in the country with enough depth to truly match the Gophers for a full game. Their defense in particular has been very solid this year, averaging just 19.2 shots on goal against per game, good for best in the country. But UND hasn’t faced an offense as dynamic and deep as the Gophers’, so they’ll need to be able to count on solid goaltending, too. One of the keys for North Dakota will be preventing Minnesota from taking control of the game on special teams, because that’s sure to be a big difference-maker, especially if things are pretty even during 5-on-5 play.
Top-10 Teams in Action
#3 Boston College at Quinnipiac, Fri. 11/15 @ 3 p.m. EST; #3 Boston College at Princeton, Sat. 11/16 @ 3 p.m. EST
Providence at #4 Clarkson, Fri. 11/15 @ 3 p.m. EST & Sat. 11/16 @ 3 p.m. EST
Northeastern vs. #5 Wisconsin, Fri. 11/15 @ 9:07 p.m. EST; #8 Boston University vs. #5 Wisconsin, Sat. 11/16 @ 4:37 p.m. EST
#6 Cornell at #7 Harvard, Fri. 11/15 @ 7 p.m. EST; #6 Cornell at Dartmouth, Sat. 11/16 @ 4 p.m. EST
Colgate at #7 Harvard, Sat. 11/16 @ 4 p.m. EST
#8 Boston University vs. St. Cloud State, 6:07 p.m. EST
Syracuse at #9 Mercyhurst, Fri. 11/15 @ 7 p.m. EST & Sat. 11/16 @ 2 p.m. EST
New Hampshire at #10 Quinnipiac, Sat. 11/16 @ 3 p.m. EST
What to Watch For
Boston College will travel to Quinnipiac in what should be a very interesting non-conference match-up. Both teams have a superstar player-Haley Skarupa for the Eagles, Kelly Babstock for the Bobcats-with a really nice supporting cast around them. But I think Boston College might be stronger offensively as a whole, whereas Quinnipiac has the edge on defense and in goal. The Eagles have gotten into a nice groove of late, but Quinnipiac’s playing just as well. Both squads will need good performances out of their top players, and goaltending at both ends will need to be solid with so much talent on the ice. Look for the Eagles’ offense to try and strike often to ensure a win, and for the Bobcats to try and control things with a more balanced game plan.
Boston University and Northeastern will face off against Wisconsin and St. Cloud State this weekend in a tournament in Vail, Colo. This is going to be a big weekend for all four teams. Boston University is probably going into their game against Wisconsin as the underdog, but they’ll also need to watch out for St. Cloud State; the Huskies have been playing very well recently and they’ve got a great chance to surprise the Terriers. The Badgers have the most well-rounded roster at the tournament on paper but they won’t want to overlook either team from Beantown. And as for Northeastern, this is a great chance for the Huskies to gain some confidence and momentum. All in all, it should be a great weekend of games between Hockey East and WCHA teams, match-ups that we unfortunately don’t get to see too often.
— St. Cloud State WHockey (@SCSUHUSKIES_WHK) November 14, 2013
Harvard will host Cornell in a tilt between two top ECAC teams on Friday night. The Crimson are coming off of a big win over Clarkson, so their confidence has got to be pretty high right now. They’re finding ways to score goals and win games, which is huge, but they’re probably going to have to do a better job defensively against this Big Red team. Harvard goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer doesn’t have much of a problem seeing a lot of rubber thrown her way, but Cornell’s done a very good job of cashing in on their chances this year. However, the Big Red’s defense hasn’t been spectacular either, so Harvard will probably get their own opportunities on Cornell netminder Lauren Slebodnick, and they’ll need to take advantage of those.
Syracuse will visit Mercyhurst in a series that’s got huge implications in the CHA race. The Orange, fresh off of a sweep of Penn State, have now won five games in a row. Sophomore Nicole Renault has been a huge presence for them on defense, and she also leads the team in scoring with 10 points. Production has been spread out between a number of players and they have a fantastic goaltender in Kallie Billadeau. The Lakers, however, are coming off of a split with Robert Morris, so they’ll be itching to pick up some big conference points. It should be fun to see how much of a difference Amanda Makela can make in net, as she’s quietly posted a .935 save percentage so far this season.
Gabriella is now in her third season of covering NCAA and international women’s hockey for The Hockey Writers. She is the founding editor of At Even Strength, a website dedicated to providing full-time coverage and analysis of women’s hockey. She is currently working towards a degree in Communication at the University of North Dakota, and is also interning with UND Athletic Media Relations. She can be reached on Twitter (@gabfun) or via e-mail (gfundaro10 [at] gmail [dot] com).