- North Dakota
- Boston College
- Boston University
Game of the Week
#8 Harvard at #3 Clarkson, Sat. 11/9 @ 4 p.m. EST
The Crimson and Golden Knights will face off in a big ECAC tilt this weekend. Harvard will need players like Hillary Crowe and Samantha Reber to step up and create things offensively as they go against a tough Clarkson defense. Crimson sophomore Dylanne Crugnale has had a nice start to the year so far; she’s tied for the team lead in goals with three and it will be huge for them if she can also produce on Saturday. Goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer has been great so far this year, and she’ll most likely have a big say in how this game ends. Though consistent offensive pressure will be important for Harvard, they’ll really need to be solid defensively against this strong Clarkson offense.
When it comes down to it, Golden Knights netminder Erica Howe can undoubtedly match Maschmeyer in net, but their offense going into the game is deeper than the Crimson’s. They’re also coming off of a big 7-0 win over Yale, though they’ve had some trouble converting pressure and chances to actual goals. It won’t be easy at all for Clarkson to score on Maschmeyer but they’re going to have to find ways to take advantage of second-chance opportunities. Harvard definitely has some talented players, though, so the Golden Knights will need to be mindful of that and play well defensively, especially on the rush after spending significant time in the Crimson’s zone.
Top-10 Teams in Action
#1 Minnesota at St. Cloud State, Fri. 11/8 @ 4:07 p.m. EST & Sat. 11/9 @ 4:07 p.m. EST
Dartmouth at #3 Clarkson, Fri. 11/8 @ 7 p.m. EST; #8 Harvard at #3 Clarkson, Sat. 11/9 @ 4 p.m. EST
#4 Boston College at Vermont, Fri. 11/8 @ 7 p.m. EST; #4 Boston College at Northeastern, Sun. 11/10 @ 7 p.m. EST
Rensselaer at #6 Cornell, Fri. 11/8 @ 7 p.m. EST; Union at #6 Cornell, Sat. 11/9 @ 4 p.m. EST
#7 Mercyhurst at Robert Morris, Fri. 11/8 @ 3 p.m. EST & Sat. 11/9 @ 3 p.m. EST
#8 Harvard at St. Lawrence, Fri. 11/8 @ 7 p.m. EST
Maine at #9 Boston University, Sat. 11/9 @ 4 p.m. EST & Sun. 11/10 @ 3 p.m. EST
#10 Quinnipiac at Brown, Fri. 11/8 @ 7 p.m. EST; #10 Quinnipiac at Yale, Sat. 11/9 @ 4 p.m. EST
What to Watch For
Boston College travels to Vermont for Friday night’s game, for which the Catamounts are hosting the “Pack the Gut” event, where they will attempt to break the Hockey East attendance record. If all goes as planned, it will be a loud, totally unfriendly atmosphere for the Eagles, which could potentially carry Vermont to an upset. They’ve certainly got two game-breakers in forwards Amanda Pelkey and Brittany Zuback, who Boston College will need to keep an eye on. The Eagles then face off against Northeastern, who, though not as strong up front without Kendall Coyne, are still looking to make some noise in Hockey East this season.
In what could be the weekend’s most underrated match-up, Penn State hosts Syracuse for a two-game series. Syracuse is playing very well this year; they’re on a three-game win streak and knocked off Boston College a couple of weeks ago. Kallie Billadeau has been great in net, and the Orange as a whole look like they can contend with Mercyhurst for first in the CHA. Despite only having two wins so far, the Nittany Lions are a much better team than they were last season. They’re also fifth in the NCAA in attendance, which is really good for a team in just its second year as a Division I program; they’ll be bidding for an upset against a quality conference opponent.
Robert Morris hosts Mercyhurst in another big CHA series. The Lakers are coming off a bye week and have righted the ship after a bumpy start to the year. They’re getting production from their top-six players and Molly Byrne is playing strong defensively to anchor Mercyhurst’s blue line. It doesn’t look like the Colonials will be an easy team to beat, however. They’re currently 8-2-0, thanks largely to the performances of two of their freshmen. Rookie forward Brittany Howard has been fantastic, currently tied for the national scoring lead with 17 points in 10 games. Jessica Dodds has been just as outstanding in goal, going 6-0-0 with a 1.49 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.
Before Harvard faces Clarkson, they’ll also travel to St. Lawrence in what should be a good test for the Crimson. The Saints are coming off of a couple of big wins against Yale, 4-1, and Brown, 5-1. Goaltender Carmen MacDonald is back from an injury, making St. Lawrence even more dangerous. Headlined by forward Rylee Smith, the Saints definitely have the ability to skate with the Crimson. They’ve got a good transition game, and need to play responsibly in the neutral zone if they want to prevent Harvard from possessing the puck. Other than Smith, the Crimson also need to be wary of Mel Desrochers and Dayle Wilkinson, who have done a great job of leading St. Lawrence’s attack from the blue line.
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).