Current Rankings (Week 2):
- North Dakota
- Boston College
- Boston University
Featured Series: Mercyhurst @ Rochester Institute of Technology
The Lakers swept the series handily, winning the first game 6-2 and the second 7-0, on the Tigers’ inaugural weekend of Division I hockey. Mercyhurst was led by freshman Emily Janiga’s hat trick on Saturday and Christine Bestland’s seven points on the weekend. The Lakers pretty much dominated the series, but there were a few bright spots for RIT; one in particular is how they out-shot Mercyhurst in the third period of the first game. It’s a little concerning for Mercyhurst, but it was only the first two games of the season; there’s bound to be some inconsistency and adversity.
Top-10 Teams in Action
Colgate @ #1 Minnesota: The Gophers got off to a great start this season, finishing the weekend with 7-0 and 11-0 wins over Colgate. It was quite a weekend for Minnesota’s freshmen class; Hannah Brandt was absolutely sensational, Maryanne Menefee netted two goals in the 11-0 win, and Amanda Leveille recorded a shutout in her first career game on Saturday. Colgate was definitely the inferior team coming into the weekend, but the Gophers put up the kind of performance worthy of a number one ranking. Gophers All-Access has highlights from both tilts here.
#5 Wisconsin @ Minnesota State-Mankato: Although the Badgers didn’t lose either game, this series highlighted some of my concerns for them. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie on Friday night, with Wisconsin winning the ensuing shootout; Minnesota State then fell to the Badgers 3-2 on Saturday. The Mavericks deserve credit for not packing it in at any point in this series, and junior goaltender Danielle Butters was very good in both games. Wisconsin was dominant for large stretches, but it was clear that this season, they just don’t have the kind of depth they’ve had in recent years. Even with Brianna Decker, goal-scoring will probably be another issue, at least at the beginning of the season. A plus for the Badgers: goaltender Alex Rigsby is not likely to post sub-par numbers (.902 save percentage this weekend) too often.
Three Stars of the Week
1. Hannah Brandt, Freshman, Forward, Minnesota: The rookie currently sits at number one in the nation in scoring after posting five goals, four assists, and nine points in Minnesota’s two games versus Colgate. She even scored the Gophers’ first three goals of the 2012-2013 season to collect a hat trick Friday night.
2. Danielle Butters, Junior, Goaltender, Minnesota State-Mankato: She posted a .939 save percentage throughout two games and one overtime period, and kept her team’s upset hopes alive all weekend.
3. Annie Svedin, Junior, Defenseman, Ohio State: In the Buckeyes’ second tilt against Lindenwood, she tallied two goals and two assists. Combined with her one assist on Friday night, she totaled five points on the weekend.
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).