Current Rankings (Week 14):
- Boston College
- North Dakota
- Boston University
Week 13 Notes
Minnesota increased their unprecedented win streak to 30 games after sweeping North Dakota this weekend with a pair of 6-3 wins, earning a season sweep of their WCHA rivals. I think it’s fair to say that the Gophers looked a little rusty in their first game action since the break. They still came away with two wins, but this was definitely one of their toughest series of the year; they were outshot by UND in the first game, 35-25. This weekend may have been a reality check for Minnesota, as it showed that no matter how unbeatable they might seem, teams aren’t going to just lie down and hand them wins, and that could mean a lot when the postseason rolls around. Upcoming Games: @ Minnesota State, Fri. 1/18 @ 8:05 PM E.T. & Sat. 1/19 @ 4:05 PM E.T.
Boston College had a very successful weekend, routing Vermont 7-2 and defeating Cornell 4-3 in overtime. They just keep on cruising, crushing weaker teams and handling their tougher opponents well. It’s hard to argue that right now they’re not a top-two team in the country. A lot can change in the coming weeks but right now they’re heavy favorites in Hockey East and on a national level. Upcoming Games: @ Mercyhurst, Fri. 1/18 @ 7:00 PM E.T. & Sat. 1/19 @ 2:00 PM E.T.
Although they suffered that 4-3 overtime loss against the Eagles, Cornell had a decent weekend otherwise, winning their other two games, 4-2 against Northeastern and 8-1 against Syracuse. They showed that they can bounce back well after a loss in their rout of the Orange. The Big Red have lost a little bit of their consistent dominance, but they’re still a very good team with a lot of talent both up front and on the back end. Upcoming Games: vs. St. Lawrence, Fri. 1/18 @ 7:00 PM E.T. & vs. Clarkson, Sat. 1/19 @ 4:00 PM E.T.
Clarkson had a solid showing this past weekend with a pair of one-goal victories, defeating Brown 2-1 and Yale 1-0. Goaltender Erica Howe had 21 saves in the shutout against the Bulldogs. Overall, the Golden Knights were strong defensively, limiting both of their opponents’ chances, but their offense has gone a little bit dry as of late. They’ll definitely be looking to fix that within the next few contests. Upcoming Games: @ Colgate, Fri. 1/18 @ 7:00 PM E.T. & @ Cornell, Sat. 1/19 @ 4:00 PM E.T.
Harvard kept on cruising through competition this weekend, winning 3-0 against Princeton, 4-0 against Quinnipiac, and 6-1 against Connecticut. They sit first in the ECAC standings with a 11-0 conference record and a 14-1-1 record overall this season. They haven’t been facing all-star competition every single week, but they’ve done what’s been asked of them: beat their opponents pretty handily. While the Crimson have been dominating, they’ve pretty much been splitting the goaltending duties mainly between Laura Bellamy and Emerance Maschmeyer, but it looks like the rookie Maschmeyer has the edge in net and could be called upon against stronger competition. Upcoming Games: vs. Rensselaer, Fri. 1/18 @ 7:00 PM E.T. & vs. Union, Sat. 1/19 @ 4:00 PM E.T.
Although North Dakota could not withstand the offensive skill and force of the Gophers, falling 6-3 in both games this weekend, they put up a very good fight. They threw everything they had at Minnesota, even out-shooting them in Friday night’s game. And they made it very interesting on Saturday, matching the Gophers goal-for-goal until Rachel Ramsey made it 4-3 Minnesota almost halfway into the third period. North Dakota has shown a lot of improvement in their play and puck control since the beginning of the season, but with their shaky goaltending and at least occasional defensive lapses, a team with as much depth as the Gophers is often going to be too much for them to handle. Upcoming Games: vs. Wisconsin, Fri. 1/18 @ 8:05 PM E.T. & Sat. 1/19 @ 8:05 PM E.T.
Wisconsin had a big weekend, sweeping Ohio State with a 4-1 win and a 2-1 win. The sweep puts the Badgers second in the WCHA standings, while the Buckeyes now sit in third. Wisconsin’s all-around play has really been on the upswing since their pretty rough start to the 2012-2013 season. They’ve got a kind of quiet swagger to them; the Badgers’ roster isn’t loaded with big-name, high-scoring players like it has been in recent years, but they’ve really learned to play to their strengths. They’ve got a few stars throughout their line-up just the sane, namely forward Brianna Decker and goaltender Alex Rigsby. And Alev Kelter and rookie Courtney Burke might be the most underrated blue-liners in the country. It’ll be interesting to see how Wisconsin fairs in the next few weeks. Upcoming Games: @ North Dakota, Fri. 1/18 @ 8:05 PM E.T. & Sat. 1/19 @ 8:05 PM E.T.
Boston University came away with three conference wins this weekend as they beat Maine twice, 5-2 and 4-2, and Northeastern once, by a score of 5-4. Their offense was pretty potent, as evidenced by the 14 total goals they scored; they also posted 111 total shots in the three games. The Terriers will want to shore up their penalty kill a bit; they gave up three power play goals on eight opportunities against the Huskies. Freshman forward Sarah Lefort burst back onto the scene after going cold for a few weeks, scoring a hat trick against Northeastern. Upcoming Games: N/A for Week 14
Minnesota-Duluth had a very nice weekend against St. Cloud State. They defeated the Huskies 3-1 on Saturday, then exploded for a 8-2 victory on Sunday. Forward Jamie Kenyon had a productive weekend for the Bulldogs, scoring four goals in the two games. Minnesota-Duluth has a lot of work to do, as they currently hold a 9-8-3 record overall, but they demonstrated this weekend how good they can be. They just need to show more consistency and a better ability to capitalize on their chances throughout the course of the rest of the year to have a real shot at a postseason run. Upcoming Games: vs. Bemidji State, Fri. 1/18 @ 8:05 PM E.T. & Sat. 1/19 @ 8:05 PM E.T.
Northeastern lost both of their games this week, 4-2 against Cornell and 5-4 against Boston University. They’ve now lost three games in a row and four of their last five to start 2013. Their biggest problem all year has been a lack of depth. The Huskies have a lot of young talent and their first two lines contain a good amount of skill, but they haven’t been able to rely on secondary scoring and that hampers them against strong competition. And netminder Chloe Desjardins has been pretty solid for Northeastern, but they can’t count on her for the same game-stealing performances that they got from now-graduated goalie Florence Schelling. That’s no fault of Desjardins’, as those are big shoes to fill, but that’s definitely something to which the Huskies’ defense has had to adjust . Upcoming Games: vs. Providence, Sun. 1/20 @ 2:00 PM E.T.
Three Stars of the Week
1. Amanda Kessel, Junior, Forward, Minnesota: Scored six goals and four assists this weekend for the Gophers, powering them to a sweep over North Dakota.
2. Haley Skarupa, Freshman, Forward, Boston College: Has really contributed to Boston College’s success and dominance this year, and continued to do this week, tallying five goals and two assists for the Eagles.
3. Brianne Jenner, Junior, Forward, Cornell: Posted four goals and nine points in three games for the Big Red this week as she continues to help lead their offense.