Current Rankings (Week 18):
- Boston College
- North Dakota
- Boston University
Week 17 Notes
Minnesota remains undefeated after a challenging series on the road against Ohio State. The offense led the way as they won 5-2 and 5-3. The Gophers have definitely looked much more defensively in the last few weeks, and they had a few more lapses this weekend. The good news for Minnesota is they know Noora Räty can (and will) play much better in goal than she did here against the Buckeyes, and they still earned the sweep. Upcoming Games: vs. Bemidji State, Fri. 2/15 @ 8:07 PM E.T. & Sat. 2/16 @ 5:07 PM E.T.
Boston College was upset by Northeastern in the Beanpot championship game, 4-3. It was a back-and-forth contest, with many lead changes, and was exciting to watch. I don’t think the loss greatly discredits the Eagles. Even though the Huskies are, on the whole, a weaker team, that does not mean they don’t have the firepower to match the Eagles. Plus, anything can happen in one-game elimination tournaments; we saw that all throughout the conference playoffs last year. If anything, the fact that Boston College was denied a trophy in February will only make them more dangerous in March. Upcoming Games: vs. Connecticut, Sat. 2/16 @ 2:00 PM E.T.; @ Connecticut, Sun. 2/17 @ 2:00 PM E.T.; @ Providence, Tues. 2/19 @ 7:00 PM E.T.
Cornell also suffered an upset, losing 4-1 to Quinnipiac on Friday afternoon. They bounced back with a 4-1 win against Princeton on Saturday. Because of the game-changers they have up front, the Bobcats have shown this season that they have the potential to upset a top-ranked team, and they proved it this weekend. The loss isn’t good for the Big Red, who in the final stretch of the regular season would like to have their defense shored up and in top shape. They were losing battles, turning the puck over, and ultimately couldn’t solve Quinnipiac goaltender Victoria Vigilanti. Cornell put in a much better effort against Princeton, but with the regular season winding down they can’t afford any inconsistency. Upcoming Games: vs. Harvard, Fri. 2/15 @ 7:00 PM E.T. & vs. Dartmouth, Sat. 2/16 @ 4:00 PM E.T.
Harvard earned a 3-0 victory over Boston University in the Beanpot consolation game on Tuesday. They put in a pretty dominating performance against the Terriers; they out-skated the Terriers for much of the game and generated higher-quality scoring chances as well. Forwards Samantha Reber and Hillary Crowe played very well in both Beanpot games, and their performances this season have really added a lot to the Crimson offense. Upcoming Games: @ Cornell, Fri. 2/15 @ 7:00 PM E.T.; @ Colgate, Sat. 2/16 @ 4:00 PM E.T.; & vs. Brown, Tues. 2/19 @ 7:00 PM E.T.
North Dakota swept Bemidji State this past weekend, despite being without Josefine Jakobsen, Andrea Dalen, and Jorid Dagfinrud, who were all overseas competing in Olympic qualifiers for their respective countries. UND just got past the Beavers on Friday with a 4-3 win in overtime, but they exploded Saturday for a 7-0 victory. North Dakota has been playing really well the last few weeks but they’ve got two huge series coming up against Ohio State and Minnesota-Duluth to close out the season, so they can’t afford to take their foot off the gas pedal even for a second. Upcoming Games: vs. Ohio State, Fri. 2/15 @ 8:07 PM E.T. & Sat. 2/16 @ 8:07 PM E.T.
With a 3-1 victory over Rensselaer and a 3-2 victory over Union, Clarkson earned a pair of very important ECAC wins. Both games were gritty and tightly-contested. In fact, the Golden Knights did not secure the win against Union until Vanessa Gagnon broke a 2-2 tie with just 13 seconds remaining in the game. They are first in the ECAC, tied with Cornell in total points with 30, and just four games remaining before the playoffs. To be so high in the standings this late in the season is a big accomplishment for Clarkson, but nothing is set in stone yet and there’ll be a lot riding on the results that the next two weeks yield. Upcoming Games: vs. Princeton, Fri. 2/15 @ 7:00 PM E.T. & vs. Quinnipiac, Sat. 2/16 @ 3:00 PM E.T.
Boston University’s 3-0 loss to Harvard in the Beanpot consolation game is definitely worrisome. Harvard has great defense and goaltending, but the Terriers have been held to just one goal in their last two games. Every team has rough stretches but hopefully for BU, this one is short-lived. They’ve only got five games left to get everything in order and enter the postseason on a high note. Upcoming Games: vs. Vermont, Sat. 2/16 @ 3:00 PM E.T. & Sun. 2/17 @ 3:00 PM E.T.; vs. New Hampshire, Wed. 2/20 @ 7:00 PM E.T.
Minnesota-Duluth is another team who suffered an upset this past week. They lost to Minnesota State 2-1 on Saturday, but rebounded Sunday for a 4-2 win. The effort was there for the Bulldogs in both games; they just couldn’t get more than one puck to find the back of the net in the loss. They also played a more complete game on Sunday in all three zones, whereas they faltered in the second period on Saturday and that’s where the Mavericks took advantage and capitalized. Upcoming Games: @ Wisconsin, Sat. 2/16 @ 8:00 PM E.T. & Sun. 2/17 @ 5:07 PM E.T.
Wisconsin routed St. Cloud State this weekend, winning 6-0 and 5-1. The plus side for the Badgers is that they have at least been able to show some scoring depth against the weaker teams they’ve played. But even though their lower lines have gotten some good shifts against tougher competition, they’ve still mostly relied on their top scorers to produce in those games, and that’s where a bit of the trouble starts for Wisconsin. Upcoming Games: vs. Minnesota-Duluth, Sat. 2/16 @ 8:00 PM E.T. & Sun. 2/17 @ 5:00 PM E.T.
The 4-3 win over Boston College is huge for Northeastern, both because it’s a great confidence-booster and because it gave them the Beanpot title for the second year in a row. While the Huskies’ wins over Boston University and Boston College within the past two weeks are huge, it should still be noted that they were a combined 0-6 against those two teams this year prior to the Beanpot. Goaltender Chloe Desjardins was very good in net in both games in the tournament, and it’ll be very beneficial to Northeastern if they can enter the playoffs with a netminder at the top of her game. Upcoming Games: @ Maine, Sat. 2/16 @ 2:00 PM E.T. & Sun. 2/17 @ 2:00 PM E.T., & @ Connecticut, Tues. 2/19 @ 7:00 PM E.T.
Three Stars of the Week
1. Jocelyne Lamoureux, Senior, Forward, North Dakota: Broke the all-time WCHA scoring record this weekend with seven assists in two games, including six in Saturday’s game alone.
2. Megan Bozek, Senior, Defenseman, Minnesota: Her goal in the Gophers’ second game against the Buckeyes was the 42nd of her career, a new school record for defensemen.
3. Kendall Coyne, Sophomore, Forward, Northeastern: Was named Beanpot MVP due to her hat trick against the Terriers in the semifinals and her tenacious play against the Eagles in the championship; she will be the key to however much success the Huskies have this year.
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).