Current Rankings (Week 3):
- North Dakota
- Boston College
- Boston University
- Ohio State
Match-up of the Week: #3 Wisconsin @ #7 Minnesota-Duluth, Sat. 10/13 @ 4:05 PM E.T. & Sun. 10/14 @ 4:05 PM E.T.
Minnesota-Duluth was surprisingly swept last weekend by underdog Ohio State, and they’ll definitely be looking for redemption in this series against Wisconsin. The Badgers will be just as hungry to win, though; they put on an offensive show last week against Lindenwood but they’re only two weeks removed from a scary series against Minnesota State. Both of these teams will be looking to really assert themselves as one of the top teams in the WCHA, so these should be two very competitive, entertaining games. Both the Bulldogs and the Badgers will be looking for the same things: more consistent, coordinated offense, and improved, controlled defense. One player to keep an eye on in this series: Alev Kelter, a defenseman for Wisconsin. She’s been one of the Badgers’ best defenders this year, and if she keeps up the solid two-way play, it could make a huge difference.
Top 10 Teams in Action
#1 Minnesota @ St. Lawrence, Fri. 10/12 @ 7:00 PM E.T. & Sat. 10/13 @ 3:00 PM E.T.: St. Lawrence showed last year that they can pull off a few upsets, but it’s going to take quite a bit for them to skate with the Gophers. The Saints just don’t have the offensive or defensive depth to really compete with Minnesota. Goaltender Carmen MacDonald might be able to stand on her head and keep it close score-wise, but if the Gophers play like they’ve been playing so far this year, they should come away with two more wins.
#4 North Dakota @ #10 Ohio State, Fri. 10/12 @ 7:05 PM E.T. & Sat. 10/13 @ 4:05 PM E.T.: North Dakota comes into this series with something to prove after Minnesota State upset them in the dying seconds of their season opener. Meanwhile, Ohio State will enter the weekend with a load of confidence after sweeping favored Minnesota-Duluth last week. The Buckeyes will look to continue their gritty yet effective play in an attempt to pull off at least one other upset. North Dakota, on the other hand, will want to focus on their offense and keeping it simple, but still generating constant shots and pressure. If Ohio State can contain the Lamoureux twins, they’ll have a legitimate shot at winning. On the flip side, if Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux get things going, North Dakota should come away victorious.
Rensselaer @ #6 Boston University, Fri. 10/12 @ 7:00 PM E.T.; Union @ #6 Boston University, Sat. 10/13 @ 3:00 PM E.T.
#9 Northeastern @ #6 Boston University, Tues. 10/16 @ 7:00 PM E.T.: Both of these teams have looked good in the games they’ve played so far. Each will face Union and RPI over the weekend before facing off Tuesday night. Chloe Desjardins has played solid in goal for Northeastern so far this year, but it’ll be interesting to see how she fairs against players like Marie-Philip Poulin, Isabel Menard, Kayla Tutino, and even rookies Rebecca Russo and Sarah Lefort. The Huskies also have a very good forward arsenal, headlined by Kendall Coyne, Casey Pickett, and Paige Savage. One thing to watch all weekend for both teams: their defenses, and how effectively they establish themselves when it comes to puck movement and control, as well as positional play. This is a very intriguing in-conference match-up, and it should be a fast-paced game with flashy plays being made on both sides.
Union @ #9 Northeastern, Fri. 10/12 @ 7:00 PM E.T.; Rensselaer @ #9 Northeastern, Sat. 10/13 @ 3:00 PM E.T.
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).