- North Dakota
- Boston College
- Boston University
- Robert Morris
Minnesota comes away with a sweep over Yale, after a 5-1 win on Saturday and a 4-1 win on Sunday. The Gophers had no problem creating offense, putting up 57 shots in the first game and 52 in the second. Yale’s a tougher team than their record shows, though, and they were able to muster up at least one good stretch themselves in each game. Overall Minnesota responded well to that loss to North Dakota last week. To say they came out flying would be an understatement, as they racked up 25 shots in the first period alone in both games. Their depth was on display again, with a few different lines getting involved all weekend.
The Golden Knights had a huge weekend, as they blew out Princeton 7-0 in a dominating effort and then earned a big 3-0 win over Quinnipiac. After slipping a bit in recent weeks, I think they were out to make a statement, and they did. Their offense is back on track and converting chances to goals, and that lopsided win over the Tigers was big for their confidence in that respect. But their defensive performance against the Bobcats was equally impressive, as Clarkson held their high-flying offense to just 23 shots and successfully contained Kelly Babstock. Goaltender Erica Howe now has a shutout in three straight and is probably the biggest reason why the Golden Knights don’t need to panic over temporary scoring woes.
3. North Dakota
North Dakota could not carry the momentum from their big win over the Gophers last week to a win in their series against Wisconsin. Despite controlling play on Friday night and getting several quality chances, they could not solve Alex Rigsby and the two teams skated to a 0-0 tie. The Badgers would go on to win 3-1 on Saturday. Though UND didn’t sustain nearly as much offense in that second game, it was still a pretty even match-up, with the only real concerning being special teams. They gave up one shorthanded and two power play goals to Wisconsin. Though they would score a power play goal themselves, North Dakota can’t let the game get away from them on the penalty kill.
The Badgers took five out of six WCHA points from UND this weekend, as they won the ensuing shootout after a scoreless 65 minutes on Friday and then went on to win 3-1 the following night. They were able to hold a more-than-capable North Dakota offense to just one goal all weekend. Wisconsin has a lot gunning for them right now. They’re getting great goaltending from Alex Rigsby, who’s posted an insane 0.995 goals-against average and .959 save percentage, and their defense ranks first in the nation in terms of goals-against per game, allowing just 1.00. Perhaps most importantly, the Badgers’ power play is second in the nation with a 30.19% success rate.
— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) November 24, 2013
6. Boston College
The Eagles’ offense looked to be in much better shape in their first game against Connecticut, as they defeated the Huskies 6-2 and outshot them 54-18. They stumbled a bit on Sunday, finding themselves tied 2-2 with UConn after two periods before Andie Anastos netted the game-winner in the third. Boston College still needs to show more consistency on both sides of the puck, but an interesting note: the Eagles still have not earned a shutout this year, which is telling of their issues both in goal and on defense. It was a good performance overall, as they were able to get the sweep, but BC still really needs to prove their worth against a strong team.
Harvard earned a big 3-1 win over Boston University on Friday, with Emerance Maschmeyer making 14 saves in the third period to ensure the victory. Sophomore forward Miye D’Oench has become the Crimson’s most reliable forward, but besides her, they’re getting a few different players to chip in scoring-wise every game. So far that hasn’t been a hinderance, which is a plus. What’s been more of a concern is some inconsistency from period to period. Harvard has shown a tendency to sit back a bit when they have the lead, and if they make that a habit it could pose a lot of problems for them.
The Bobcats could not come away with a win in three games this week, as they tied St. Lawrence 1-1 on Friday, fell to Clarkson 3-0 on Saturday, and then tied Princeton 1-1 on Tuesday. Quinnipiac for the most part is playing well; they ran into two very good goaltenders in Carmen MacDonald and Kimberly Newell, but could not get much going against the Golden Knights. Their lack of depth is starting to hurt them; the Bobcats rely very much on their top two lines, which can make them less effective if they’re worn out. But Quinnipiac still has Kelly Babstock, who’s the best player in the country when she’s on her game and never seems to mind playing big minutes. The Bobcats still have some good pieces in place; they just need to find some more secondary scoring.
9. Boston University
The Terriers’ scoring trouble persisted against Harvard, and though they bounced back with a 2-1 win over New Hampshire on Sunday, they still didn’t light up the scoresheet in that game either. It was a very tight, evenly matched game, and Boston University was able to come away with the win, which was good for them. The Terriers still need to figure out a way to control play for the majority of the game. They were able to sustain pressure against the Crimson in the third period and Rebecca Russo was able to score, but it was too little, too late. On the bright side, Kerrin Sperry has turned out some great performances in net, with a 1.60 goals-against average and .945 save percentage on the season.
10. Robert Morris
The Colonials’ play so far this season has earned them a spot in the top-10, but they earned some convincing results this week to bump them up here. They skated to a 1-1 tie with Syracuse before beating the Orange 2-1 in a pretty even series, and then knocked off Ohio State 2-1. Rebecca Vint and Brittany Howard are their best weapons on offense, and freshman Jessica Dodds continues to be stellar in net, but it’s the team as a whole that’s playing well. They’re winning battles and skating with their opponents for the whole game, which is what’s made Robert Morris so competitive this year. They’ve certainly helped to make the CHA race interesting as well.
Three Stars of the Week
1. Jamie Lee Rattray, Senior, Forward, Clarkson: She had a big week to help lead the Golden Knights to some important victories, scoring three goals and four assists in two games.
2. Dayna Colang, Sophomore, Defense, Vermont: She’s been arguably Hockey East’s best all-around defenseman this season and she only continued to show why in three games this week, netting the overtime winner against Brown and tallying two goals and three assists total.
3. Ali Binnington, Junior, Goaltender, Rochester Institute of Technology: She made 42 saves on 43 shots to help lift the Tigers to a 2-1 upset over Mercyhurst.
Play of the Week
This great drive to the net from Clarkson’s Jamie Lee Rattray.
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).