Nicole Haase

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 25

Come back each week for a breakdown of the most interesting upcoming games, how to watch or listen to them, and some thoughts on the movers and shakers of the previous week.

It's the final week of the conference tournaments. Winners of the conference tournaments get an auto-bid in to the NCAA's. It's win or end your season for most of the teams listed below.

If you want a breakdown of how the NCAA women's hockey postseason rankings work, check out this post from earlier today.

CHA Tournament — Harborcenter, Buffalo, NY

Semifinals Friday

Robert Morris vs Mercyhurst, 12:00 PM ET
Penn State vs Syracuse, 3:30 PM ET

Finals Sunday @ 3:00 PM ET

All games will be broadcast on EverSport.tv under CHA Women's Hockey. The cost for a single game is $10.99, while a tournament package is available for $35.00.

None of these teams are ranked, so the only way they'll make it into the NCAA tournament is to win it all this weekend. History in Mercyhurst's favor, but Syracuse might be an upstart.

ECAC Tournament — TD Banknorth Sports Center, Hamden, CT

Semifinals Saturday

St. Lawrence vs (4) Quinnipiac, 1:00 PM ET
(7) Colgate vs (5) Clarkson, 4:30 PM ET

Finals Sunday @ 2:00 PM ET

All games will be streamed free on ESPN 3.

Quinnipiac will play next weekend no matter what, so the others will be looking to unseat them and cause some chaos. Colgate has been a dark horse the whole season. They split with Clarkson and beat Quinnipiac twice.

Hockey East Tournament — Lawler Rink, North Andover, MA

Semi-finals Saturday

Connecticut vs (1) Boston College, 1:30 PM ET
Boston University vs (6) Northeastern, 4:30 PM ET

Finals Sunday @ 1:30 PM ET

The semifinals will be streamed on HockeyEastOnline.tv for $14.95. The finals will be streamed and aired on American Sports Network live. They will air tape delayed on NESN at 5:00 PM ET Sunday.

I've almost come to terms with the idea that Boston College might not lose this season. If there are some conference tournament upsets, Northeastern will be on the outside looking in, if they themselves don't win. Playing for your season changes a lot. It's still unlikely to matter in the face of the BC behemoth, but a girl can dream.

WCHA Final Faceoff — Ridder Arena, Minneapolis, MN

Semifinals Saturday

Minnesota-Duluth vs (3) Wisconsin, 2:07 PM CT
North Dakota vs (2) Minnesota, 5:07 PM CT

Finals Sunday @ 2:07 PM CT

The semifinals will be streamed for free on WCHA.com and gophersports.com. The finals will be televised on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Wisconsin's alternate channel. Free streaming is available on FoxSportsGO.com.

Minnesota-Duluth showed Bemidji no mercy. They played the toughest schedule in the league and it's left them well prepared for the post-season pressure cooker. North Dakota has been outside looking in more often than not lately, and they're the only team to beat Wisconsin and Minnesota this season, so they've proven that when they're on, they're a threat. They'll be very dependent on how Shelby Amsley-Benzie can perform in net.

Stick Taps and Snark

↑Wisconsin's Ann-Renée Desbiens -- The Badger goalie earned her 18th shutout on Saturday, breaking the NCAA record. The previous record of 17 was held by Minnesota's Noora Räty and was set during their undefeated season.

↑The Patty Kazmaier Award Top 3 -- Boston College's Alex Carpenter, Northwestern's Kendall Coyne, and Wisconsin's Ann-Renée Desbiens are our top three this year. Congratulations to all three!

↓Princeton-- The Tigers put their NCAA fate in the hands of every other conference's upstarts. Their first-round loss still leaves them in the tournament if every tournament winner is the top-seed. If there are any surprise winners, then Princeton is likely out.

↑Clinching the NCAA's before conference tournament weekend -- Boston College, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Quinnipiac are all in, says Grant Salzano of BCInterruption using his Bracketology predictor.

↓Bemidji State -- With a first-round loss in the WCHA playoffs, the Beavers have played themselves out of the NCAA tournament.

↑College players on the Canada, Switzerland, and Finland IIHF Women's World Championship Rosters -- Minnesota-Duluth's Lara Stalder (Switzerland), North Dakota's Halli Kryzaniak (Canada), Vilma Tanskanen (Finland), and Anna Kilponen (Finland) will all represent their countries in Kamloops in March.

(Photo credit: Quinnipiac Women's Hockey/Twitter)

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CWHL Season Wrap: Toronto Furies →
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