Nicole Haase

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 7

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.

Here are the games to watch this weekend:

I'm putting the following four games together, since the teams are all just switching opponents and they are all ranked match ups.

(7) St. Lawrence at (10) Princeton

(8) Clarkson at (5) Quinnipiac

(8) Clarkson at (10)Princeton

(7) St. Lawrence at (5) Quinnipiac

Friday at 6 PM ET, Saturday at 3 PM ET

Watch: Games at Princeton will stream on the Ivy League Network. Payment options starting at $9.95.
Games at Quinnipiac will stream free on their website here.

The somewhat unknown in this equation is Princeton, as the Tigers have played just twice so far. They were impressive, but they are jumping right into it by facing two other ranked teams this weekend.

Their game against St. Lawrence is a bit of a toss up. The Saints have played unbelievably to start the season, but as their coach Chris Wells told me, they've also gotten incredibly lucky. They can't rely on that against a team like Princeton.

These two teams have built up something of a rivalry and their games are well worth the price of admission (or cost of streaming). Last season they played five times and just a single goal separated them.

Clarkson and Quinnipiac have similar history and how each team is ranked seems to have little bearing on who comes out on top. Clarkson got the best of the Bobcats last season by beating them to advance to the Frozen Four. Quinnipiac has another year of experience under their belt and thus far look to be an even better team. But if anyone knows how to solve for Taylar Cianfarano and company, it's Clarkson.

I expect Princeton to sweep at home, despite their lower ranking. The Tigers are only so low because of the Ivies' weeks of inactivity while the other teams get started. I expect them to beat Clarkson as well, though if any team is able to stifle them, I'd put my money on the one with Shea Tiley in net.

St. Lawrence and Princeton might be the rivalry, but the St. Lawrence/Quinnipiac game is the one I'm most interested in watching. The Saints have a lot to prove in terms of being "for real" this season and Quinnipiac has more depth than most of the teams they've faced so far. I think we'll know a lot more about the legitimacy of these teams at the end of those 60 (or more) minutes.

Boston University at (4) Boston College - home and home series

Friday at 7 PM ET and Saturday at 3 PM ET

Watch: Best I can tell, the game at BC is a subscription, $10.95 a month. The game at BU looks like it may be a free stream.

Talent level goes out the window when it comes to a rivalry like this. Boston College has comported themselves well in this rebound season and are still near the top of the polls. BU has struggled to find their footing thus far. None of that is likely to make a difference here with teams that dislike each other and are playing not just for pride, but for division standing.

Expect a fast pace, physicality, and a lot of goals.

Also worth a look:
  • Vermont at Maine -- 2 PM CT Sunday
  • Bemidji State at Wisconsin -- 2 PM CT Saturday; 1 PM CT Sunday

Stick Taps and Snark

North Dakota -- The Fighting Hawks returned to the polls this week at #9 after a pair of wins over #10 Bemidji State last week.

↑St. Lawrence's Kennedy Marchment -- The junior is the only player in Division I that's averaging more than two points per game.

↓Bemidji State -- After a promising start to their season, they have four losses and a tie in their last six outings. It doesn't get easier for them as they head to Madison to face the Badgers this weekend.

↑Freshmen -- Rookies are having a huge impact this season. Princeton's freshmen have 22 points while the youngsters at North Dakota and Boston College have 21 points.

↓Game flow -- Twenty teams are averaging 10 minutes or more of penalty time per game, and everyone is at six or more a game. The officials are calling tighter games this year, and so far, teams are not adjusting.

(Photo credit: ECAC Hockey/Twitter)

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