Apologies for the lack of post last week. We're back this week with some very good top-ten matchups.

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 from the previous week.

(1) Wisconsin at (2) Minnesota

Saturday at 2:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM Central

Watch: Both games streamed on FloHockey and BTN+.

Minnesota currently owns the series with a 50-36-11 record, but Wisconsin has won nine of the last 12 times they've played, including the WCHA and National Championship games last season.

Wisconsin has been particularly prolific on the power play this year, scoring nearly 49% of the time. They are already just 10 extra-attacker goals shy of their total for all of last year. The two teams are both quite good on the penalty kill, but a key for Minnesota is to play disciplined and not give Wisconsin many chances on the power play.

This should be an offensive showcase of the very best players in the nation. All five of the country's top scorers are playing in this series, so the goalies will need to be on their toes. Both have impressive number so far, though Wisconsin's Kristin Campbell is allowing half as many goals per game as Minnesota's Sydney Scobee.

These two teams match up very well in most every metric and position, so these games become about being able to control the puck, manage the zone, win faceoffs, move through the neutral zone, and adapt to each other. They're both too good to let their opponent get too settled into their own game. They disrupt and poke check and intercept passes. How the players are able to play once they're pushed out of their regular routine is what will decide this one.

(6) Princeton at (3) Cornell

Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Stream available on ESPN+.

Both teams will have just a few games under their belt before they face off for a very important conference showdown. Last season, nearly every ECAC team was fighting for position in the postseason in the final game of the year. The margins are very thin and tie-breakers include head-to-head play and how you fare against other top teams in the conference. That means that an ECAC team's postseason could be determined by a game they play in early November.

Both teams are well aware of what's riding on this game and that their teams need to be playing hockey like it's February despite the short time they've had on the ice so far. Princeton has the more tested goalie in senior Stephanie Neatby, but Cornell's Lindsay Browning stepped up when she needed to last season in big games.

As expected, sophomores Sarah Fillier and Maggie Connors have returned to lead the Tigers on offense. Cornell has more upperclassmen leading the charge up front, but it's actually been sophomore Gillis Frechette that has played the biggest role in their first two games.

This is a good early test for both teams to get a feel of where their are in their development, especially relative to the other. We should know a lot more about the lay of the land in the ECAC after this game.

(4) Northeastern at (9) Boston University

Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 3:30 PM Eastern

Watch: Friday's game is streamed for free via Hockey East. Saturday's game broadcast on NESN or streamed on CBS All-Access.

Boston University stumbled a bit early on, with a tie to Merrimack and a loss to UNH. They have rebounded with four straight wins, but if they want to be in contention for the Hockey East crown at the end of the year, they have to have wins against Northeastern and BC.

Senior Sammy Davis and sophomore Kaleigh Donnelly lead the team in scoring and they're also getting contributions from senior Abby Cook and junior Nara Elia. The defense will be crucial in this game, as will goaltending. Junior Corinne Schroeder was just named Hockey East Goalie of the Month. Her goals against and save percentage are both among the best in the country.

She'll be tasked with stopping Alina Mueller, who was named Hockey East Player of the Month for October. Mueller leads Hockey East with 15 points and is averaging 2.50 points per game. Northeastern is averaging more than four goals per game in their wins, but they were held off the board in their lone loss. Controlling their high-powered attack is the key to BU winning this game.

Also worth a look:

  • Providence at (7) Boston College – Saturday at 4:00 PM Eastern
  • (8) Ohio State at Bemidji State  – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Central
  • Quinnipiac at Colgate – Saturday  3:00 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

Boston College freshman Hannah Bilka –  The rookie has three game- winning goals and four power play goals. She's tied for the lead in the nation with 10 goals and she's tied for ninth in overall scoring.

NCAA –  They could be candidates for snark all day, every day, but in this particular instance, they denied the NCAA Women's Hockey Selection Committee's request to add an additional flight for the women's tournament. Their reasoning? They can't change the rules because it would involve changing the rules. Either they're really, really dense or they're being deliberately obtuse.

Ivies –  A week late, but we've finally got all the Ivy League teams on the ice and playing games.

Robert Morris – Despite hanging tough through a difficult early-season schedule, the Colonials couldn't take a point from Cornell and are now 2-5-1 and out of the rankings this week.

Cornell – In their first weekend of play, the Colonials handled Robert Morris in a way neither Minnesota nor Clarkson had, showing they may have been underrated coming into the season. They jumped two spots in the polls and are currently ranked third.

(Photo: Nicole Haase)

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