NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 8
- 3 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 8

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 8 by Nicole Haase

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.

(3) Cornell at (6) Clarkson

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

Watch: Stream available on ESPN+.

Clarkson took two of three meetings between these two teams last season, including the ECAC title game. Cornell finished the regular season atop the conference, while Clarkson finished third.

Though the Big Red are in just their third week of play and will be playing without Kristin O'Neill and Micah Zandee-Hart, who'll be with Hockey Canada this weekend, they'll have to find a way to continue to be sharp and consistent. I've said it a few times, but literally every point is going to matter in conference play in the ECAC, whether those points were contested in November or February.  There is simply no room for error. Conference seeding and a tournament title could be all that separates a team from the end of their season or an NCAA bid, so taking care of business has to be the focus, no matter what the lineup looks like.

Clarkson has been inconsistent in net as their two goalies try to find their rhythm. The Golden Knights have been spoiled with goalie riches over the years, so there's an adjustment happening as these goalies without a ton of experience try to find their way. Clarkson does have strong defense, though they'll be without Ella Shelton, who's also playing in the Rivalry Series exhibitions in Cranberry.

Freshman Gabrielle David has been stellar in the opening month of play. She gives Clarkson another elite weapon and has opened the door a bit for Elizabeth Giguere to have more room on the ice. It's a stellar combination for the Golden Knights.

Harvard at (7) Princeton

Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Stream available on ESPN+.

Harvard has acquitted themselves very well so far against teams that should finish below them in the standings. They're scoring goals – something they've struggled with at times in the past few years. Goalie Lindsay Reed was a major bright spot for them last year and seeing how she continues to develop in her sophomore season will be one of the things to pay attention to as the year goes on.

Princeton will be without Sarah Fillier and Clare Thompson, who are playing with Canada in the Rivalry Series this weekend. Fillier's success has come as part of a line with Maggie Connors and Carly Bullock. It'll be interesting to see who steps into her role for the weekend and how everyone adjusts. Thompson usually gets involved with the offense from the blue line, so the Tigers will also need to look to someone else on the point. This should be a good learning experience for the team and give viewers a chance to check out the depth of the roster.

Vermont at New Hampshire

Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream available on CollegeSportsLive.

These two teams tied already this season and seem to be very evenly matched at each position. To start the year, I picked UNH to finish sixth in Hockey East, with Vermont finishing eighth and thus far, it looks like I might have underestimated them both. Early on, New Hampshire is actually second in the standings. That is very likely to change, but they've started strong and have four conference wins already.

Taylor Wenczkowski has already tallied half as many points as she scored all of last year in just a third of the games. She led the Wildcats last season with her total, so her increased production means nothing but good things for the Wildcats offense.

Vermont has been getting a bunch of points from sophomore defender Maude Poulin-Labelle. Fellow sophomore and Finish national Sini Karjalainen is doing a great job setting up her teammates and the younger players seem to have taken a step forward in their development to help lead this team.

Also worth a look:

  • Robert Morris at Lindenwood – Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 1:00 PM Central
  • Colgate at (6) Clarkson – Saturday  3:00 PM Eastern
  • (10) Boston University at Providence – Saturday  2:00 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

Ohio State's Emma Maltais –  The senior tallied her 100th career point in the weekend sweep of Bemidji State.

Wisconsin –  The Badgers dropped out of the top spot in the polls after losing and tying Minnesota last weekend. Wisconsin had held the top spot since the second-to-last week of last season.

LIU –  The Sharks earned the program's first-ever win with a 5-2 victory over St. Michael's last Friday.

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.

Women's Hockey Commissioners' Association Players of the Month for October – Wisconsin's Daryl Watts was named National Player of the Month, Boston College's Hannah Bilka was named Rookie of the Month and Wisconsin's Kristin Campbell was named Goalkeeper of the Month.

(Photo: Nicole Haase)