NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 9
- 3 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 9

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 9 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.

(6) Boston College at Boston University

Friday at 7:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream available here.

The Battle of Commonwealth Avenue heats up for the first time this season. BU gets to host, but I'm not sure that will provide much of an advantage. These two have played a number of close games in recent years and this one shouldn't be much different.

BC has one of the top offenses in the country, averaging more than four goals scored per game. BU has one of the best defenses in the country, allowing 1.55 goals per game. One of those will have to give and it might come on special teams. The teams have the exact same power play percentage, but the Terriers have been more successful on the kill.

The Eagles are fast and the Terriers will need to watch for fast break and short-handed scoring opportunities. They'll be looking to pick their spots and take advantage of holes in the defense. BU isn't going to overpower BC, but if they can weather the offensive onslaught and play smart on the counter, they have a great shot of getting this win.

(10) Minnesota Duluth at (7) Ohio State

Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Stream available on BTN+ or FloHockey.

These two teams will likely be vying for third place in the WCHA this season. Both programs have raised their program profile in recent years and are fighting to be mentioned in the same breath as the top teams in the country.

This is a game to watch if you love good goaltending. UMD's Maddie Rooney and OSU's Andrea Braendli represented their respective countries at the 2018 Olympics. Both teams also feature prolific blue liners who can put pucks in the net. OSU's Jincy Dunne is one of the best defenders in the league and she is a threat from the top of the zone and when she breaks towards net. UMD's Ashton Bell is a converted forward who's done a stellar job adjusting and has found a balance between providing strength at the blue line and finding the back of the net.

The two teams split their season series each of the last two years, with the home team sweeping their respective weekends. The teams are close, know each other well and are playing for more than just a few conference points. These teams both have a shot at an NCAA bid this year, but it's unlikely they'd both get one. They'll be fighting for head-to-head record and the quality win bonus points a series like this carries.

Bemidji State at (1) Minnesota

Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 4:00 PM Central

Watch: Stream available on BTN+ or FloHockey.

Minnesota looked the best they have all season two weeks ago against Wisconsin. With a win and a tie in that series, the Gophers took over the top spot in the polls and have settled in nicely. They're spreading the scoring around and that's not a bad thing. Five different players have double-digit points already and 17 players on the roster have tallied at least one point.

Bemidji State has had an up and down season so far, but their sweep of Minnesota Duluth and near miss with Ohio State show that the Beavers can hang with the top teams in the conference. Senior Haley Mack has seven goals to lead the team.

The Beavers will need strong goaltending to stymie the Gophers and keep themselves in the game. They've used a three-goalie rotation to start the season and whomever is between the pipes is going to see a lot of shots this weekend.

Also worth a look:

  • Connecticut at Maine – Sunday at 2:00 PM Eastern
  • (9) Harvard at Boston University – Tuesday at 7:00 PM Eastern
  • (4) Northeastern at (6) Boston College – Tuesday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

Northeastern coach Dave Flint –  He won his 210th career game at Northeastern, tying the program record.

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.

Harvard –  The Crimson have started 5-0 and are nationally-ranked for the first time since 2016.

College players called away for international tournaments – I've made it pretty clear I hate this practice, but the subject came up again this week as Maine played with just 13 skaters last weekend due to departures for the 5 Nations Tournament in Russia. A number of schools like Cornell and Princeton were without players who played with Team USA and Hockey Canada for the Rivalry Series.

(Photo: Boston University Women's Hockey Twitter)