NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 17
- 4 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 17

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 17 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.

Boston College at (3) Northeastern

Saturday at 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream available via Hockey East. Saturday's game broadcast on NESN.

The Eagles are on a slide since before the holidays and a series with the top team in the conference isn't likely to help their situation. Northeastern probably would have liked a bit more to show for their weekend effort than an overtime win over Colgate and an overtime loss to Wisconsin, but they have to be happy with the play of goalie Aerin Frankel.

Northeastern won the first meeting between these two teams this year 3-0 and have only gotten better since them. They have the threat of their top scoring line, but they're also seeing more production from their second and third lines and have been putting a very consistent 60 minutes (or more) together. That Frankel has also picked up her game doesn't bode well for BC, who have not been as prolific on offense as they're capable of.

The Huskies are also averaging nearly four goals per game and the Eagles have given up about four goals per game in their recent six game skid. BC is an aggressive team and that can leave them vulnerable on defense, but they've usually got the offensive firepower to simply outlast other teams. The Eagles are going to have to do some mid-season adjusting and decide if that aggressive strategy is really the best option for them. If they're going to take any point from Northeastern this weekend, they have to limit the Huskies on defense and right now they're just not set up to do that. The 7-1 loss to Harvard is proof of that and NU is more talented up front than the Crimson are.

(7) Princeton at (9) Harvard

Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Stream available on ESPN+.

Harvard gave Princeton a 6-2 loss the last time these two teams played, but the Tigers were without both Sarah Fillier and Claire Thompson, who were playing with Hockey Canada. The Crimson went on a four-game skid just after taking down the Tigers, but have responded with five straight wins, including their thumping of Boston College. They're now ranked and the teams come in with similar records.

Kristin Della Rovere was named Hockey East and WHCA Player of the Month after scoring six goals and tallying seven points over three games for Harvard. She and Dominique Petrie lead a balanced offense for the Crimson that spreads the puck around, with seven different players in double-digit points.

Fillier leads the ECAC in assists with 19 and is second in both points (32) and goals (13). She, Maggie Connors, and Cary Bullock provide a ton of firepower off the Tigers' top line.

This should be an incredibly close game and it'll likely be a single play that makes the difference. It's definitely worth the $4.99 to sign up for for ESPN+ for this one.

Mercyhurst at Syracuse

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

Watch: Free stream available on YouTube.

Syracuse is just a single point behind Mercyhurst and Robert Morris, who are tied atop the CHA standings. The Orange were a surprise winner of the conference last season and though the focus has been on the other two teams, thus far Syracuse has managed to keep pace. They're scoring a ton in conference games, but this will be their biggest test.

Mercyhurst is much stingier on defense this season, so the Orange will need to find a way to get pucks in the net. Defense will be the key to this game. Syracuse's record doesn't reflect what the team is capable of and they have the benefit of being the underdog team who aren't expected to repeat their performance from last season.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are looking to return to the top of the CHA and reassert their dominance in the conference and on a national level. With as close as the top three teams are, Mercyhurst needs to take every point and not allow a chance for Robert Morris or Syracuse.

Also worth a look:

  • Providence vs (8) Boston University – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • (1) Wisconsin at Bemidji State – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM CEntral
  • (5) Clarkson at Yale – Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

NCAA alumnae on the IIHF all-decade teamBoston University's Marie-Philip Poulin, North Dakota's Monique Lamoureux-Davison, and Wisconsin's Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker were named to an all-decade lineup released by the IIHF on Wednesday.

Boston College – The Eagles dropped out of the national rankings for the first time in a decade after losing 7-1 to Harvard on New Year's Eve. They are 0-5-1 since Thanksgiving and have been outscored 22-7 in that stretch.

Harvard coach Katey Stone – One of the winningest coaches in Division I history, she was named one of the most influential women in Boston recently.

RPI – The Engineers are still the last team in the country without a win.

(Photo: Harvard Women's Hockey)