NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 19
- 4 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 19

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 19 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.

(2) Minnesota at (1) Wisconsin

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

Watch: Paid stream from FloHockey or through BTN+.

The top two teams in the country and longtime rivals meet again in another rematch of last season's national championship game. Minnesota took their last meeting in Minneapolis, with a win and a tie (plus a shootout win for the extra conference point). The Gophers are coming off a weekend split against Ohio State. Wisconsin was idle last weekend.

Minnesota has a four point lead in the WCHA, but has played two more conference games than the Badgers. The Gophers were exposed pretty badly in their first game against Ohio State last weekend, though they rebounded the next day. The Buckeyes showed a lot of holes in the Minnesota defense and took control of the game – it was actually quite similar to the dressing down the Gophers gave Wisconsin earlier this year.

Both teams have struggled at times this year and these games may just come down to who makes fewer mistakes. Wisconsin's power play has regressed a bit, though they still have the best unit in the country by a wide margin. The Badgers are scoring nearly a goal more per game than the Gophers, but Sydney Scobee has been better in net for Minnesota than Kristen Campbell has been for Wisconsin.

Both games are sold out and the Badgers are exceptionally good at home. They have a 24-game unbeaten streak at LaBahn and have a 8-2-4 record in their home arena over the past five years.

(10) Harvard at (7) Clarkson

Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream available via ESPN+.

These are two teams that – when they're on – can be very, very good. But they're also both susceptible to rough patches and sloppy games that have left their mark on their respective records this year.

Harvard looked to be a team making a massive comeback this season after a couple of rough years in Cambridge. They've had a streaky season, starting with five straight wins before suffering four straight losses. They responded with five more wins in a row, but since have dropped three games and settled for a tie with Princeton. The Crimson are coming off a 7-0 drubbing by Cornell and have to find a way to get back on track as they barely hold on to a spot in the top ten. They're tied for second in the ECAC currently, but there are three other teams in close striking distance. Harvard is one bad weekend away from dropping to fifth or sixth place and out of home ice for the conference tournament.

It's been a rougher go than has become normal for Clarkson as they've fought injuries and struggled to find a rhythm. They've taken losses to Yale and St. Lawrence over the past few weeks and currently sit fifth in the conference, though they do have a game in hand over Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

Clarkson has an easier go of it this weekend, starting Friday with Dartmouth. Harvard will face off with St. Lawrence before visiting the Golden Knights. The outcome of this game will hinge on how Harvard responds to their last few weeks. They've shown they're capable of more with emphatic, high-scoring wins over Princeton and BC earlier this year and that's the team that has to hit the ice this weekend if they've got a chance to take down Clarkson.

Colgate vs (4) Cornell (home and home series)

Friday and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream available via ESPN+.

Cornell have yet to lose an ECAC game this season. They're coming off a huge 7-0 win over Harvard that showed their normally defensive-minded team can also run up the score when needed. They're atop the conference with room to spare and look to have their post-season and NCAA ticket punched with no problem. The Big Red need to keep building momentum, keep players healthy and not get ahead of themselves as they start building to March.

Colgate has been a bit up and down this season, but they're winning the games they should and pulling out some surprise victories, as well. The Raiders are heading into their toughest stretch of the schedule, with these two against Cornell before playing St. Lawrence and Clarkson next weekend. From there, they have a set of very winnable games to close out the year. If they can earn any points this weekend, they'll be in a very good position heading to the postseason.

Also worth a look:

  • (7) Boston University vs Merrimack – Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 2:00 PM Eastern
  • Boston College vs Providence – Friday and Saturday at 2:00 PM Eastern
  • Sacred Heart vs LIU – Friday at 4:00 PM and Saturday at 7:45 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

Minnesota Duluth goalie Maddie Rooney Became the program's all-time career saves leader last weekend with 59 saves in a series sweep of Bemidji State. Her 3,030 saves surpassed the previous record of 2,998 set by Kayla Black.

Harvard – The Crimson dropped to 10th in the national rankings, earning just eight points in this week's poll.

Minnesota State – The Mavericks have 415 blocked shots already this season, most in the WCHA and second-most in the country.

RPI – The Engineers are still winless, though they came close in a 2-0 loss to Brown last weekend. They have two games against Union this weekend that offer a very good opportunity for them to get off the schneid.

Boston University Coach Brian Durocher - Earned his 300th career win at the helm of the Terriers with the team's weekend sweep of Holy Cross.

(Photo: Nicole Haase)