NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 21
- 4 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 21

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 21 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) Cornell at (10) Harvard

Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream available on ESPN+.

Cornell is still undefeated in ECAC play. They sit atop the conference four points clear of Princeton and six points clear of Harvard. The Crimson are currently third, but their position is precarious. Clarkson is just one point back, while Yale is two points behind. One off weekend right now could mean losing home ice for the conference playoffs.

The Crimson played without goalie Lindsay Reed last weekend and her status for this weekend is unknown. She makes a big difference for them with both her physical size in the net and the confidence the team in front of her has to make plays and take risks knowing she has their back.

The two teams match up fairly well when Cornell is on offense and Harvard is on defense, but it's significantly different on the other end. The Crimson aren't prolific on offense and much of their firepower comes from the top line. Cornell's defense and goaltending are so strong that Harvard will have to be creative in getting pucks to the net and not getting bogged down in the slot.

(5) Ohio State at (9) Minnesota Duluth

Friday and Saturday at 3:00 PM Central

Watch: Paid stream available via FloHockey.

Ohio State is five points behind Minnesota for second place in the WCHA standings. Minnesota Duluth is seven points behind Ohio State for third place. The Buckeyes are 6-1-1 since the winter break and Minnesota Duluth are 5-1-2 in the same stretch. OSU is also just a few hundredths of a percentage point behind Minnesota in the Pairwise. Moving up would mean hosting an NCAA quarterfinal. Minnesota Duluth is currently ninth in the Pairwise and on the outside looking in. There's a significant gap between them and the teams in seventh and eighth. Wins over Ohio State would really boost their resume and give them quality win bonus points.

Needless to say, there's a lot on the line for these games. Earlier this year in Columbus, Ohio State won 3-1 and the teams played to a 1-1 tie. Last season, the teams split their series, with each team sweeping at home.

Since the break, the Buckeyes has seen a ton of involvement from their second and third lines. Their improvement is a big part of why the Buckeyes are on the verge of becoming a top-four team.

For the Bulldogs, it's a team effort and you never know where the scoring might come from. That makes them a hard match up for a lot of teams who don't know which lines to focus on.


(3) Northeastern vs (8) Boston University
Boston College vs (10) Harvard

Tuesday at 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Stream available via NESN+.

Northeastern and Boston University will play for the 42nd Women's Beanpot on Tuesday. The Terriers are the reigning Beanpot champions, having won their first title since 1981 last year. Northeastern last won the Beanpot in 2013.

The Huskies have won three games over BU thus far this season, so the road to the title means beating the Terriers for a fourth straight time, which will be no easy feat. Northeastern has not lost a game since they were defeated by Wisconsin to start the new year. They are averaging nearly a goal more per game on offense and have the second-stingiest defense in the country.

Boston University has to find a way to slow down Alina Mueller and Northeastern's top line. The games they've played so far have been close, with two of the three ending with a one-goal difference. In two of the three, the Huskies put more than 30 shots on goal, so the Terriers need to find an extra step on defense. They need to get in front of the forwards, block shots, clog lanes, and not give Northeastern a clear view of the net.

Northeastern gives up fewer than one goal per game, so on the other end Boston University needs to be smart about getting the puck to the net. Aerin Frankel is one of the best goalies in the country, so getting in front of her and disrupting the defense will be necessary if they're going to find a way to put more than one goal behind her.

In the consolation match, it may totally depend on which version of each of those teams show up. BC and Harvard have been inconsistent this season. Both teams are also, conversely, fully able to take over a game and get the win. Harvard did just that they only time the two met this season, taking a decisive 7-1 win. Boston College has more depth, but Harvard has the stronger defense.

Also worth a look:

  • Colgate at (10) Harvard – Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • (4) Minnesota at Bemidji State – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Central
  • Sacred Heart at St. Anselm– Friday at 4:00 PM and Saturday at 2:30 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

WHCA Players of the Month Northeastern's Alina Mueller was named National Player of the Month; St. Lawrence's Lucy Morgan was named National Rookie of the Month; and Cornell's Lindsay Browning was named National Goaltender of the month by the Women's Hockey Commissioner's Association.

Minnesota – With a loss to Minnesota Duluth on Sunday, the Gophers have now lost four of their last six and dropped to fourth in the national rankings.

Wisconsin goalie Breanna Blesi – The redshirt sophomore had her first complete game start for the Badgers and earned a shutout in the team's 5-0 win over St. Cloud State.

RPI – The Engineers remain winless on the season.

Northeastern - The Huskies claimed the Hockey East regular season title on Friday with a 3-2 overtime win over Connecticut. They clinched the top spot with a month to go in the season.

(Photo: Boston University Women's Hockey Twitter)