December 18, 2020

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 5



3 min readby Nicole Haase

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 5

The season still probably shouldn't be happening but many college hockey games are going on as scheduled this weekend.

Maine at (7) Providence

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

Watch: Free streams available through CollegeSportsLive.com

Providence might be the most surprising team of the first half. They're undefeated and other than an early tie with UConn, have seemed to be playing at their peak despite all the reasons they should not be.

The Friars have been successful thanks in part to their depth. The are spreading play across all their lines and they're getting contributions from everywhere. The team has scored 19 total goals and they've come from 13 different players.

For Maine, Ida Kuoppala seems not to have missed a beat since earning a spot on the USCHO All-Rookie team. She leads the team in points and goals and has taken nearly twice the number of shots of anyone else on the team.

(3) Northeastern vs. Holy Cross

Saturday at 3:00 PM and Sunday at 5:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Saturday's game televised on NESN. Sunday's game televised on NESN+. Both games available on a free stream.

Northeastern opened their season last weekend with a series split against Boston College. The Huskies looked good in their win in the first game, but struggled a bit more in game two. It may be that Northeastern just needs some more time playing competitive games, but there isn't going to be a lot of wiggle room this season on the schedule.

The two-game series featured 15 penalties, seven on Northeastern. They have to clean that up and get back to playing five-on-five hockey for most of the game. It's their strength and they're doing themselves no favors by interrupting the flow of the game so much.

Holy Cross has two wins early in the season and have played tight games in all of their contests. It's clear to see the growth the Crusaders have made over the past few seasons since moving up to Division I. Nine different players have scored for them so far this season.

New Hampshire at Vermont

Saturday at 7:00 PM and Sunday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free streams via CollegeSportsLive.com.

These will be Vermont's first games of the season as their university postponed winter athletics until now. They've had a lot of time to practice, but are going against a team with six games played already. They'll have to get up to game speed quickly.

New Hampshire has just one win – but it was over #8 Boston University. The Wildcats have promise and have lost three of their last four games by a 2-1 margin. Sophomore Tamara Thierus is having a breakout year thus far, leading UNH with four goals, including two against BU.

Also worth a look:

  • Connecticut vs. Merrimack (home and home) – Friday and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • Bemidji State at Minnesota State – Friday at 2:00 PM Central

Stick Taps and Snark

Mercyhurst coach Mike Sisti – With a 5-1 win over RIT on Friday, Sisti became the second-ever Division I women's hockey coach to reach 500 wins.

Northeastern – It's unfair to the Huskies to assume they could go undefeated in conference play when conference play is all we have and there's so many mitigating factors and outside forces at play, but I was still surprised by their loss in the opening weekend to Boston College. The Huskies have a very high ceiling this season, but I'll admit to beginning to wonder if they can reach it.

Boston College's Cayla Barnes and Maegan Beres – On Sunday, Barnes earned her 200th block and Beres earned her 100th.

Early season return to play plans – The plans conferences put out in November seem almost laughable now, less than two months later. Everyone was strongly optimistic, but I'm not sure they really ever had reason to be except that they wanted to be. The WCHA second-half schedule shows major disparities in the number of games that programs will play and Hockey East had to backtrack on their plan to play a double round robin with a few makeup games. They've now said all games, even the ones that have already been played, will be counted as conference matchups.

(Photo: Providence)



Filed under: NCAA; providence; maine; northeastern; holy cross; new hampshire; vermont; ida kuoppala; ice hockey

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