(1) Wisconsin at (2) Minnesota

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

Watch: Paid stream available via BTN+.

With four of the top six teams in the country playing in the WCHA, it feels like there's a big showdown happening in the Midwest every weekend. This time, it's No. 1 vs. No. 2 again (though the rankings have switched sides) as Wisconsin heads to Minnesota for the second iteration of their Border Battle.

When the two teams met three weeks ago in Madison, the Badgers swept the Gophers with 5-0 and 6-3 wins. Minnesota coach Brad Frost was all but speechless after the 5-0 loss. His team responded well early in the second game, but Wisconsin pulled away in the third period.

One big focus for Minnesota will be discipline. Wisconsin has just six power play goals on the season, but had one in each of the games of that series and both came at crucial times of the game. The Gophers, especially their youngsters, have to work on control and keeping their cool.  

Where the Gophers struggled most in that first series was on defense. The Badgers seemed to consistently have position in front of the net and at the back post. Wisconsin is a very good passing team and they made Minnesota look like they were standing still at times in that 5-0 game. I'm certain this was a huge focus of the Minnesota coaching staff after that weekend, so it will be interesting to see how they prepared for UW this time around. The Badgers scored on second-chances and at the back door for most of the 11 goals that weekend.

Wisconsin had last week off, but had an odd weekend at St. Cloud State two weeks ago, winning 10-0 on day one and then struggling to eke out a win in game two. Minnesota split a series in Columbus, winning 7-4 and losing 1-3.

(9) Clarkson vs. (5) Colgate

Friday at 5:00 PM Eastern and Sunday at 4:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Both games available on a paid stream via ESPN+.

No teams are more familiar to each other than these two at this point. These will be the ninth and 1oth times they face off this season. Colgate was 4-1-1 before last weekend's sweep by Clarkson made the season series more even.

The biggest difference last weekend was Clarkson's ability to keep the Raiders off the board. They allowed just one goal all weekend, where Colgate had averaged 3.25 goals per game in their four previous wins over the Golden Knights.

It also helped that Colgate seemed to not have an answer for Caitrin Lonergan. The senior transfer was injured for much of last season, but seems to have found her groove last weekend. She scored all four of the Golden Knights' goals in the series. One of Colgate's biggest assets is their ability to quickly adapt. You can be sure the Raiders will be playing her differently this week, but that may open up more opportunities for Elizabeth Giguere, Brooke McQuigge and Gabrielle David. Watching how that plays out make these must-watch games. Seeing how Colgate adapts and how Clarkson then responds with the offensive firepower they have should make for very good hockey.

New Hampshire vs. (10) Providence

Friday and Saturday at 7:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream available via College Sports Live. Saturday's game televised on NESN.

New Hampshire is one of those teams that makes opponents pay for overlooking them. Their overall record is not what they'd want it to be, but the bright spots are very bright, with a win over BU and a tie with Northeastern. More than half the roster are underclassmen and they've shown some sparks of what they're capable of. Both Jada Christian and Tamara Thierus have made a big impact in their sophomore season and pose a scoring threat.

Three of Providence's four losses came against Northeastern, so it feels difficult to hold that against them. They've been particularly good on offense, spreading the scoring around - 13 players have scored their 37 goals. Sara Hjalmarsson is a big presence up front that has really stepped up in her junior season. She's great at creating space for herself and is a presence in front of the net.

Also worth a look:

  • Robert Morris at (8) Penn State – Saturday at 6:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

Introducing a women's Goalie of the Year Award – The Women's Hockey Commissioner's Association announced this week that they will hand out a Goalie of the Year award starting this season. The early watch list has 21 names on it and the final award will be presented Frozen Four weekend.

Player Safety – The debacle in Lake Placid and what's happening in the NHL, alongside the weekly need to reschedule college games, show how quickly and easily COVID spreads in hockey.

Players of the Month – Congratulations to Wisconsin senior forward Daryl Watts, Clarkson freshman goalie Michelle Pasiechnyk, and Northeastern senior goalie Aerin Frankel.

White Feminism – A number of current and former NCAA players showed support on social media for the Barstool, Erica Nardini, the NWHL, and players who were involved with the former two. Hockey is clearly not for everyone and too many players are still more concerned with being liked by white media figures than supporting Black women. I can't imagine having to take the ice as teammates to those people and I hope the Black players in the NCAA right now are getting the protection and support they deserve.

Elizabeth Giguere – The Clarkson senior forward became the program's all-time leading scorer on January 11. She currently has 226 points in her time at Clarkson.

(Photo: Minnesota Women's Hockey Twitter)

We are entirely reader supported. Consider supporting this work on PATREON or making a secure, one-time donation via PAYPAL.