NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 15
- 3 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 15

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 15 by Nicole Haase

(9) Clarkson at Princeton

Friday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

The Tigers have had problems finding their identity this season without Sarah Fillier and Claire Thompson. They've won the games they should, but haven't been as successful against top teams as they would have liked. Princeton currently sits on the bubble for the expanded 11-team tournament and could use a couple of wins over ranked opponents to boost their RPI and their resume. Freshman Mia Coene has transitioned well and provided some additional offense for the Tigers. They also have one of the strongest goalies in the country in Rachel McQuigge. She's helped steady the team and gives them a chance to win every game.

Clarkson has just two losses and three ties so far this season. They have played a lot of close games and that's sure to continue down the stretch. The Golden Knights need to find just that little bit more to make sure they're pulling out wins from those tight situations.

There are a lot of familiar, talented players on Clarkson, but I've also enjoyed watching newcomers Haley Winn and Jenna Goodwin. There's a good mixture of experience and youth that has really helped them excel.

(9) Clarkson at (4) Quinnipiac

Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

These two tend to play close games. They split their last series, in January 2021. Nearly every meeting between the two is decided by two goals or fewer.

Quinnipiac has momentum after they showed they are a legit top team last weekend in Madison. Saturday’s game was much closer than the final score would have you believe and they won a hard-fought tie on Sunday. They were helped by an incredibly strong performance from goalie Corinne Schroeder. Their Friday night game was cancelled this week, so they'll have an extra day to prepare for this rivalry game. They were held more in check offensively, but showed how well they can move the puck and stick with the top team in the country.

Clarkson has a tough game against Princeton on Friday night before they take on Quinnipiac. They'll be more tired and won't have had as much time to focus on the Raiders as an opponent. But they've been rolling offensively. They're averaging more than three goals per game, led by Caitrin Lonergan. She's one of the top scorers in the country and she has seemed to really find her touch and role within the Golden Knights after missing time to injury. Her collegiate career hasn't been what she would have hoped as she's experienced setbacks, but she's one of the best skaters and scorers in the country. Clarkson is a threat merely because she's on their team.  

(10) Harvard at (6) Colgate

Monday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

Harvard had a chance to gain some ground and make their case for the postseason with a top-10 matchup last weekend, but didn’t come away with any points in two games against Minnesota Duluth. This weekend, they’ve got two more tests and these games seem even more important based on last weekends (lack of) results. The margins for the final few teams into the NCAA are razor thin right now. Getting the boost of a quality win bonus could be the difference maker.

Colgate eked out a 5-4 overtime win when these teams met over Halloween weekend. Harvard came back from a two-goal deficit twice in that game to force the extra frame. The Crimson kept up with the prolific Colgate offense, but they'll need to find a way to be a bit more shutdown on defense - they gave up 12 goals over the past three games.

The Raiders haven't played a game since they upset Minnesota in the championship game of the Smashville Showcase back on November 27. They'll be well-rested, but might need a little time to knock the rust off. Harvard will look to capitalize early.

Also worth a look:

  • Connecticut at Vermont – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 5:00 PM Eastern
  • RPI at Brown – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • St. Thomas at (5) Minnesota – Wednesday at 7:00 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

National Players of the month – Congratulations to Minnesota Duluth's Gabbie Hughes (player); Union’s Sophie Matsoukas (rookie); and Minnesota State's Calla Frank and Penn State's Josie Bothun (co-goalies) on being named National Players of the Month for December.

IIHF president Luc Tardif – He claimed the decision not to reschedule the U18 Women's World Championship had nothing to do with gender all while trying his darnedest to make the World Juniors tournament happen. His interview and statements after the cancellation were appalling, and we're still waiting for news on what comes next.

Connecticut – The Huskies entered the national rankings this week for the first time since 2008. Their 14-4-2 overall record is the best first half record and start through 20 games in program history.

(Photo: Connecticut Women's Hockey/Twitter)