February 4, 2022

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



4 min readby Nicole Haase



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

Schedules have been in flux due to COVID, with a number of series getting canceled, called off, and rescheduled. All information here is current as of the time of publish, but is subject to change.

(5) Minnesota Duluth at (4) Wisconsin

Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 8:00 PM Central

Watch: Paid stream on BTN+.

It's been a shaky few weeks for the Badgers, who have a win, two losses and a tie with the shootout point in series with Minnesota and St. Cloud State. They have a history of not doing so well coming out of breaks, and their schedule since the winter pause has been anything but regular. Maybe playing at home will help them find their equilibrium.

Minnesota Duluth has climbed to fourth in the Pairwise. I was admittedly concerned about them when Emma Söderberg left for Beijing since JoJo Chobak had so little game experience as a Bulldog. But Chobak has been more than solid.

Since the begging of December, they have just three losses (they split two series with Ohio State and one with the Gophers) and have won 10 games. Gabby Hughes leads the country with 47 points and an average of 1.88 points per game. The team is averaging nearly four goals per game.

One of the Bulldogs' biggest struggles has been on the penalty kill, while the Badgers have looked better at even strength than they do on the power play. Wisconsin has to make sure they don't make mental mistakes and or get frustrated. They have the opportunity to try and right the ship here a bit and need wins this weekend.

(10) Vermont at Maine

Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 2:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream on College Sports Live.

The Catamounts are riding high, having won seven in a row. They sit in second place in Hockey East. Maine is currently fourth and have a six-game win streak of their own.

Vermont is getting contributions up and down the ice. Theresa Schafzahl, Maude Poulin-Labelle, and Jessie McPherson were honored as Hockey East Player, Defender and Goalie of the Month, respectively; and Schafzahl and McPherson were also honored as the Hockey Commissioners Association Player of the Month and Goaltender of the Month, the first the Catamounts to ever receive the honor. It has been a true team effort for the Catamounts and it feels like this team is bringing to fruition all the potential previous teams have shown in bits and flashes over the past few years. Ten different players have double digit points and every skater has at least one point. Interestingly, Poulin-Labelle, a defender, is the team leader in points. She already reset her own program record for single season points by a blueliner. She and Schafzahl are tied for the lead in Hockey East scoring.

The Catamounts are also one game shy of tying the program record for wins in a season with six games left to play in the regular season.

This series has been very close of late, with Vermont holding a slight edge with a 4-3-3 record over the past 10 games.

Maine has actually been giving up more goals than they are scoring, but have improved as the season goes on and seem to have hit their stride at just the right time. The are missing the presence of Rahel Enzler, their second highest scorer this season, as she plays with Switzerland at the Olympics, but the Black Bears have also put together their win streak by getting contributions from every part of the roster.

(6) Harvard at (7) Colgate

Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

Harvard came out of the holiday break with a pair of losses against Minnesota Duluth, but have won seven straight since, including three over ranked opponents. They have their highest ranking in the polls since October of 2015. They've also won nine straight ECAC games.

This weekend's games were rescheduled from early January cancellations due to COVID concerns. Back in October, Colgate took the win from Harvard, 5-4 in overtime. Both teams are among the highest scoring programs in the country, so expect another high-scoring affair. Harvard owns the series record between these two, but recent meetings have not been kind to the Crimson. The Raiders have dominated, going 10-2-1 against Harvard since 2016-17.

These two teams are statistically close. They match up well across their line sheets and both play a quick, disciplined style that should make this one of the most fun games to watch this weekend.

Also worth a look:

  • (8) Quinnipiac at Clarkson – Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern
  • (7) Colgate at Cornell – Sunday at 2:00 PM Eastern
  • Beanpot Final: Boston College vs. (6) Harvard – Tuesday at 7:30 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

Vermont – The Catamounts earned their first-ever win over a #1 team when they took down Northeastern on Friday. The team had 38 blocks and goalie Jessie MacPherson had what will likely be the save of the year to keep her team up in the closing minutes. They entered the poll tied with Connecticut for the 10th spot, the first time the program has ever been ranked. They are now second in Hockey East.

Northeastern – The Huskies, who had just two wins all season before the weekend, lost twice in five days as they were defeated by Vermont in league play and Boston College in the opening round of the Beanpot. They are down to 6th in the Pairwise.

↑  Brown – The Bears are up to four conference wins, their most in six years, thanks to their victory over #8 Yale on Friday.

Clarkson – The Golden Knights fell out of the rankings this week.

Syracuse Coach Paul Flanagan – With the Orange's win on Saturday, he earned his 200th win with the program. The Orange did not lose a game in January.

(Photo: UVM Women's Hockey/Twitter)



Filed under: NCAA; vermont; maine; wisconsin; minnesota duluth; colgate; harvard; clarkson; brown; paul flanagan; Maude Poulin-Labelle; Jessie McPherson; Theresa Schafzahl; ice hockey

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