February 11, 2022

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 20



4 min readby Nicole Haase



NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, Week 20

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.

(9) Clarkson at (7) Yale

Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

The Bulldogs have been sort of quietly putting together a program-best season. They're 19-5-1 and have won four straight since losing an uncharacteristic game to Brown a few weeks ago. They're currently in first place in the ECAC, with a slim half-point lead over Harvard. They have a strong top two lines, though there is drop off in production after the top eight scorers.

They're led on offense by Elle Hartje, a sophomore who leads the Bulldogs with 13 goals and 29 assists. She's averaging 1.667 points per game, good for fifth in the country. With the Ivy Leagues not fielding teams last season due to the pandemic, Hartje spent a year in Bratislava playing club hockey and establishing residence in the country of her maternal grandparents so she could play for Team Slovakia at the international level. That time on the ice has payed off this season with Yale. She has nearly double her output from her rookie season, where she had 11 goals and 14 assists.

Clarkson is led by Caitrin Lonergan. The grad student has 17 goals and 26 assists. After transferring to the Golden Knights from BC, she struggled with injuries that kept her off the ice, and then faced a COVID-shortened season. She's finally been able to show what she's been capable of this year and she's a big reason Clarkson is looking at an NCAA bid. She's got game-changing speed and great vision on the ice.

When these two met earlier in the season, Yale took a 4-2 victory. Emma Seitz had two goals and two assists for the Bulldogs while Hartje added three assists. The Golden Knights took a while to find their groove this season, so I expect to see them push back harder at Yale in this game.

Both teams goalies are among the top ten in save percentage and goals against average.

(9) Quinnipiac at (6) Harvard

Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream on ESPN+.

Harvard is riding high after winning the Beanpot this week. The Crimson have been consistent and strong this season. They've climbed the rankings by sort of quietly taking care of their business while other teams have faltered. They feature a pair of talented forward in Kristin Della Rovere and Becca Gilmore who have come into their own this season. Gilmore, particularly, had shown flashes of what her potential could be and really seems to have settled into herself and her game this year.

Quinnipiac started the season strong, but have had a rough January to come back down to earth a bit. Six of their seven losses have happened since the winter break, including back to back losses to St. Lawrence last weekend. They went from a team that seemed like they could host an NCAA tournament game to sitting on the bubble.

I've talked before about how this is a younger team, but that can't be an excuse. They have to find a way to fight through this tough stress and come through as a better team because of it. This Harvard game and a matchup with Yale are the toughest games remaining on their schedule. They need both the points and the momentum that a win here would bring them. This is a good and talented team and it would be a shame if they can't get things turned around in these final few weeks.

St. Lawrence at (7) Yale

Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

Yale really is probably the most underrated team in the NCAA field right now. But St. Lawrence is a team on the bubble looking for a marquee win to bolster their postseason resume. They currently sit 13th in the Pairwise and will need to make a move over these final weeks to earn a post-season bid. They're a squad I think can surprise teams in the conference tournament and one way they can help their own cause is in ECAC standings. They currently sit fourth, one point clear of Quinnipiac. They need to get points from each of their final five games, but it won't be easy. After Yale, they'll play Harvard, Cornell and Colgate to close out the season.

When they played just before Thanksgiving, these two fought to a 4-4 tie, with five of the goals coming in the first period. I think we'll see a more balanced game in terms of defense and play across 60 minutes. The Saints are being led offensively by rookie Abby Hustler. At 5'9" she provides a big target – and screen – in front of the net. She is playing on the third line with Aly McLeod and Nara Elia, both of which join her atop the team stats.

This will be a test for St. Lawrence, but a win here would be not just big in the standings, but for momentum in their final few games.

Also worth a look:

  • Boston University at Vermont – Friday at 2:00 PM an Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • Minnesota State at (3) Wisconsin – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 4:00 PM Central
  • Syracuse vs. Mercyhurst – Friday at 3:05 PM and Saturday at 2:05 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

NCAA players in the Olympics – Players who have played, currently play or are committed to play NCAA Division I hockey are responsible for 70% of the scoring in Beijing through the opening rounds. They have scored 84 of 120 goals, 124 of 177 assists and 208 of 297 points tallied through the 20 preliminary games.

Northeastern – The Huskies dropped another two spots in the polls and are now sitting fifth.

↑  Yale coach Mark Bolding – With the Bulldogs' 3-0 win over RPI on Friday, he earned his 300th career win. Before joining Yale, he spent 12 years leading DIII Norwich.

Quinnipiac – After being ranked as high as #4 this season, the Bobcats are tied for ninth in this week's poll.

Syracuse's Abby Moloughney and UConn's Morgan Wabick – The each reached the 100 career point mark last weekend.

Ohio State's Sophie Jaques – Jaques set a single-season program record for points by a defender on Saturday. She has 47 points so far this season and is third in the country in points.

(Photo: Harvard Women's Hockey Twitter)



Filed under: NCAA; yale; Elle Hartje; harvard; Quinnipiac; clarkson; st. lawrence

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