NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, October 14-16
- 4 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, October 14-16

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, October 14-16 by Nicole Haase

Come back each week for a preview of interesting NCAA games coming up and some thoughts on what happened in the previous week's action.

(7) Quinnipiac at (13) Harvard

Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

The Ivy League teams hit the ice this weekend and Harvard starts out with a tough contest. The two teams have split their season series the past two years, but Harvard holds the overall advantage 20-11-3. The Crimson had their best record in seven years last season and return many of the players that helped them do so. They were Ivy League and Beanpot champions.

Quinnipiac is 6-0 to start the season, allowing just four goals in those six contests and recording three shutouts. This young team improved immensely as the season progressed last year and they look like they're carrying that momentum into this season. A number of names from the U18 Women's World championship were discussed as impact players leading into the season, but Madison Chantler wasn't really one of them. The rookie has four goals on 14 shots so far, putting her among the best in the country.

The Crimson have to be up to speed very quickly or the Bobcats will put them in too big a hole to climb out of – and the Quinnipiac defense is as good, if not better than their offense.

(11) Penn State at (14) Boston College

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

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

When these two teams met last season, Penn State was looking to prove their pandemic season success was not a fluke. BC eked out two 2-1 wins (one in OT) to sweep the Nittany Lions in University Park.

Both teams have had a bit of a rocky start to this season. Penn State started off with a bang, beating Wisconsin in the opening game of the year, but have gone 1-4 since then. Boston College bounced back with a pair of wins against Merrimack last weekend after an embarrassing 5-0 loss to Quinnipiac the weekend before.

For Boston College, this will be more chance to rebuild confidence and reputation and prove that they are a contender and not an also-ran. Hannah Bilka leads the team with three goals and four assists for seven points, but for them to keep climbing the rankings, they'll need contributions from further down the roster. If Gabby Roy, Kelley Browne, and Caroline DiFiore start amassing some points, I'll feel better about this team's depth and what they can accomplish.

Penn State set themselves an early non-conference schedule and their ranking reflects that. They lost a pair of one-goal games to (6) Colgate last weekend, showing they are very close to putting all the pieces together. Jeff Kampersal scheduled these games so his team would be ready for the post season and used to playing such tough contests. I like the continued growth we're seeing from the Nittany Lions. Tessa Janecke has started her rookie year with a bang, but Kiara Zannon, Courtney Correia and Mallory Uiehlein are all having quick starts, as well. There is offensive depth here that they haven't had before and that's going to make them a tough team to play for everyone.

Connecticut at Vermont

Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

I've always used the USCHO poll to include rankings here, but wanted to include that both of these teams are ranked in the USA Hockey/USA Today poll – UConn is 14 and Vermont is tied for 15. It will be the first time both of these teams were ranked when they played each other in a weekend series. This game is a rematch of the Hockey East semifinal of last season that Connecticut won 3-1.

The Catamounts are coming off a weekend split with Holy Cross while UConn was swept by Northeastern. Both teams need to regain some confidence and restart their winning streaks early in the season. Vermont has been particularly good on the power play and have scored four of their 14 goals that way.

Vermont holds an overall edge in this meetup historically, but have been 5-3-2 over the past 10 games, showing just how close these two teams have been.

Theresa Schafzahl is one of the most dynamic players in the country right now. Any chance you have to watch how she moves around the ice is one you should take.

Also worth a look:

  • (2) Minnesota at Minnesota State – Friday at 3:00 PM and Saturday at 2:00 PM Central
  • Connecticut at Vermont – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • LIU at Maine – Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 2:00 PM Eastern

Stick Taps and Snark

Northeastern's Alina Müller – The grad student tallied her 200th career point with an assist to Maureen Murphy's goal on Saturday. She also set a new program record for game-winning goals on Friday. It was her 21st.

International streaming of college games – It's really nice that so many teams have options set up for Canadian viewers to watch their games. But it's a shame how expensive they are. Both the ECAC and Hockey East use the same streaming platform for Canadian viewers, but those viewers have to pay two separate fees to watch games from both conferences.

Wisconsin's Jesse Compher  – The grad student scored her 50th career goal on Saturday.

Minnesota State – The Mavericks dropped out of the rankings as they moved to 0-4 to start the season. That's the brutal reality of three games lost by a single goal (one in OT) to two of the top four teams in the country.

Syracuse goalie Arielle DeSmet  –  With a 43-save performance against St. Lawrence on Thursday, she reached 1,500 career saves.

(Photo: Northeastern Women's Hockey/Twitter)