NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, February 10-14
- 3 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, February 10-14

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, February 10-14 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.

(1/2) Yale at (4) Colgate

Friday at 3:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+

In practicality, I'm not sure this game carries a ton of weight for either of these teams. Either one could win and no one would be shocked. It wouldn't do much to change their status in the Pairwise. But in perception, I think this is a huge game for both teams.

Yale's sole loss this season came at the hands of the Raiders in early December. This one game might be the single most important one of the season for the Bulldogs. A win puts them that much closer to the conference regular season title –  they're five points clear of Quinnipiac and Colgate, who are tied for second – and would probably the be the thing that convinces voters they should be the consensus number one.

For Colgate, a win would help solidify them as a top four team in the country, which means hosting an NCAA regional. It would be a massive confidence boost and confirmation that they can play with and against any team in the country.

In the win, the Bulldogs scored first, but the Raiders replied by scoring four goals in a row in ten minutes in the second period and added an insurance goal in the third. They were not intimidated, they took control and they played their game. Yale will be more prepared for the offensive onslaught and more focused on playing their game instead of needing to react to Colgate. It should be a fascinating, fast and fun game.

(This game is in progress at the time of publication and is 3-1 Colgate after two.)

(8) Wisconsin at (3) Minnesota

Friday at 6:00 PM and Saturday at 7:30 PM Central

Watch: Friday paid stream on BTN+ and Bally Sports North Extra Saturday live on Big Ten Network

The Badgers close out their season against the two teams above them in the conference standings who also happen to be two of the top three teams in the country. That's unfortunate for Wisconsin, who is in desperate need of some wins to secure their spot in the NCAA tournament and give them some momentum into the postseason. It has been ten years since a Badger squad has had this many losses and the players are struggling to find answers for why the very talented on-paper roster isn't able to translate that on the ice.

Meanwhile Minnesota lost their first game at home all season during last weekend's split with Ohio State. They have two of the top three players in the country in Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle and they are a much stronger, more cohesive team than they were when Wisconsin took a win and tie from them in Madison in November.

If they want to walk away from the weekend with some points, Wisconsin has to not just figure out their intermittent scoring difficulties, but also cut down on the mental mistakes that have been costly in the second half. They need to play a nearly flawless game. Minnesota has the speed, talent and desire to exploit every crack in the Badgers façade. Not only is there the drive of this rivalry, but the Gophers are just two points clear of the Buckeyes atop the WCHA and know every point is crucial – particularly while OSU plays St. Thomas this weekend.

(5) Northeastern at (15) Connecticut

Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

These two haven't played since the first week in October, when Northeastern took two wins. Connecticut won five in a row starting in December, but have been 0-2-2 over their last four games. Still, they moved into the national rankings this week.

Northeastern hasn't lost since mid-November and have a 14 game win streak. They are locked in, on a roll and will be a tough matchup for UConn. Alina Müller and Chloé Aurard are in the top ten in scoring in the country and goalie Gwyneth Phillips leads the country in save percentage and has the only goals against average below 1.oo in the nation.

Also worth a look:

  • (12) St. Cloud State at (7) Minnesota Duluth – Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 Central
  • (1/2) Yale at (14) Cornell – Saturday at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • Beanpot Final: (5) Northeastern vs. Boston College – Tuesday at 7:30 PM

Stick Taps and Snark

Conference champs – Congratulations to Northeastern and Penn State on     clinching their regular season championships already

↓ ↑ Wisconsin – We'll call this one equal. The Badgers dropped their Fill the Bowl game to St. Cloud State, but had an announced attendance of 14,430.

Yale – The Bulldogs moved into the top spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll

Coaching milestones - Congratulations to Northeastern coach Dave Flint on his 400th career win and Vermont coach Jim Plumer on his 300th career win.

(Photo: Yale Women's Hockey/Twitter)